How to Use Dark Social in Your Marketing (and Why!)

Article written by Charli and published at Agorapulse.

“Dark social” was coined by American journalist and author Alexis Madrigal back in 2012 when he asserted that we are not seeing the full picture in regards to social traffic.

He wrote:

There are circumstances, however, when there is no referrer data. You show up at our doorstep and we have no idea how you got here … This means that this vast trove of social traffic is essentially invisible to most analytics programs. I call it DARK SOCIAL.

Since then, marketers use the term “dark social” to describe web traffic, comments, and discussions that are hard to track. Interestingly, these are the spaces where buyers are influenced but not by your brand.

At least 84% of outbound sharing from consumers now takes place in dark social channels, like email, social networks, and instant messaging. Marketers also use terms like dark funnel, dark traffic, and dark social media which are all in the same realm. (Many marketers may confuse “dark social” with the “dark web,” which it is not.)


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