What is dark social?

Someone recently asked me about – dark social. According to Techopedia, it is…

the social sharing of content that occurs outside of what can be measured by Web analytics programs. This mostly occurs when a link is sent via online chat or email, rather than shared over a social media platform, from which referrals can be measured.

It’s important to folks who track the impact of social media activity. I just read a report from Simply Measured dark social is a huge chuck of what we should be measuring…

  • According to RadiumOne, 70% of all social sharing is dark.
  • According the The Atlantic, more than 50% of social traffic is dark.
  • According to InsideSocial data, more than 50% of digital sales can be dark for consumer products.

So how can you track the dark social?

  • Make it easy to share content through easier-to-track share buttons
  • Use trackable links on shared/sharable items
  • Dive into stats of individual pages on your site and peruse “direct traffic” it might help you unearth some interesting mentions and unknown champions (or non-champions) of your business
  • Search for your name (company, product or service) on Google – see what comes up. Again it might help you find something interesting – good and bad.

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