If you have ever dug into a traffic source report, using any of your favorite web analytics tools, chances are you would have come across a large chunk of traffic labelled ‘direct’. Have you ever wondered if all of these people are really typing in your full website address to get to your page? Unlikely and also untrue. What you are looking at is commonly referred to as ‘dark social’. Despite its ominous sounding name, dark social refers to the traffic that comes from private social sharing of content - outside of public social networks, making it difficult to track its source.
Picture this. You are experiencing a mid-afternoon slump. As a quick pick-me-up, you head over to your Facebook page. You find an article on a great vacation destination that you’d like to slip away to. So you quickly copy paste the URL into your messaging app and send it to your spouse. Lo and behold! You just engaged in a ‘dark social’ act.
As dark social gains more power – it accounts for 70% of all online referrals today - this edition explores how marketers can ride this tide to stay on top of their game.