You Need to Know Everything about Dark Social
Dark social is a reality which you need to be aware of as a marketer. Here are some ways to measure it and use it for your advantage.
Every now and then you will hear the about dark social by the marketers. However, the problem is most of the aspiring marketers don’t have any idea about this darkness. What is it exactly? How can it affect business? What exactly you need to know about it?
We all are aware of the rise of messaging apps. These are everywhere. People use messaging apps for varied reasons. The use of these apps is growing with time. In fact, if data is to be taken seriously, billions of people use apps daily. This huge number is on rise. A recent study has revealed that more than 15 percent of the total global population use WhatsApp.
If you are wondering what messaging apps have got anything to do with dark social, you must know that there is a close connection. The messaging apps and the world wide use of such apps have exposed a dark side of social which no one had predicted. Yet, now the challenge has risen in such enormity that the marketers are trying to find a way to get past the barrier.
So, now let’s get back to the first question - what is dark social.
Dark social is referred to the shares which don’t have digital visibility. Such shares occur through private social platforms like Whatsapp or Facebook messenger. If you copy the link of this article and send it to someone through Whatsapp, you will use dark social channel to share the article. It will get view for sure. But, it will not get search engine ranking boost for the share.
Dark social stats reports show that the tendency to share privately is growing among the web visitors. Search engine ranking is not only problem that is on the rise due to this tendency. The marketers fail to track a lot of aspects when something gets shared through private channel.
Because there is no dark social analytics available, marketers don’t get to know how the visitor discovered the link. This leads the marketers to the wrong platforms. In fact, such shares lead the marketers to nowhere.
Dark social has not been a known term before 2012. It was in that year Alexis Madrigal used the term and what had been a measuring fact back then, became a glaring reality today.
Dark Social Channels at a Glance
Social messaging apps are the most common dark social channels. Apps like WeChat, Facebook messenger or Whatsapp are the most common platforms for such shares. Email is another channel. The dark social stats report reveals that people are using email addresses to share links as well. Secured browsing channels are used for link sharing as well.
Dark Social and Metrics
So, now the question is – how dark social is creating problems in metrics. Does it have that much power? Can it really cause big problems when it comes to metrics? Let’s have a look.
The truth is calculating numbers for something that cannot be measured is difficult. Recently the marketers revealed a disturbing fact about sharing. They said that more than 80 percent link shares nowadays are dark.
So, the number is high. You need to focus on this issue. If you try to shrug it off, you will be in trouble.
Reasons You Must Pay Attention to Dark Social Stats
So when you are creating your content marketing strategy, you also need to think about dark social. Here are some reasons –
It is Everywhere
With the rise of smartphones, the dark social stats have risen as well. It has been seen that most of the dark social occurs from mobile devices. The direct clicks on private share mostly take place from smartphones. Since everyone is using smartphones, the dark social has suddenly found its way into everyone’s life. You need to consider this when you are creating any kind of strategy.
It Impacts the Traffic
Because more than 80 percent shares are dark, you need to understand that the shares affect traffic rate. What makes most of the marketers uneasy is the fact that the percentage of the dark social is rising by the day.
In Some Industry it is Prevalent
There are some industries where the dark social is considered customary. Industries like finance, food or travel need to accept the fact that dark social is going to be a part of their business. People share such information privately.
So should you be concerned about dark social stats?
Well, the truth is – you cannot do anything about this. If people want to share your link privately, they are going to do it, no matter what you do. So, the only possible way to deal with this is – to use it for your advantage. Instead of seeing it as an enemy, you need to look at the brighter side of the dark social. You need to look at the probable advantages.
What can you do about it? How can you measure the data? If you are wondering these questions, there are many others out there wondering the same as well. The best thing you can do is – try to accumulate data.
Many are using Google analytics to get the information. Leveraging this data for you promotion is the best thing to do. You must get information about the traffic that are coming from the wrong source.
This way you will be able to create content marketing campaign to drive the traffic to the right path where you can convert them for purchase. In the social media analytics, you need to overlay this through mention and shares.
Measuring Dark Social
For a blogger it is important to measure the source of readership. This is why, you need to measure the dark social stats. For this you can shorten the URLs. This way it will be easy for you to measure the engagement rate.
Lastly, use easy share buttons. This will help people share your content without trouble. Dark social tools can be used for your advantage as well. You can use these to track the dark social traffic.