What is Dark Social?
It refers to web traffic that cannot be tracked through any web analytic programs. It is simply the traffic that comes from a private social media channels, such as emails and instant messaging. Private sharing is done when users copy and paste the link to the content and share it through mobile messaging apps such as Telegram and WhatsApp.
How does it Impact Brands?
Dark social actually dominates sharing activity online, you just don’t know about it. It accounts for much of the traffic to any given website. According to a report by RadiumOne in 2016, 84% of the content shared in the virtual world came from dark social.
It was also mentioned that 62% of clickbait’s on dark social now come from mobile devices. The other 38% of clickbaits come from desktops. Consumers respond most to dark social when links are shared via their mobile devices.
What can you do about it?
Social media marketers need to familiarise themselves with outbound sharing by minimising ad tracking dark social to a certain degree. You can develop a method for getting into the most important aspect of dark social enough for you to learn how to use it to your advantage. Here are some of the things you can do:
Using the Right Tools
Although you can’t fully track dark social, using the right tools can help you narrow things down. Applications like Google Analytics or any social media analytics tool that allow you to correctly understand traffic origins and therefore study their behaviour and conversions.
Make your links shorter to be able to track them better. With shortened URLs, you will enjoy a more in depth overview of your engagement and share rates.
Introduce Sharing Buttons
You should also include highly visible sharing buttons on your social media channels to encourage people to share your content more. These are just some of the proactive steps you can take to measure your dark social engagement without losing track of them.