Home Social Media The Dark Social, an increasingly problem for brands

The Dark Social, an increasingly problem for brands

written by Walter Ponce November 18, 2016

The creation of first internet and then social networks created a big opportunity for the brands. Suddenly, consumers could get more and better and the brands offer them lots of information and content. The brands could be speaking to them all the time. But the truth is that social networks not only enhanced that, also added many more improvements to the strategies of the brands. The possibilities of research were vastly expanded and suddenly the consumer could be followed everywhere, we know what really interested him in a much more reliable and solid way than ever and the path he had followed until he arrived to the brand.

However, not everything is perfect for the brands… Consumers have been beginning to become increasingly aware of all the importance of this information has and much more reticent to let brands know things about them.
Privacy has become something really important and they started to use tools that allow them to maintain it. If we add that more and more popular tools and services that serve as a screen for brands (after all, they can not ‘chase’ the user through the messaging apps) they understand how things have been complicated in the recent times.

And throughout this context, the dark social has appeared.. This new word is not brand new. The concept was coined by an US journalist back in 2012.  He used it to refer to all those visits on a site that could not establish where they came from. What is new, or what is being added, is that the problem is becoming more and more relevant and, above all, is increasingly serious for brands. Each time brands are faced with more and more traffic they can not determine where it comes from, which they can not follow to the source.

The main social dark channels are: mail services (where consumers continue to share content and links) or messaging apps like Whatsapp and even sending via SMS. Since the weight of messaging apps keeps rising, the weight of the dark social will not stop growing either. In some markets, such as the European, the weight of social dark is indeed already twice as high as Facebook.

75% is shared in the Dark Social

The figures are, in fact, quite generalised. According to RadiumOne’s latest study on the subject, 75% of all the content shared by the consumers were shared on the dark social and not tracked by their tools. In that space you share content with friends and family and even with yourself (who has not sent a link to himself to not forget somthing?).
For brands this is very important and very decisive because all those contents have an overwhelming weight in purchasing decisions. According to their data, consumers who share online content are 9 times more likely to buy. Those who share content with themselves are 1.7 times more likely to buy than the average.

The problem is not only because the figures are impacting on the revenue but also because the consumers share more content on the dark social in the big purchasing campaigns, such as the Christmas campaign. In those moments, the most common thing is to share ideas of gifts and information through these channels and leave the marks of what they really want at the time they are most necessary.

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