Commentary

Shedding Light On Dark Social

Mobile Insider Summit keynoter Adam Gagliardo, Senior Director, Media and Communications, Burger King, invoked social media’s “D” word -- “dark social” -- but offered a new way to shed light on the unseen consumer behaviors.

Noting that peer-to-peer social media continue to dominate most consumer interactions, Gagliardo said the “untrackable sharing mentions” “are not public actions we can necessarily tap into or read or quantify.”

“From a brand perspective what can we do and how can we tap into these conversations?”

Instead of being stymied, Gagliardo said Burger King was “really inspired,” so it developed a dark social media marketing strategy relying on finding instances shared previously dark peer-to-peer conversations on light social media.

In one example, he said, a consumer posted a back-and-forth SMS text conversation with a friend about the relaunch of BK’s “chicken fries” on Instagram, including an exchange of images of the product’s packaging.

“It was just really interesting to see our packaging was shared,” he said, describing the dark, and light social mashingup as an “overlapping of consumer platforms all merging here.”

Burger King’s response, he said, was to lean into the light/dark social sharing by creating emojis that consumers could use to shorthand the experience.

Working with a developer named Snaps, he said, Burger King created an “emoji native keyboard app” that consumers could download and use to share their experiences.
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