Should we be afraid of dark social?

As a species, humans are programmed to be afraid of the dark. Cavemen feared the setting sun, and the shadows hiding the predators waiting to catch them unaware. And has anything really changed in modern times? Dark social – i.e. non-public, non-measurable social channels – is on the rise, and it’s starting to make us all a bit uncomfortable…

Where social media used to be the king, now dark social is starting to take over. From Snapchat to Whatsapp, more and more users are turning to dark social networks to share their interests. A large focus of this year’s SXSW Interactive festival has been around the emerging dark social trend, and how marketers should be preparing to adapt their campaigns to engage with consumers in a new and more intimate way. But how can you engage with your fans when they’re holding their conversations behind closed doors?

eva’s branded channels allow companies to create spaces where their users can build a community and hold a direct dialogue. This isn’t a faceless Twitter account, nor an over-curated Instagram page, but a real person sharing real video inspiring real conversation. A direct approach likes this combines the intimacy of dark social networks with the accessibility of traditional social media. Want to get your users’ opinions on a new product? Create a private channel on eva and post a video inviting your fans to give feedback. Or maybe create a public channel where users record their unique relationship with your brand. And do you want to know the best bit? At the end of the day, you – the brand – can use that video content in whatever way you want. Marketing campaigns, advertising, social outreach: there are so many ways to put these videos to use.

As conversations move out of the public sphere and into more private spaces, we need to change the way we engage with our fans. The rise of dark social shows us that consumers demand a bit more intimacy from their online interactions. However, instead of fearing the dark, we need to embrace what our customers find so appealing about these mediums and adapt our brands accordingly.

And if we can create some brilliant video content in the process? Well, that’s pretty good as well.

– Jens Wikholm, General Manager @ eva

Dark Social