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Inspirations, deep thoughts, surprising insights, or random ideas on how social media intersects PR.

Dark social channels

With Mark Shaefer’s book The Content Code coming to an end, its safe to say a lot has been learned about the messages we share and the platforms in which we chose to send them. One thing that always peeks my interest is the unknown, the things we just haven’t been able to figure out yet but begs the bigger question.. What else is there to be learned? Shaefer touches on this concept in chapter eleven when referring to “dark”social channels, platforms where content is shared but we as content users have no way of accessing and analyzing its impact. For example, when content is shared through text messages, e-mail, or oral communication, how can we keep track of it? The unsettling truth is that we cannot, at least not yet.

It reminds me of the age old question, if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If people are sharing our content on “dark”social channels and were not notified of when its happening, does it still have an impact?


Both ideals raise questions regarding observation and knowledge of reality. The truth is regardless if were able to see it first hand or not, content is being shared on “dark” social channels and it is having an impact. Schaefer stated one-third of all people share content only on dark channels. It’s believed that dark channels allow users to share content that is more taboo such as politics, religion, finances, etc.

So, what do we do to combat this unseen sharing frenzy? An article American Express crafted a list of tips for content creators that are trying to avoid having “dark” social affect their media efforts. Some tips include following developments in this area to stay on top of the improvements made over time, adding share buttons that provide easy access for viewers to publicly send your content, and shorten URLs to make your content easier to track.

In a world filled with creative content it is crucial to the success of businesses worldwide to track the impact their messages are having on the public. Hopefully with innovations in technology the future of the unknowing “dark” social channels will become obsolete.

Book source – Mark Shaefer’s The Content Code

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Article source –



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This entry was posted on April 5, 2016 by in Uncategorized.

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