In today’s fiercely competitive digital world, brand awareness should be a top priority for any business with an online presence. But how can you manage brand awareness on social media without knowing where you stand first?
That being said, measuring brand awareness on social media can be extremely tricky. Despite its importance, it can often feel like an abstract concept and a “soft” campaign goal, meaning that it's difficult to quantify.
There’s no single number that can tell you you’ve reached your brand awareness goal.
Keep on reading to find out what brand awareness is and how to measure it, what are the top metrics to track and why they matter.
Tracking brand awareness on social
1. What is brand awareness and why does it matter?
Brand awareness is, broadly speaking, a measure of how familiar people are with your brand and how instantly recognizable it is compared to other names in your industry. For instance, Coca-Cola has an undisputed high amount of brand awareness, both in the U.S. and at a global level.
What does that mean?
It means that people can instantly distinguish the look and feel, aka the taste and design (logo, colors etc) of Coca-Cola from any other similar soft drinks.
When it comes to social media, followers can expect the Coca-Cola brand to have a consistent, unique “personality” across all social media channels. That's because social media in itself has become a major force that drives brand awareness.
Brand awareness sits at the very top of the social media marketing funnel. It’s the point of entry for any potential customer or follower of your brand. Without awareness, the other funnel stages become redundant.
A high level of brand awareness is the competitive edge that you need to stand out from the crowd and to stay ahead of your competitors.
2. How to measure brand awareness on social media
As we said, measuring brand awareness on social media (and outside of it) can prove very challenging. But not all hope is lost.
There are some relatively simple ways to check and estimate how much awareness your social media efforts are currently generating.
Like most things in social media, monitoring brand awareness comes down to tracking metrics. It helps to see these social media metrics as individual puzzle pieces that, when put together, give you the full picture of your brand awareness.
Let's see what they are:
The goal of brand awareness is to generate interest around your brand. In the age of the internet, when people are interested in something, they like to talk about it publicly.
So tracking social media brand mentions is a great place to start when you’re trying to measure your brand awareness.
To track mentions and tags in users’ conversations, you can use a social listening tool like Awario or Brand24. For a deeper dive into the impact of your brand’s social media content, you could also look into brand sentiment analysis.
Sentiment analysis will give you the means to put all the reactions and mentions you get into context, and figure out not just how many people resonate and engage with your content, but also how these people feel about your content, and implicitly about your brand.
Social share of voice
Share of voice has become somewhat of a buzzword when it comes to measuring brand awareness. The truth is, this metric deserves all the buzz it gets because it’s an accurate way of monitoring brand awareness.
In a nutshell, share of voice represents the visibility of your brand compared to your competitors. It depicts how much space your brand is taking up in your target audience’s mind.
Social share of voice is calculated by dividing your brand’s number of mentions by the total number of mentions (yours + your competitors’) and multiplying this result by 100.
Audience size (follower count)
Follower count is such a basic metric to track, that some brands risk disregarding it altogether. The size of your audience doesn’t tell the whole story, but it’s still crucial to the brand awareness measurement process.
One thing is certain: you can count the followers you have attracted at a brand level as being aware of your brand, since they’ve already chosen to follow you (and hopefully interact with your content).
Luckily, you can easily monitor your brand follower count (and a handful of other metrics) by using Socialinsider:
Follower growth rate
The next step in learning how to measure brand awareness on social media can be to track your follower growth. That means keeping an eye on the number of new followers and the rate at which you gain them.
If your growth rate is satisfactory, that means the efforts you put into building brand awareness on social media are paying off.
Reach measures the total number of unique people who see your content, including people who don’t follow you. (yet!)
To boost your brand awareness, you should aim to amplify your reach – in other words, make sure your posts are seen by as many people as possible. The more people your content reaches, the higher your chances are to generate more brand awareness.
Using an in-depth analytics tool like Socialinsider, you can take a peek at the evolution of your (or your competitors’) reach data:
It’s common practice to group reach and impressions together and pretend they are more or less the same thing. That’s not exactly true.
Impressions represent the number of times your content has been displayed on someone’s feed. Your impressions count includes multiple views and doesn’t take into account if the viewer has engaged with your content or not.
Tracking impressions to measure brand awareness might sound a bit counterintuitive because it’s rather vague and it can seem inconclusive.
However, just like with reach, one thing is certain: the higher the number of impressions, the more chances your brand content has of being noticed and recognized.
Engagement is, for many marketers, the number one metric to monitor when tracking social media growth. That’s because social media engagement measures the impact of your brand content.
Likes, comments, reactions, shares, video views – they can all provide valuable insights into your brand’s popularity, and implicitly, give you an idea of how much awareness is generated for your brand on social media.
If brand awareness describes someone’s perception of your brand, engagement describes their experience of it. – Peek&Poke
Tracking the click-through-rate of your social media posts, aka the ratio of the number of clicks you get on a specific link or call to action, is important for measuring brand awareness.
If you’re getting a good number of clicks on your posts (organic or paid), it means that you’re most likely targeting the right audience and that the people you’re reaching are interested to find out more about your brand, or even buy from it.
The importance of brand awareness in social media is not up for debate. Keeping a close eye on how much buzz and interest your brand generates on a regular basis is, without a doubt, a recipe for success.
Learning how to measure brand awareness on social media goes hand in hand with a strong brand awareness strategy. If you’re always set on growing your reach, visibility and share of voice, but you lose sight of where you are now, chances are you will not get very far.
It pays off to stay on top of all social media analytics data (especially your engagement, reach, impressions and CTR) to watch how these metrics tell the story of your brand awareness evolution.
If your brand is active in a niche industry, you might want to focus on metrics such as engagement and share of voice, because they will tell you how much you stand out from your competitors and give you some directions on how to improve your strategy.