Get smart: understand dark social for better media buying

Low Lai Chow

Brands are over-investing in social networks, and they don't even know it, believes Patrick Darcy, RadiumOne commercial director of Asia Pacific.

The phrase 'dark social' generally refers to social sharing of content that isn't tracked by web analytics, in contrast to – for example – a Facebook or Twitter post.

According to RadiumOne's latest research study of over 940 million global users, 84% of social sharing really happens away from link trackers via dark social platforms such as email, copy-and-paste links in instant messaging apps and texting.

In comparison, public social platforms garner just 16% of sharing activity.

"We looked at close to a billion sharing events over a thirty day sharing period... Even we were staggered by it," said Darcy, adding that similar past research by RadiumOne just 15 months ago saw 74% of all sharing happening on dark social channels.