The Dark Side of the Social: Capitalizing on 'Dark Social'
We don't usually associate "The Dark Side" with positive things, do we? Whether it's the evil Dark Side of the Force from the Star Wars films, the eternally dark side of the moon in astronomy, or the seedy dark side of the Internet, the Dark Side tends to get a bad rap. But what if I told you that there's a massive market share of social media that's just ripe for the picking? It's the so-called "Dark Social," according to RadiumOne, and it has the potential to be extremely profitable. Ready to join the dark side?
Striking back with an absolutely massive e-book (opens as a PDF), dark side advocates RadiumOne might be able to shed some light on an as-of-yet still under the radar idea. Even though targeted ads and sharing of content gets the majority of buzz when it comes to social media's input to marketing, there majority of social sharing takes place in "dark" channels-such as one-to-one sharing like direct messages.
They define "Dark Social" as taking place "when people copy-and-paste content or links from a website and selectively share it with their connections. The strong familiarity, trust and frequency of Dark Social connections more than compensates for the 'one-to-many' virality of other platforms."
According to their projections, Facebook, Twitter and all other public sharing methods make up only 31 percent of global shares, among end-consumers who are sharing things. Sixty-nine percent is still invisible! But if it's private, then how are we marketers supposed to be able to capitalize on it?
One key insight that the e-book praises at length is the use of customized URL shorteners on your content in order to see where people are coming at it from, and how it's making progress. Work hard to activate your social data in real time, as opposed to lengths of time where the relevant information will go stale.
Even if your business is already trying your hardest when it comes to working through social media channels, it appears that there is now an entirely new race left to be run. Maybe you'll need the strength that only the Dark Side can provide. What do you think of this strange and exciting new world of Dark Social? Share your reactions in the comments thread, below.