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‘Dark social’ now accounts for 74% of all online sharing activity

Inbound web traffic coming from ‘dark social’, such as via links from email, forums or instant message, now accounts for 74 per cent all online sharing activity in the UK, according to research from RadiumOne.

The 'Light and Dark of Social Sharing– harnessing the power of consumer connections study' , found that activity via dark social, which refers to any online activity which web analytics are unable to track, far outweighs sharing on Facebook (19 per cent) and all other social channels combined (7 per cent).

Of the 9,027 consumers surveyed in the UK, North America, Europe, Australia and France, 26 per cent only share in the dark, meaning brands with no dark social strategy in place know nothing about a quarter of UK consumers online – a figure which rises to almost a third (32 per cent) globally.

Rupert Staines, managing director, Europe at RadiumOne said: “Dark Social is simply too big to ignore; sharing in the dark outstrips Facebook and all other social channels combined by three-to-one, yet many brands are currently unable to understand this untapped audience. Acting on Dark Social presents a huge opportunity for brands to improve their ROI from their social media and digital marketing investments.”

The research also found that 36 per cent of dark social sharing globally now takes place via mobile devices.

The topics discussed most often via dark social channels are typically more one-to-one in nature such as property (89 per cent), careers (87 per cent) and personal finance (83 per cent).

Natalie Mortimer

Natalie is The Drum's fashion, design, luxury and food & drink reporter.

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