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The em michelle phan Story: Dark Social's Undeniable Impact On Social Media Campaigns

Dark Social is marketing’s little-known secret of previously untrackable ROI. Learn how this extraordinarily important data set fits into the greater social advertising ecosystem and how the outcome of a real campaign for em michelle phan produced some pivotal results.

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[ Transcript ]

Dark social, a phrase quickly gaining momentum in the industry, is marketing’s little-known secret of previously untrackable ROI. In layman’s terms, much like a family tree, your ads essentially become parents to many generations of engagement and conversations that may go unnoticed.

For example, let’s say a user named Mike sees your product ad and clicks through to your website. Mike knows his buddy Shannon would love it too, so he emails her the link. Shannon in turn posts it to her Facebook page where others copy the URL and share as well. Well most companies can track Mike’s first-generation activity and tie it to your campaign, how Shannon and anyone who saw Shannon’s post engages with your content is overwhelmingly unaccounted for and this is multi-generational dark social.

In other words, first-generation activity refers to all the clicks, pageviews, conversions and revenue earned from the audience that is directly exposed to your original ad. While multi-generational activity consists of downstream engagement from audiences that were not directly exposed to a brand's original post. It’s only when a user copies a web link and pastes it into another channel such as an email, instant message or social post that dark social beings and all the multi-generational activity the goes with it.

Vastly under attributed by brands Dark Social activity can account for as much as 70% of sharing and engagement. So how can marketers bring Dark Social to light? Unified Dark Social Measurement gives brands insight into all generations of activity so they can accurately assign success to their campaigns.

One such brand was em Michelle Phan, who thought to more accurately connect key marketing initiatives to both awareness and revenue. To accomplish this marketers worked with unified to track Dark Social activity across many channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more.

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