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BizReport : Social Marketing : July 26, 2016

UK: Dark Social sharing of Olympics a way to avoid spoilers?

The 2016 Olympics will be a 'sharing-fest' among Brits, according to marketing tech firm RadiumOne, but much of that sharing will take place on dark social.

by Helen Leggatt

Six in 10 fans of the Olympics in the UK said they intend to share content about the sporting event, of which 43% will do so on a daily basis, found RadiumOne's research. A third said they would share more content than normal.

With the exception of content that fans are specifically interested in, world records would be the content most heavily shared, found the research, followed by news stories, images and video highlights.

What is particularly interesting about RadiumOne's Olympic sharing findings, is that nearly three-quarters (72%) of those intending to share content will do so via those channels - email, online chat, or texting - that are part of Dark Social. In fact, a quarter of those sharing said that Dark social was the only way they intended to share content about the Olympics.

While 72% of social sharing taking place on Dark Social is about what is considered the norm, might this one-to-one sharing trend also be related to avoiding spoilers? The UK is four hours ahead of Brazil, and so many of the sporting events will take place late into the evening and overnight. Sharing on open social media could mean they are spoiling it for those who intend to record events to watch later. According to recent research from Savvy, the time shift means that 33% of Olympic fans plan to record the events and watch them at a later date.

Will the majority of social sharing taking place on Dark Social prove problematic for marketers? Not according to RadiumOne it won't. While Dark Social means that it is harder than on open social channels for marketers to measure the impact of campaigns and content, there are ways to try to ascertain the origin of traffic such as "sharing tools such as URL link shorteners and the sharing widgets around articles", says RadiumOne's Craig Tuck.

Tags: dark social, Olympics, research, social marketing

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