You may or may not have heard the term “Dark Social” floating around the Internet. For those that don’t know, “Dark Social” is essentially a phrase for the social sharing activity that happens in the privacy of personal emails, instant messaging, or SMS/texting, beyond typical public sharing on social networks. Over the past 3 years, Po.st has developed essential product features that help track some of this “Dark Social” activity to make our sharing tool one of the preferred choices for publishers. With the product offerings we have developed we provide the necessary knowledge to help flip the switch and shed some light on private sharing.
Po.st is one comprehensive tool, helping publishers track almost every type of sharing opportunity possible. By bringing all your social sharing tracking under one platform it helps publishers and brands grasp a full picture of the engagement around their content to and understand how their audience is engaging with their site.
There are 3 different areas of sharing that can be tracked to monitor all sharing activity on your site:
The most obvious way users look to share to their social networks is through standard sharing buttons. Enabling a suite of sharing buttons makes sure you have your basics covered. Get your social sharing buttons set up here.
Copy and Paste Sharing
One of the preferred ways users share content online is through copying text from your articles. Po.st is able to track this type of copy/paste engagement, offering some pretty cool features described below.
When a user copies more than 8 words and presses ctrl+c or right-click+copy (depending on the device you’re on) we track and analyze that as a share action. These users are most likely sharing peer-to-peer through email, IM, or text message. When they copy and paste this content to their preferred outlet, we provide a link alongside the quote so the receiver has the opportunity to view the sourced article. This link attribution helps garner more unique users to your site to view the original content that would have otherwise been lost. Learn how to enable Linckback Sharing here.
Additionally, users often copy a short line of text intending to share this single quote to their social networks via Facebook, Twitter, etc. For this particular audience, Po.st has developed a clever little sharing widget called ShareText that appears next to a portion of text that a reader highlights. This ShareText widget enables the user to quickly share their quote through sharing buttons, eliminating several steps that it would otherwise take. As a result site owners see more Po.st shortened links for their content shared to the larger public. Get started with ShareText here.
Address Bar Sharing
Again, users love to quickly copy and paste content to share. The other most preferred way users like to share content is by supplying the full link for an article copied directly from the address bar. In reality no platform or tool can actually track shares that are occurring this way — every browser’s proprietary technology restricts this activity. However, what Po.st is able to track is the engagement (the clicks) that occur after a user has shared this link with our unique ShareURL address bar tracking enabled. Learn more about setting up ShareURL for your site here.
Publishers that opt in to track this type of sharing will see special characters alongside their URLs in the address bar to help Po.st track those clicks. In your dashboard, it will appear like the image below.
Po.st also offers a solution if you want to take advantage of tracking copy/paste activities without showing a set of custom sharing buttons. Sign up for Po.st Sharing Tool account and then add this simple line of code below.
Remember to include your unique publisher key ID to be able to track all non-button related sharing activity that takes place on your site!
Overall Po.st is able to cover all aspects of sharing, from obvious button shares to unseen copy/paste shares. Whether the sharing is public or private Po.st helps you identify and capture all types of social sharing around your site to paint a complete picture of all your social sharing. If you would like help implementing any of these features or developing a unique code, please reach out to your designated account manager or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.