When it comes down to it, we’re all on social media for the same reason: to prove that we’re the best at what we do, whether it’s providing a service or a product, or carrying out a charitable mission.
And, we all have competitors, or at least peers who are doing similar work to us, and talking about similar things on social channels. Social media is, after all, comprised of many simultaneous conversations among both self-selected and targeted groups of people who share interests, location or other demographics.
If you’re doing your job, you’re an active participant in many of these social conversations, both big and small. But how big is your voice compared to your peers and competitors? How much weight does your opinion carry? Tracking your share of conversation will help you find out.
Share of Conversation: What it is
Simply put, your share of conversation is how much said conversation is about you. It can be measured across digital platforms – Twitter, Facebook, blogs, media hits and so on – but for our purposes, let’s start simple. Let’s start on Twitter, where 6,000 tweets are sent every second – 6,000 new voices added to thousands of conversations in the blink of an eye.
A Twitter “conversation” is most often identified by a hashtag, but can also be distinguished by keywords or phrases, all of which are easy to search and track.
How to track share of conversation on Twitter using Hootsuite
First, determine the keyword, phrase or hashtag you want to track. This can be something newsworthy that’s trending in the moment, like #BringBackOurGirls, or a topic that’s more ongoing, like #SocialMedia.
Then, you’ll create a Hootsuite report in their analytics suite. To access the reporting tools you’ll need to create your share of conversation report, you’ll need to upgrade to a Pro account, which costs $9.99 per month.
Go into the analytics tab on the left sidebar (denoted by a graph icon) and select the “Build Custom Report” button. Opt to start from scratch. You’ll see a number of report modules to add to your custom report. Under the Twitter modules, add one of the “Compare Keywords” options – either the pie, line or stacked chart, whatever your preference.
Now, add your keywords. First add your conversation hashtag, keyword or phrase (if it’s a phrase you’ll want to put it in parenthesis). Your second keyword should be your brand (either your brand name or your Twitter handle) AND your hashtag, keyword or phrase (Hootsuite recognizes Boolean search logic so no need to include the word “and” to join your brand and conversation in your query).
And, Voila! You are now tracking your share of the conversation (important to note that Hootsuite will track moving forward – it does not do retroactive tracking) . By clicking on the arrow in the upper right-hand corner of your report, you can download the counts by day, so you can calculate the exact percentage of your share of conversation.
Hootsuite streams (free to all users) also recognize Boolean logic, so you can create a stream to track the conversation and a stream that tracks all mentions of your brand AND the conversation and compare them side by side. You won’t get numbers or percentages this way, but you can always copy and paste the tweets into an Excel doc (it’s a bit messy, but with a bit of formatting and filtering you can get exact counts).