Over 70% of social media sharing occur in ways that marketers cannot see or measure with analytics. These invisible interactions are called “dark social” — defined as sharing social content via private channels like email, Snapchat, and What’s Up.
It turns out that all the likes, shares, and retweets that marketers track (called “light social”) represent less than one third of all social media engagement.
Americans share different types of content via dark and light social. Two thirds of all entertainment content is shared via light social. Only 10% of financial content is passed on that way.
Consumers use light social media at least partially to create the persona they want others to see. Dark social is for private topics and interactions people do not want to impact their image.
Roughly 33% of all consumers only share via dark social. To marketers, they appear to be inactive on Facebook and Twitter. In reality they are quite engaged, but untrackable.
The existence of dark social has huge implications for marketers. If we set our social strategies based purely on analytics, we overlook the majority of sharing activity, and a huge percentage of our audience.
What are the implications for your business?
- Is your social media marketing plan built with the understanding that the majority of social media sharing is untrackable?
- Should your tactics include more ways for consumers to share your content via dark social?
For help developing powerful digital strategies that work, compelling marketing strategies that drive results, strategic plans that deliver growth, or new products that consumers love, contact Brandology at 925-417-2253 or Maura@Brandology.com.
Sources: Media Post 2014, RadiumOne 2014, Stanford University 2014