Brands Are Still in the Dark About 75 per cent of Audience

dark social sharing74 per cent of all online sharing activity is taking place via dark social channels, compared to just 19 per cent via Facebook, and 7 per cent on all other social channels, with 36 per cent of this dark social sharing happening via mobiles.

The figures comes from research published by consumer data company RadiumOne, which looked into how and why sharing was occurring. The study demonstrates how online presence and engagement is skewed by companies limiting their social focus and marketing to social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Dark social channels means any inbound web traffic coming from sources that web analytics are unable to track, primarily from URLs that have been copied and pasted into a message platform such as email, forum or instant message, rather than shared via a social network.

Dark social data is a hugely valuable source of insight because it presents brands with a more accurate picture of the sharer and recipients interests and intent to buy. However, without any means to understand, track or action it, this data is almost instantly lost.

91 per cent of UK consumers regularly use dark social sharing alongside established social networks, while 26 per cent only share using dark channels, meaning most brands have no way of knowing how they have arrived at their site. This figure rises to almost a third globally.

Topics discussed using dark social channels tend to be more personal, one-to-one subjects including property, careers and personal finance, while those on social networks tend to be more public topics, such as pets, family & parenting and society.

“Dark social is simply too big to ignore,” said Rupert Staines, managing director of Europe for RadiumOne. “Sharing in the dark outstrips Facebook and all other social channels combined by three-to-one, yet many brands are currently unable to understand this untapped audience. Acting on Dark Social presents a huge opportunity for brands to improve their ROI from their social media and digital marketing investments.”