If you or your organization create content for social media and analyze your results, you’ve probably come across the term dark social. Though the term itself is slightly ambiguous, its definition is relatively simple: dark social is the practice of sharing content privately. Instead of sharing a link or article openly via social media, one copies and pastes links or content into private channels to send to others. Private channels can include instant messaging programs, texting or messaging apps and email. Ultimately, dark social describes any web traffic that’s not credited to a known source, such as a social network or a Google search.
Dark social is significant because it contributes a large amount of web traffic. According to RadiumOne, dark social shares can make up anywhere between 69 to 84 percent of traffic globally. Additionally, it creates a dark spot for businesses and marketers trying to keep tabs on where their web traffic is coming from and which content is garnering engagement.
If you can’t track it, what can you do about it?
Here are some steps you can take to make your content more easily shareable and trackable, reducing the number of hidden, private shares through dark social.
Make sharing easier by:
Use dark social tools, such as:
With these tips, you can better follow your content’s sharing journey and track where it’s going, who is sharing, and use that information to drive your marketing efforts.
Bailey Wimmer is an Assistant Account Executive at Lovell. Connect with Bailey at: Bailey@lovell.com.
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