Are links to your content shared via private messages on social media? Wondering how to identify and measure that traffic? Dark social traffic comes from sources such as Facebook Messenger, Twitter DMs, and even email. Being able to accurately trace this traffic will give you a more complete picture of how your content is performing.
What Is Dark Social?
First, let’s define what we know as “standard” social media today.
When you publish a website link in a post from your Facebook page, the goal is for as many of your customers as possible to see it. The post appears in users’ news feeds, where they can like, comment on, and share it on Facebook or elsewhere. It’s a public post intended to reach a wide swath of users.
That’s the public social media you use every day to gain an audience and drive traffic to your website.
Now, let’s look at another type of sharing. Suppose a user visits a website and finds a great blog post or product link that they think their close friends will love. Instead of clicking a share icon, the user copies the URL of the website link.
Then they open Facebook Messenger, paste the link into a message, and send it to their friends. They may even add a comment about why they’re sharing it, but the link is now available to their friends to click and explore. This type of sharing is “dark social.”
How to Measure Website Traffic from Dark Social
Now that we’ve looked at a few ways your brand can try out dark social with customer engagement, let’s look at the other aspect: elusive tracking.
Configure Google Analytics to Show Likely Dark Traffic
As powerful as Google Analytics and other tracking tools are, you won’t be able to go into your analytics and find a report named “dark social traffic,” at least not yet. Until tracking website sharing through messaging apps is more conclusive, there are workarounds to narrow down the data you seek.
Click here for step by step rundown of how to configure Google Analytics to get an idea of your dark social traffic. Start tracking your traffic to see what dark social is doing for you.
Contact us at Caney Creek Studio for a free consultation on how to use social media, video production, and digital marketing to promote your business.
Jay & Julia Taylor own and operate Caney Creek Studio. Caney Creek Studio is a video production, digital marketing, and social media management agency.