Our Visibility Score

A few people have been asking how we calculate the “visibility score” we assign to a brand.

We introduced the score a few weeks ago to provide a quick way for people to compare the visibility of one brand to another.  We decided to take the simplest approach we could think of that would provide useful results…

We took a set of benchmark results using one globally recognised traditional brand and gave it a score of 1000.  To ensure that even small, local brands would register we made it a sliding scale.  For example, Coca-Cola has around 8,000 times more photos mentioning them on Flickr compared to our company Inuda, but we still get a score of 10 for having some photos rather than getting 0.

It’s very much an experimental feature so the way it’s calculated is likely to change in the future.  We’ll probably create some kind of index by benchmarking against the world’s top (non-ambiguous) brands.  Please let us know if you have any ideas for how we could improve it.


53 Responses to “Our Visibility Score”

  1. dorai Says:

    Why not allow users to set their own weights? You can have one standard brand calculator and one personal brand calculator.

    I may weigh presence on certain social networks more than others. For example Flickr photos mean nothing to a technology company but technorati, digg, reddit score may have a lot more relevance.

  2. Jonathan Markwell Says:


    Great idea. We’ll certainly consider bringing that functionality in. Adding reddit and digg scores is also a priority of ours!

  3. dorai Says:

    Thanks. This is one problem I find with search engines too. Their concept of relevance while good in general is not sufficient to meet my needs.

    Thank you for the response and good luck with the efforts.

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  5. Chris Moritz Says:

    A lot more people will “get” this if you display the score as “[score] out of a possible 1000.”

  6. jlmarkwell Says:

    @Chris unfortunately its not that simple. If you do a search for a technology brand like Google (http://howsociable.com/google) that’s very visible on the web you’ll find they score much more than the ~1000 that Coca-Cola scores.

    We know we’ve got some work to do to make this easier to understand and more useful.

  7. Chris Moritz Says:

    Didn’t figure it would be that simple. Would recommend taking off the aggregate “score” until such time as you figure out a good way of contextualizing it. “212 out of {something}” is kind of a let-down.

  8. Fubiz Says:

    Excellent concept !

  9. jlmarkwell Says:

    @Chris Thanks for the suggestion but we’re going to keep it for now. We know its far from perfect but we don’t feel we can take away the only easy way people have of comparing one brand to another.

    @Fubiz Thank you!

  10. Andrea Hill Says:

    I echo the above comments. Metrics ain’t metrics unless you’re measuring it against something..

  11. Nick Schmidt Says:

    Is “recognised” missed spelled? Shouldn’t it be recognized.

  12. jlmarkwell Says:

    @Andrea Can you elaborate? We are measuring against something. At the moment it’s one big brand, in the future it will be an index of brands.

    @Nick we’re based in the UK and that’s how we spell it here. That said our audience is increasingly US based – maybe we should consider adopting your spelling 🙂

    • Jayne Reddyhoff Says:

      Please don’t adopt US spelling!

      The words are still readable and many Americans are aware of the fact that not all English speaking countries spell the American way.

      Even though it may be hard to measure myself against large international brands, I look forward to monitoring how my score changes as I do more to improve my brand visibility

  13. Erik Wynn Says:


    Great concept. And I agree that it would be difficult to present the score as “X out of 1000”. However, I see the need to show where this score falls in relation to other brands, to give the user a point of comparison. So there may be no absolute limit, but I have no idea if 1538 is a “good score” (in relation to my competitors) or not….

  14. John Gallen Says:

    Nothing to do with the metrics question but please keep the UK English spelling… also, I prefer colour over color and centre over center, etc. and I’m Irish 🙂

  15. John Gallen Says:

    By the way, I’ve already been using this to present to clients. What I’ve been doing is completing a run and saving it. the client then has a measure of visibility prior to starting a campaign and when the campaign is complete I should be able to see an increase.

    I’ll let you know how we get on

  16. graeme wood Says:

    Following on from John’s post above, I’ve been looking at ways to use the system to track campaign effectiveness, but finding it hard to the measure impact of a UK campaign on global stats – is there any clever IP stuff to split by region on the horizon?

  17. graeme wood Says:

    ..and it would be really useful if it included forum posts via Boardreader!

  18. Paul Forrest Says:

    Just getting to grips with this index on behalf of a client. Looks well laid out and fairly easy to follow. Appreciate the methos of calculating the index may change. If nothing else, it is great to come across a site that does use correct English spelling. Change to US spelling at your peril! 🙂

  19. paul Says:

    i would have thought that the ‘best’ fit with measurement would be to compare like for like. airline v’s airline, soft dink v’s soft drink.

    if you allow it to become user generated content then your list of brands and relevant industries will be generated rather quickly.

    get some of the other streams that are out there mapped in and it becomes a good tool.

  20. Marketing Says:

    Is this a free service?

  21. rick Says:

    How about some sort of widget that can use to track my brand?

  22. Graeme Harrison Says:

    Has this tool been developed at all since its initial launch?

  23. jlmarkwell Says:

    Hi Graeme,

    It’s only had a very minor update since its initial launch. We’re exploring the possibility of making some more enhancements in the next few months. Would be great to hear what you would like prioritised.

  24. Rebecca Says:


    This is a very useful idea and in the aggregate, kind of fun to play with.

    I work for a small health-focused non-profit and it would be beneficial to me to be able to measure myself against other organizations that belong in the same topic area – or even against other non-profits in the aggregate.

