Imagine if someone could access, edit and run your Super Bowl ad just by unscrambling a single user password. The impact on your brand could be catastrophic. And while this isn't how TV, print, or most digital advertising platforms work, the risk is very real on social media.
Dark social is the sharing activity that is somewhat invisible to traditional analytics. It's the culmination of referrals and sharing of content that originates from instant messages, e-mails containing links, and most recently, the rise of ephemeral social communication platforms such as Snapchat, WeChat and WhatsApp.
To cap off 2014, executive editor of The New York Times Dean Baquet sent a lengthy note to his newsroom staff titled, "Charting the Future." One solution to the problems in particular rankled some editorial purists. The New York Times has created a new audience development department. Its "purpose is not to chase clicks but to expose as many people as possible to our finest work." And guess what? It's working.
Let's put it right out there: After close to seven years and almost 400 columns, the Social Media Insider is calling it quits, at least for now. Wow, seeing that in writing seems strange. But, as practically anyone alive knows, every now and then it's time to shake things up, and now is that time for me.