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The reach of Dark Social

‘Dark social’ plays a big part in many campaigns, the term referring to the sharing of content that occurs where we can’t measure; whether it be on WhatsApp, personal messages or in Facebook’s own messaging service. Recent research has found that over three-quarters of content coming from publishers or marketers is being shared via dark social, versus just 23% on public social networks.

The media world in general is only just beginning to realise the value in being on channels they can’t necessarily control or measure with ease. Adidas, for example, is trying to track communications that are shared privately about the brand while publisher Quartz has refocused its iPhone app to push content straight to mobile via in-app notifications.uk-sectors-most-impacted

With the growing mobile market, research has indicated that as much as 82% of sharing on mobile devices can be classed as ‘dark social’, which makes it a big area of interest especially when we are looking to see how much added value we can get from our paid media!

Dark social is a big piece of the sharing universe. This interest and intent data source is particularly powerful when it comes to mobile where, as mentioned, the majority of interacting with shared content is occurring.

In terms of industry sectors which are most influenced by this dark social sharing, food and drink came out on top (78%) with the sector seeing some form of impact through this type of sharing. This should come as no surprise due to the trend of people recommending restaurants or food brands which they enjoy and have brand loyalty to.

All Response Media Viewpoint
With both the agency and the market seeing growing spends on social platforms and mobile devices, this is an area which could play a big role in helping to accurately attribute conversions to the activity where it originated.

This is an exciting area of exploration for media buyers and more specifically us as an agency. By nature the dark social space is hard to track but it holds large potential to give additional value to activity we run and knowledge into how content is shared amongst consumers. Being able to harness this space for clients would mean that we can begin to understand their personal interaction with our paid content once it is out of our control. Suppliers are making strides in finding ways to help us understand this area and before long it’s likely their ability to more reliably track this sharing activity will come on leaps and bounds.

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