Dark social describes sharing that's hard to track, as online word of mouth and links sent via email often have a big impact on whether a piece of content goes viral, Rich Mintz writes. Here are 3 steps to identify and train your army of brand advocates.
Dark social sounds like some ominous place hackers roam and illegal transactions happen, but this is not the dark web. Dark social has to do with social sharing of brand content that's hidden.
Five years ago Alexis Madrigal coined the term dark social in The Atlantic. Some sharing of brand content is public and can be tracked, while other times sharing happens privately. In 2012 Madrigal estimated that around 69% of social referrals were 'dark' - this was 44% of The Atlantic’s social traffic, and 18% of total referrals. And today dark social is growing.
Can you remember the last few posts you shared with your friends? Did you systematically tweet them one-by-one, or post them as Facebook updates?
Let me guess - instead, you shared them with someone particular via message, or in one of the WhatsApp groups you belong to. As digitally inclined as you are, it’s okay if you don’t want your social sphere to know every. Single. Thing you find amusing.