Content sharing via social media is really important, right? It’s the ultimate voice of confidence from your audience. But have you heard of “dark social?”
A share is a good thing first because an audience member read and liked your content enough to interact with it. But it’s a good thing again because the recipient of that share will consider your content far more seriously than if you advertised it or shared it with them. They trust their friend, after all … usually more than they’ll trust a company.
This is the sort of trust advertising cannot buy. It’s one of the reasons content marketing can be so effective.
So yeah, sharing is great. That’s why we track it, and study it, and try to push the psychological levers that make people more likely to share. We read detailed reports about sharing, and we assign a quantitative value to it.
But we’re missing the bulk of what’s going on.
Yep. We can, and do, track how and when people access our content from links we send them in email or make available in social media, and so forth. But once those people share our content with their friends, and if their friends visit our website, then those visitors – and the paths they took to get to us – are unknown.
And for most of us, these unknowns are the majority of our traffic. It’s about 69% depending on which country you’re in, or which industry you’re in, but generally all our fancy analytics reporting is missing about two-thirds of what people share. It’s called dark social.