Recent research from RadiumOne has found that 74% of online sharing activity in the UK comes from what is referred to as ‘dark social’ activities, the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK claims. Such ‘dark social’ methods include emails, forums and instant messaging and are untraceable by analytics tools.
As described in the article, ‘dark social’ refers to any inbound web traffic that cannot be traced by traditional web analytics tools. It usually occurs when content is shared by a user by copying and pasting a URL into the above mentioned platforms. The prevalence of such channels far outweighs the popularity of other channels which can be followed by brands utilising analytics, such as Facebook (which makes up 19%) and Twitter (7%).
Just over one quarter (26%) of consumers in the UK, Europe, North America and Australia only share content using this medium. This means that a number of companies in these regions that do not have an analytics strategy in place have very little solid information on how they are performing. The study highlights just how important it is for brands to invest in discovering what it is their online audience is sharing and saying about them without their realising – aka, moving away from a focus on activities taking place on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest and looking to these ‘dark social’ channels.
Rupert Staines, the managing director for Europe at RadiumOne, noted that: “Dark social is simply too big to ignore; 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.”