11 January 2018

80% of Shoppers Shared Christmas Ideas Over Dark Social this Year

  • Dark Christmas tree
Robyn Hardman, digital and social specialist, Alias, Cheltenham

Worried that your Christmas marketing efforts didn’t really make the rounds on social? Now that it’s time to evaluate your efforts, it’s worth considering that more and more people chose to share their gift ideas over ‘dark social’.

Ah, dark social – we can’t decide whether it’s our best mate or our worst enemy. On the one hand, we love using it to our advantage when it comes to social advertising, but on the other, it’s far more difficult to track activity when people share links via email or social media messaging apps.

However, marketeers just going to have to get used to it, as according to a recent study, 80% of shoppers shared their gift ideas over these channels rather than out in public.

Of course, it makes sense to keep things on the down low when it comes to gift giving, but in the same study, it was also found that sharing via dark social indicated a higher intent to purchase certain types of gifts – for example, 50% of consumers purchased a tech gift after sharing a link to it via dark social.

While it’s much harder to track dark social shares than your regular old retweet or Facebook share, there are certain things you can do to estimate how much traction your product pages received over the festive period. Using Google Analytics, you can use the ‘secondary dimension’ feature to see which kinds of devices are accessing each individual page, the source of those acquisition – in the case of social, which network they came from – and the potential referral path of a link.

While these don’t always offer a completely accurate view of whether that click was down to a share via dark social, you can match up what activity you got on your social channels with that being displayed via Google Analytics to get a good idea of whether your products were shared effectively. Check your key landing pages, place your referral traffic under a microscope and compare it with your sales – were the product pages that received the most clicks the products that generated the most sales?

Dark social is often one of the most bemoaned aspects of social media for marketeers, but as apps like WhatsApp become more and more popular, it’s not going away any time soon. No matter what time of year, it’s important to use data from every source – not just your social dashboard – to get a true picture of success.

Are you ready for social success? Our blogs will help you get prepared:

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# Digital Marketing, Social Media, Christmas, Dark Social

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