    Measuring us against all other brands/organizations out there doesn’t tell me any more than I already know – that I’ve got some work to do to raise our profile in the social media world.

    Still, thanks for this tool. I will definitely be using the number generated by this as a broad marker of our ubiquity online.

  25. paintball barrel Says:

    This is pretty easy guys – do it similar to google pagerank, with each 100 or so being something of an exponentially harder level to reach. to help visualize it, you can draw a smal exponential curve line and show where the brand falls in a linear position along the x axis.

  26. Luis Botero Says:

    Excellent idea to begin. By knowing where we are and where our main competitors and customers are on each social media we can set our own goals and mesure them regularly

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    This is a new concept for the comparison.

  29. jose23 Says:

    Good work! Excellent utility for a social media plan!

  30. joanromph1 Says:

    So what’s the best score? 100 or 1000?

  31. René Says:

    Very useful tools for seo and marketing

  32. Mike K Says:

    One shortcoming I note: Tghis doesn’t seem to pick up screen names. Or am I mistaken?

    • jlmarkwell Says:

      It should pick up screen names, provided they are publicly accessible. Please can you provide an example that doesn’t seem to be working?

  33. Mark van Horik Says:

    I like the concept, and I will definitely use it as an indicator tool for the social media presence of my companies and of our clients. The feature View mentions is nice as it provides also information of all the found info is really related to us. So actually our visibility score should be even lower as not all mentions are our mentions.

  34. pcrampton Says:

    When I used the tool, I searched for Norton (of Norton Anti-Virus). I got a lot of mentions. When I looked at the details of the Twitter results, I found a LOT of results that were NOT the brand I searched for.

    Is there any way to exclude results when a brand’s name is not unique enough? (Seems like being too common should not be a problem but trying to measure just the brand and not the people named Norton is not easy. 😉 )

    Anyone have any thoughts on how common name brands can effectively measure social impact?

    • jlmarkwell Says:

      You’ve picked up on a challenging problem there. We have search modifiers on our roadmap. These would allow you to require that certain terms are present or not present near the brand name. More advanced social media measurement tools use machine learning or cheap labour to sort though results, we prefer simple approaches so are unlikely to go down that route.

  35. David Goodjohn Says:

    Love the concept of tracking your brand visibility and trying to improve it! I’ll watch this closely as you manage to refine the concept and make it more and more market relevant and company specific, a more than useful pointer in these competitive days, thank you.

  36. http://www.seonaptics.de Says:

    WoW – I´m impressed. Very nice tool for SMO! Thx!

  37. JT_NL Says:

    Would be great if you could add a “Top 10 of most socialble companies/brands”, without a real-time comparison with other brands it has a score has no real added value….I know you can search other brands yourself just by typing it in and measuring it, but I’m lazy.

  38. Two Lenz Says:

    Great idea. However, on your evaluation, am I competing just with other sites which are selling books like I am?

  39. Courtney Says:

    Such an interesting concept. Exciting to watch this and to see where we need to focus our efforts, thank you!

  40. Shripad Says:

    Nice concept! Wish you all the best.

  41. Joy.W Says:

    I like the concept, great tool! However, I was wondering is there particular reason that the search set limitation of using “&” in the brand search? I failed to enter some brands, such as H&M also Procter&Gamble(P&G). The “&” is part of the brand, isn’t it?

  42. Barb Chamberlain Says:

    I’d love to be able to do an easy export of the data to a spreadsheet, save it, then come back and get the updated report. That way I could track trends over time. (Or you could add trends over time to the data on the site–up XX% since your last visit or something like that.)

    I’d also like to be able to create a “competitor dashboard” that displays several other brands alongside mine for quick comparison (compete.com has something like this). I’m doing it the hard way entering by hand into a spreadsheet for now.


  43. Thomas Schulze Says:

    Great Tool – I love to measure my brand success like this, simple, easy 🙂

  44. Travis Bowman Says:

    Fantastic tool. How often should the score fluctuate up vs. down? A few comments here suggest that it should continually go up as more content is added for a brand, but if the bigger brands are also accumulating more content, wouldn’t that cause the smaller brands to slide further down the scale? A little concerned that my Facebook pages and groups score is suddenly zero when on 5/4/10 they were 112 and 71, respectively. Any thoughts on why that would drop so drastically? Thanks!

  45. blackstagmedia Says:

    What im wondering is, what is the company that everything is benchmarked on?

  46. Eric Says:

    hey, maybe you should work with socialmention.com to better your scoring system.

    they have good metrics to measure if the mentions are pos or neg.

  47. David Says:

    I’d suggest creating a panel of well known brands to use as a benchmark.

    Maybe select 50 brands across different categories and average the their score to get to a reasonable benchmark.

    And there is no reason why a brand could not achieve a 100+ score relative to the benchmark.

    alternatively set a benchmark per industrial category – by selecting the leading brand in each category as the benchmark and then letting the user select their category. i.e deliver a score relevant to my category.

  48. Gilson Fais Says:

    The idea is quite interesting. But as it is, it´s not a secure information regarding the actual popularity of one specific brand. Applications (spam) can circumvent the scheme … Maybe you could create a variable that establishes a causal basis to establish a logical connection between the various services used as indicators of popularity … Hmmm … I’ll think better on the subject…. ;-P

    Regards and good luck!

    Gilson Fais

  49. jbrown Says:

    Great concept. We are tracking a brand whose name has an &
    Do we just replace that with ‘and’ ?

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