Dark social is the sharing of content through private channels, such as email, messaging apps, and private social media groups. It's a significant but often overlooked part of the social media landscape, and its impact on B2B marketing is only going to grow in the future.
There are a number of reasons why dark social is so important for B2B marketers. First, it's where a lot of the B2B buyer journey is happening. Buyers are increasingly using private channels to research products and services, get recommendations from peers, and make decisions.
Second, dark social is a very effective way to reach decision-makers. Decision-makers are often more likely to see and engage with content that is shared by their colleagues and peers than they are to see content that is shared on public social media channels.
Third, dark social is a great way to build relationships with potential customers. When you share valuable content with potential customers through private channels, you're showing them that you're interested in helping them succeed. This can help to build trust and credibility, and it can make you more likely to be considered when they're ready to make a purchase decision.
Despite its importance, dark social can be difficult to measure and track. This is because it happens on private channels, which are not accessible to marketers. However, there are a number of tools and techniques that marketers can use to get a better understanding of how their content is being shared through dark social.
For example, marketers can use social listening tools to track mentions of their brand and content on private social media groups and forums. They can also use email marketing software to track how their emails are being shared and forwarded.
By understanding how their content is being shared through dark social, marketers can better understand what content is resonating with their target audience and how they can reach them more effectively.
How can B2B marketers leverage dark social?
There are a number of ways that B2B marketers can leverage dark social. Here are a few tips:
- Create highly shareable content. This means creating content that is informative, engaging, and relevant to your target audience.
- Make it easy for people to share your content. Include social sharing buttons on your website and blog, and encourage people to share your content on their social media channels.
- Partner with influencers. Influencers are people who have a large and engaged following on social media. They can be a great way to get your content in front of a wider audience, including through dark social channels.
- Use social listening tools to track dark social sharing. There are a number of social listening tools that can help you track how your content is being shared on private channels. This information can help you to understand what content is resonating with your audience and to target your marketing efforts more effectively.
The future of dark social
The future of dark social is bright. As more and more people use private channels to communicate and share information, the impact of dark social on marketing will continue to grow.
The rise of dark social suggests that people are increasingly looking for more private and authentic ways to connect with each other and with the brands they support. This is a trend that is likely to continue in the coming years, as people become more aware of the privacy risks associated with public social media platforms.
For marketers, this means that they need to focus on building trust and relationships with their customers. This can be done by creating high-quality content that is relevant and valuable to the customer's needs, and by providing a personalized experience. Marketers also need to be transparent about how they are using customer data and to give customers control over their data.
The future of marketing is all about building relationships. By focusing on creating trust and providing a personalized experience, marketers can succeed in the age of dark social.
B2B marketers who want to stay ahead of the curve need to start thinking about how they can leverage dark social to reach their target audience and achieve their marketing goals.
The rise of Web3 and decentralized social media platforms is likely to make dark social even more prevalent in the future. This means that B2B marketers need to be prepared to adapt their marketing strategies accordingly.
As dark social becomes more important, marketers will need to find new ways to measure and track its impact on their campaigns. This is because traditional analytics tools are often unable to track how content is being shared through private channels.
In the future, B2B marketers will need to focus on building relationships with their target audience and creating content that is truly valuable and shareable. This is because dark social is all about word-of-mouth marketing, and people are more likely to share content from brands they trust and respect.
Implications of dark social
The implications of dark social for B2B marketers are twofold.
First, it means that marketers need to focus on creating content that is valuable and shareable. If you can create content that people want to share with their colleagues and peers, you'll be well on your way to tapping into the power of dark social.
Second, marketers need to find ways to measure the impact of dark social on their marketing campaigns. This can be challenging, but there are a number of tools and techniques available to help marketers get a better understanding of how their content is being shared through private channels.
The future of dark social is both exciting and challenging for B2B marketers. On the one hand, it presents a huge opportunity to reach and engage with target audiences in a more personal and meaningful way. On the other hand, it can be difficult to measure the impact of dark social on marketing campaigns and to ensure that content is being shared in a positive light.
To be successful in the future of dark social, B2B marketers need to focus on creating high-quality content that is relevant and valuable to their target audience. They also need to find ways to make it easy for people to share their content through private channels. Additionally, marketers need to invest in tools and technologies that can help them to track and measure the impact of dark social on their campaigns.
Founded in 2012 by Allan Porras, 4Geeks is a global software engineering and revenue growth consulting firm for Fortune 500, Global 2000 and fast-growing SMBs. Provides top solutions to multiple industries including Retail, Healthcare, Banking & Financial Services, B2B SaaS, Manufacturing and Education. HQ in the USA, and delivery centers across Latin America.