How to Deal with Dark Social

The term "dark social" has been making the rounds lately in the marketing industry and despite the ominous-sounding name, it does not necessarily point to something terribly bad.

Actually, if anything, it's supposed to be the natural way of sharing and consuming information using less conventional and usually less convenient ways. Stuff shared via dark social is likely to be more effectively consumed as the senders are not counting on any form of reward for sharing the info and the receivers are certain that it is something relevant to them.

For instance, users may read a tweet from Bradley Associates News and not actually retweet it but instead, mail or text that information to his friend. He might also choose to print it out to give to his mom or manually write it on a piece of note then put it up on the fridge.

Sharing via these so-called dark social channels is something that makes advertisers lives more difficult as it is not easy to track such activities, if at all. Then there are those online users who don't interact at all. These so-called lurkers neither share nor post information, they just keep what they learn to themselves. In short, your content could actually getting widely consumed and shared without you knowing.

As Bradley Associates News previously reported, 'dark social' accounts for almost 70% of the worldwide sharing activity online. In the US alone, 90% of online users admit to regularly sharing info through dark social channels. Basically, there is a very significant percentage of online conversations that ended up getting ignored and untapped by any marketing strategy.

For advertisers and business owners, that study just confirmed what many suspected -- that there's a lot more work to be done to truly maximize the power of online platforms. How then could we hope to measure, let alone understand the behaviors of a large chunk of users who are just lurking around? Is that even possible?

While creative content strategies are usually custom-made for your visible audience, our best bet for now is to remember that there are lurkers being exposed to that same content.

The following are some stuff you can try to hopefully get across your invisible audience:

- Stay on top of the current trends and tailor content accordingly.

- Keep your content fresh and update regularly.

- Utilize advance Google Analytics.

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