Demonic social media
When people use the term “dark social” I tend to think of a demonic content stream scarring the minds of innocent people all over the world!
What is dark social?
You’ll be pleased to know, this is not the meaning of dark social. What dark social refers to, is sharing content which cannot be tracked. For example, if you see a meme that makes you think OMG MA GURLS WILL TOTES LUV THIS and proceeds to share that meme privately on WhatsApp, Facebook messenger or Snapchat.
This is quite a normal user behaviour, we simply copy the link and shoot it over to our friends who either roast us in the group chat or praise us for discovering great content.
What’s the challenge?
Dark social is not necessarily a problem, more of a challenge. What we as social marketers need to consider is that a lot of traffic driven to branded social accounts comes from dark social. Links shared privately through messaging apps lack referral tags, it is, therefore, difficult for brands to track where traffic to their site has come from. Brands are also missing out on discovering how engaged users are with their content.
What’s the opportunity?
Don’t panic it’s not all bad news! Dark social is incredibly valuable for brands. For example, if you or I share a product, piece of content or review with a friend or family member, it is likely to be highly valued by that person or group of people. Dark social is effectively a word of mouth tool. We know what our friends, family and partners like and we are, therefore, more likely to convert them to purchase. This is especially important in a social media age where trust in brands is lacking.
Dark social is here, let’s learn how to measure it before it gets us all.