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Saturday, 16 July 2016

Dark Social

According to RadiumOne report, globally almost 70% of social shares are dark. For France, it's as high as 81%.

% of Shares - Dark Social

What is "Dark Social?

Dark social refers to the social sharing of content that occurs outside of what a web analytics program can measure or track & attribute it to social (or right channel).

Analytics will report this traffic as a 'Direct Traffic' ! So, if you're a social media lead for your organization then this is a definite cause of worry for you.

Why this happens?

If a certain type of web traffic fails to pass referral information on to your analytics programs (such as Google analytics), the analytics will not be able to report these visits as a referral from a particular website & hence these visits will be reported as "Direct visits" in analytics. It can happen because of following reasons:

a. Traffic from Native mobile apps (such as Facebook, Instagram etc.) opening an in-app browser of force mobile browsers to open the the URL clicked - in both cases the browser itself is going to directly to the site and thus it looks like direct traffic in Google analytics. 

b. Traffic from Messaging apps such as Whatsapp, Facebook messenger etc. - these chats clients do not pass the referrer information (unless you tag the URLs)

c. Traffic from a secure to non-secure website: The referrer information is not passed to analytics when you click a HTTP link from a HTTPS link (please note - social channels use secure browsing).

d. Traffic from Email: We know traffic from emails are reported as direct unless you tag the URLs in your email marketing programs. This is typically mentioned under Dark social rather than calling it as 'Dark email'.

There're terms such as 'Dark Search' & 'Dark Mobile' as well however they're no different, it's just a segmentation of traffic that lacks any link in attribution into 3 categories viz. Dark Search, Dark Social & Dark Mobile. (Recommended read in this aspect is this Search Engline Land Post).

How do i Measure it?

See, it's very difficult for someone to remember a long URL of any website (unless you're Sherlock Holmes !), it's highly unlikely that someone is going to type a long link in the browser to open a page deep inside your website. 

Also, not many people click on bookmarked links so, if we're able to find all direct visits after excluding home page & section fonts - we can make some estimation for 'Dark social' traffic coming to our website.

How to Reduce it?

Just use Google UTM URL while putting up your website's link in any of social & email channels. Use correct source so that Google identify the visit & attribute it to right source instead of direct.

Here's the link for Google UTM URL builder.

Let's move outside of Dark !

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Will Bots Be New Customer Service Agents?

If you're a reader in 2020 then this post might be redundant for you.

If not, then go on.. read this post to know how bots might make take over as new service agents and replace humans employed in various job functions.

Bot fever is taking over the world eg. Apple Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, Amazon's Alexa bot, Facebook’s artificially intelligent smartphone assistant M, mobile app such as Haptik etc. They're becoming more than simple personal assistants. Springbot in Facebook messenger, a shopping concierge bot that provides tailored shopping options to your price range. 

Bot's aren't limited to social media, they're also find a place in multinational companies as well. RBS, for instance, will deploy a virtual assistant called Luvo to deal with day-to-day customer problems from lost or stolen bank cards to forgotten pin numbers. American fast food chain Taco Bell announced the TacoBot, which you can text via the Slack messaging app. You can order Domino’s pizza through Amazon’s AI assistant Echo and multinationals like Unilever and BMW use a simple Q&A bot that can answer any question a customer services employee would.  

But the bigger question is can they match the human experience?

Imagine you say - I would like to buy a thin crust Domino's vegetable extravaganza & within 5 minutes you've a drone with your pizza & a message that the amount is deducted from your online wallet.

Checkout Amazon Echo video:

(Amazon Echo is designed around your voice. Hands-free and always on, Echo connects to Alexa, a cloud-based voice service, to instantly provide information, answer questions, play music, read the news, check sports scores or the weather, and even explain what a snack stadium is.)

Watch out! the future is coming.