What Marketers Should Know About Dark Social

In a perfect world, the concept of social sharing operates as follows: you’re sitting in your office one afternoon and you come across a really interesting article about 12 unique ways to repurpose that old iPhone that is sitting in your desk drawer. You think to yourself “Hey, I know a lot of people who also have old iPhones they don’t know what to do with,” and you quickly share a link to that URL on Twitter so all your friends can see it. They then share it with their friends, who then share it with their friends, and before you know it, that article is everywhere. The concept of “dark social” is more or less the exact opposite of that. “Dark social” is when you take that article and share it with another person using anything other than social media, like if you were to send it to a loved one via email or text message. There are a number of key things about the idea behind “dark social” that marketers in particular have to be aware of. Many Marketers Experience It Because “dark social” sharing is hard to pin down by its very nature, it should really come as no surprise that its literal definition is as simple as that: any Web traffic that is not attributed to a single, known source like Google or Twitter. If you’re hitting a situation where you’re getting traffic but have no idea where it’s coming from, congratulations: you’re experiencing “dark social” up close and personal. Dark Social May Be an Accident in Certain Situations Josh Schwartz, chief data scientist at...
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