Milli Wayz
by on January 14, 2020
Hey everyone! it’s Yoli Chisholm and welcome to the Yoli Chisholm show where I talk about marketing past and present and tools tactics and technology that I’m excited about and today I want to talk about direct traffic let’s talk about it [Music] hey so before we get to the show I do want to mention that if you’d rather listen to me on a podcast as you navigate your way through your day please do you can reach me at podcasts Yoli Chisholm comm and I’m available on iTunes and Spotify look for Yoli Chisholm so let’s talk about direct traffic before we can go there what we need to talk about are the three different types of social the first is OpenSocial that is the environment that we typically share our content in publicly when we share on platforms like Facebook LinkedIn Twitter etc when you share a link in that environment and somebody clicks on that link and lands on your website typically in your web analytics it will show as a social referral the second type of social is closed social now clues social typically refers to the environment like Facebook Messenger or whatsapp or an email if you click a share button and share in any of those environments hey New York the metadata is preserved and in your Google Analytics you will be able to see that that traffic that was clicked through that link even though we’re sharing an email or shared in a closed social environment is attributed to social the third area is called dark social now the reason why dark social is so important for you seasoned marketers you’re not in your head you know exactly where I’m going with this but for those of you who might be novice is or who might not be aware of this with dark social which is actually where mo of the sharing happens over 80% of all the social media sharing of our content happens in the dark social environment this is when you copy and paste a link and paste it in your in a text and a text message or you paste it in an email this is typically when somebody clicks on that link and lands on your website your web analytics tool is not able to achieve it it to social so how do you track your dark social traffic well here’s a tip I’m gonna give you so for those of you who look at your website analytics on a regular basis you will see that typically the way it’s categorized whether it’s in Google Analytics or any other analytics platform is that you see your direct traffic you see your traffic that came through search you see your traffic that came through social and other referring links direct has typically been defined as the the traffic that came through people just literally typing in your website URL and typically that has kind of been a a measurement of how well your brand is in terms of how you’re growing sort of your brand awareness and your brand equity etc if people are able to sort of just know your brand and type directly your website directly sometimes people use that direct traffic metric as a measurement of how well they’re brand awareness is growing the challenge with that is that actually this is where your dark social traffic shows up you’ll notice if you click into the direct traffic link in your analytics tool you will see that indeed there’s some traffic attributed to your initial domain so your homepage but you will also see if you have been doing inbound marketing and if you have been improving sort of your social and gaming engagement with your content you will see other URLs that people landed on directly and this is typically what you would have been able to attribute to dark social because what it means that is somebody had essentially shared the link shared the content but the metadata that should have attributed it to social did not get preserved and so the web analytics tool is achieving it to direct and so I don’t want you thinking that your direct traffic is is has that narrow definition now you should really and why this is important is you know as we do more social and as we have to justify doing inbound marketing this is yet another way you can sort of make the business case and have some semblance of ROI of your social and inbound marketing investments because you are actually getting traffic from social more than what your typical analytics – is actually showing you if you do not know this particular nuance about open social close social and dark social and it’s connection to your direct traffic so I just wanted to make sure that you are savvy marketers and you are able to be a little bit more precise about your your analytics and your website analytics and the ROI on the social and content activity that you’re doing so I hope that was helpful I’d love to hear from some of you give me a comment and if there’s any other nuance that you want to share with the rest of the folks please do so I do want to give you a little bit of anecdote the folks the that kind of helped me to this notion of dark social were probably first probably around 2012 and I was working with an ad platform that had this unique technology where they were able to target the share graph I won’t mention the ad platform because they’ve since rebranded and there were some shenanigans but their technology was quite innovative and they had some they actually have a patent on this technology that allows you to retarget the people who you shared your content with who actually clicked through that content because the click and the sharing implies intent and interest right and so they are so not only do you are you able to target the people who saw your car your addition dish initially targeted the content too but they actually those who they then shared that content with and ultimately clicked on that content essentially what they defined is your share graph which is the broader your friends friends and that’s and and so it was very interesting so though that organization hipped me to this notion of dark social and I always have to kind of remind myself of the connection between a dark social and direct traffic and make sure that I’m not a over sort of attributing direct traffic to the work that we’re doing on the brand side of things which has oh you know there’s all kinds of factors that affect your direct traffic growth but I want you be aware of this one which really should be parsed when you do your analytics and attributed to social I hope that was helpful and if you want to keep listening to content like this please make sure you connect with me you can listen to my podcast I’ll put the link here or you can listen to me on youtube youtube / yoli’s Chisholm or yoli Chisholm comm or at Yoli Chisholm on all of your favorite social media networks let’s talk to you soon [Music] Work with Yoli As the Marketer and Speaker - Yoli is available for Keynotes, panel discussions, podcasts, interviews, guest appearances and more on Modern Marketing, Digital Transformation and the impact of technology in marketing performance management. 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