If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, what social media channels do you utilize to spread the word about your company? When it comes to web promotion, do you focus your efforts primarily on Facebook and Twitter? Recent findings about dark social may change your marketing strategy.
What is dark social? Well, it’s not nearly as sinister as its name may imply. Rather, the moniker stems from its relatively under-the-radar status as regards online traffic and media sharing. Dark social constitutes the predominant ways in which individuals share information through social media channels such as email or instant messaging. According to newly collected data, it’s these communication outlets that provide businesses with the bulk of their online traffic. So though you may be concentrating on how to increase your Facebook fans or Twitter followers, you should be focusing on inspiring people to email or chat your links to others.
As mentioned, dark social is the prevalent method for media sharing. According to some statistics, anywhere from 55 to 70 percent of a website’s traffic may derive from practices as simple as forwarding an online article to a friend via Gchat or AIM. Accordingly, dark social is beginning to catch the attention of those looking for better ways to promote their brand or business.
But how? How exactly do you increase the likelihood that someone will instant message your newest post to his coworkers down the hall? How can you boost the chances of getting readers to forward your piece through an email to friends? As of yet, no online technology can effectively track these activities, in contrast to programs that can easily monitor how many referrals you get from sites like Facebook or Twitter. Moreover, barring sending out an irritating mass email that you hope will effect a chain reaction, you can’t really make people forward your links.
As it has always been, content remains king. To fully utilize the power of dark social, you better make sure that your content is worth the time and effort of not only the people who send it to those they know, but also the intended recipients of those emails and IMs. So while taking advantage of social media channels can definitely improve your online presence, don’t forget to create a presence worth sharing.