How Dark Social is Affecting Your Brand?

Dark Social

Social media has become one of the best ways to enhance marketing business. Isn’t it? But do you really think social media is fully reliable? Majority of answer would be no. As a online marketer, you post content related to your brand on social media. Have you ever noticed your contents are privately being shared via messages? If yes, then you are in the realm of ‘dark social.’

Today, amount of social activity is now classified as “dark” and has made huge impact on brands worldwide. Do you know the effects of dark social? If no then read the article below. In this article, we will talk about how dark social is affecting the brands. First, let’s look at the definition of dark social.

What is dark social?

The dark social term was coined in 2012 by Editor Alexis C. Madrigal in The Atlantic. It basically refers to the private sharing of content via messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, or SMS. Here the content doesn’t share on public platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. Through this, marketers won’t be able to count their web traffic by web analytics programs. It is because this traffic is private which can’t be counted. Private sharing means copying and pasting the content, or link to the content and sharing through email or mobile messaging apps such as WhatsApp.

Furthermore, you will not be able to see the person who shared the link because he will be anonymous and known as ‘referral tags.’ So without this, you will be in dark as you will not know where the traffic is coming from.

According to RhythmOne marketing firm, more than 80% of all shares are “dark.”

How can dark social affect your brand?

Following points will help you know how dark social affecting your brand-

  • Whenever people share your content, there will be no referral tags within private messaging apps. It means the site owner will not know where you are getting traffic from.
  • The referral will be attributed to a direct share which indicates an incorrectly assigned channel.
  • Dark social cause marketers a serious challenge in measuring ROI as legitimate content sharing becomes increasingly untraceable and immeasurable too.
  • The results marketers get are highly inaccurate and they also can’t evaluate what content works best for them and what doesn’t.

The above points highlight how dark social can affect your brand. Now let’s move on and know how you can track dark social traffic.

How to track dark social content traffic?

Every e-commerce marketer must know how to track the traffic coming from their site. In the digital marketing world, it is very important to track visitors and sharers to have a reliable foundation for future decisions. You have to ensure that every customer and interested parties share the content of the site through an official “share” button rather than deciding to send links via ‘copy & paste.’ With the help of Google Analytics, you can set a tracking app and a URL shortened makes it possible to offer short links targeted to sharing.

Below are some of the tools for helping you track dark social traffic:

  • You can improve your sharing button with a tool like ShareThis. It lets you implement inline or sticky share buttons to make it easier for you to track share your content via email, messenger, or text.
  • Try to use shorteners like Bitly or Owly. These tools will shed light on your sharing. Through this, you can get a better understanding of the clicks you receive if you use tracked links.
  • If you want to crack the dark social code, use Get Social o You will get to know the basics you covered here.

How do you get advantage of dark social sharing?

To save traffic and data from the dark social first thing you can do – you can offer sharing buttons on your page. Leave the share button at the bottom of your post. This is the best and easy way your audience will likely to share your article. By adding a social share button you can track the shares.

Secondly, you can also use tracking apps for example Get and These apps will help you track the audience’s sharing habits. Through this, you will better understand how your posts are shared.

Thirdly, you can shorten links in your social media posts. So if someone copies the link directly from the search bar then you can’t track the share. To see your tracking, you have to offer shorter UTM links.

The bottom line

Dark social sharing is not bugbear as it sounds. I have already explained everything about dark social in this article. So if you monitor and understand dark social sharing, it can be advantageous for your business which can provide you a good insight into how your client is shared. To make sharing easy for people, add the social sharing button, and track results use apps I have mentioned above in the article.

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