Have you heard about Dark Social?

If you haven’t – you probably have used it without knowing the term for it. Let me give you an example:

Let’s imagine you are scrolling through your Facebook timeline and you find an interesting dog article about something only your dog loving friend would appreciate.

Of course you could click the share button on Facebook and let all your friends see that you shared it with your dog loving friend but most likely you would send a private message through Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp and just share the link.

BOOM – by doing this you’re directly feeding the Dark Social Monster. Dark Social is by some reports responsible for over 86% of all Socially shared media nowadays.

Other forms and platforms which Dark Social can be shared are the following:

  • Messaging Apps – As previously mentioned Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp but also WeChat and Skype is being used frequently.
  • Email – Sharing content via your email is definitely part och Dark Social.
  • Secure browsing – If you click from HTTPS to HTTP the referrer won’t be passed on


Dark Social Describes ANY traffic that does not let your analytic tools track the source.

This is why Dark Social is such an interesting phenomenon and should be recognised by all marketers. Anyone who has been checking their analytics tool has seen the trend for a long time – more and more traffic is without any source which means they are from private and protected channels not registered. Essentially they lack the referral source, so the connection between the site or platform you had your ads on will be lost.

As a marketer it’s already challenging enough to track your traffic and analyse it properly – with Dark Social this becomes much more complex.

Unless you only run ONE marketing campaign – how do you know where the traffic is coming from if the source is hidden? All these shares and interactions are not being tracked properly with the current analytics tools


So how do you know where your traffic is coming from if it’s hidden?

Please see below for a few easy tricks you may use in order to make sure your Dark Social traffic is reduced:

  • Mobile Traffic is the main contributor

It’s very important that you track all your links properly, especially from Mobile traffic and you need to have a good strategy in place in order to do so.

  • Use short URL’s and UTM tagging.

It’s an old trick in the book but it’s more relevant than ever – if you want to increase your likeliness of tracking your source you have to use a UTM tag and people are more likely to click on short URL’s than long.

  • Make sure you have share buttons for all different platform on your articles and ads

It’s all about making it easy for the user, make sure they can share your content via their preferred platform – this way you can make sure the tracking link stays with them the whole sharing process.

  • Follow the evolution of Dark Social

Dark Social is already a huge beast but it’s still only the beginning of it – make sure you stay up to date with the progress and platforms that may help you understand it better.


Do you want to know more about Dark Social or would you like Digital Gorillas to take care of your digital strategies – contact us today!