Dark Social, or literally translated social darkness, is a type of traffic from which we do not know its origin. That is, for analysts it is totally unknown.

In the development of a digital business it is essential to review and measure results framed within an Inbound Marketing strategy.

Therefore, it is essential to know in depth the user and to test the actions that we carry out, as well as to know the origin of the traffic. The problem begins when we do not obtain this type of information.

In this post, we tell you what Dark Social is and why you should pay attention to it, since we all contribute to the existence of it.

What is it?

Dark, it sounds negative, right? No, we are wrong, it is not negative, in fact you contribute to it. Did you know?

Have you ever sent a link to a friend via WhatsApp ? Well, at that moment the Dark Social appears.

Wait, patience! First of all…

  • 46% of 55 year old consumers only share content through Dark Social.
  • 19% of users between 16-34 years share content through this mechanism.
  • 50%. This is the percentage of visits of unknown origin of the traffic of some of the generalist webs.

This data have been published by the latest RadiumOne study.

Now, read on!

Dark Social, refers to the traffic of unknown origin that has a web site. It is usually shared web content in a way impossible to measure by traditional means.

If it is impossible to measure, how is it visualized? It is displayed as direct traffic. Direct traffic refers to visits that arrive at our site without a referral that could be identified. The social dark is complicated to find out where reference is made or where these websites are linked. Therefore, they are links that are not tracked by the absence of metadata.

Just a moment! You contribute to the Dark Social, do you know how?

  • Shared content in social networks: Surely you have sent a link through WhatsApp, Telegram, direct message from Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat …
  • Content shared via email. For example: you are at work and the only way to share a url is through this way.

Therefore, now do you see, the mobile and the social dark are directly related. In fact, in 2014 it added 69% and if we take into account that mobile searches have increased, it will not stop increasing.

Do not stand still! Track the Dark Social

You must be clear that it is impossible to track the totality of traffic that we consider Dark Social. But, some of our tips:

  1. UTM Parameters

Add UTM parameters to the share buttons on your website.

  1. Go to Google Analytics.

You must filter by the direct traffic segment.

On the one hand, you will see urls that are short and that will not cost you much to remember, as is the example of the home. Most users will remember the url.

On the other hand, you will see urls that are long, for example, those that refer to the content of the blog. We are sure that it is almost impossible for a user to have learned it by heart. Therefore, either they have saved it in favorites or they have most likely arrived at the post through a shared link from a channel that we consider dark social. So you’ll know a little more about social dark.

Create a custom segment

Take into account direct visits to URLs that we see less likely to be entered manually in the navigation bar. Thus, we will have more clear traffic that interests us.

Without a doubt, you must be clear that this is only an approximation and that it is impossible to have accurate knowledge of what the Dark Social is.

If you can not beat them, join them

In addition to going to Google Analytics you can shorten your URLs or track different tools for marketers such as:

  • Post
  • Share This, which allows users to better measure how users share their content.
  • Social Gest. ie: monitor the shared contents.

Or a fresher measure, do as Adidas and create WhatsApp groups for users from different cities.

Win the hearts of your users

Get to know your users better and create campaigns with which you will definitely love them.

In Quality Marketing Contents we develop your digital business and without a doubt, the social dark is included. Do not stop and run, get in touch with us! We are here to help you.