Typing with Your Thumbs

Even clicking a link in whatsapp is dark social, and it’s the third most popular social media network in the world, ahead of instagram, tiktok, twitter, and pinterest. You text your partner a pic of the chocolate bar you want from the store.
You mention your five new shampoo in a WhatsApp message.

But analytics expert steve lamar recently conducted an experiment to see what google analytics classifies as dark social. The results, first published on sparktoro, are pretty surprising. You share an amazing hootsuite blog article to your work slack.

Steve created 16 new subdomains and directed each traffic source to a matching page name   facebook messenger for facebook messenger to track where referrals came from, even if google analytics couldn’t tell.

The Challenge Is That Many Instagram Templates

His experiment found that, in 2023, dark social accounts for. 100% of clicks from private messaging apps (slack, discord, whatsapp, mastodon) but somehow only b2b leads of clicks from facebook messenger. A mixed bag elsewhere, with instagram passing through accurate attribution data only 30% of the time, linkedin 14%, and pinterest 12%. Graph of dark traffic on major social networks

how much of your traffic is coming from dark social? Your direct traffic in google analytics is a good estimate. Find yours under acquisition -> traffic acquisition.

Sure, some direct visitors are really typing www.yourcompany.com into their browser. But it’s also where google puts anything it can’t attribute anywhere else, a.k.a. Dark social.

Avoid Typos and Broken Typing with Your Thumbs

To dive deeper into where that direct traffic really came from, you need to know your social media analytics numbers. Social media analytics and link in bio tools will help you track link clicks across your social channels.

Every day it seems there’s a Buy Lead new study talking about gen z scrolling social media behind their closed, sleeping eyelids. I jest, but in reality, 54% of gen zers spend 4 or more hours a day on social media compared to only 28% of all american adults.

Great news for social media marketers, but what if your target audience isn’t gen z? Social media usage among older adults is rising, but less than half of people 65+ use traditional social media at all, and the ones who do are there to keep in touch with friends and family, not brands.


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