How To Track Dark Social Sales Prospecting Opportunities

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How do you track social selling and content marketing success in a world where 65% of all content sharing is invisible to your data analytics software? What does sales prospecting success look like? What social selling KPIs do you track and report? Here is a simple solution.

Dark Social Is Growing

The chart from GetSocial clearly shows that since 2017 more and more content is being shared privately via messenger apps and email than on social media platforms. That’s not a huge surprise if you think about it. If I find something that is truly helpful to a friend or coworker, I’m far more likely to email it to them than share it via social media.

But, this creates a real challenge for those of you using social engagement as a primary lead generation content marketing success scorecard. You need to find additional KPI’s you can use to track the success of your social selling and sales prospecting programs.

Click or Conversion

The simple fact here, and this is nothing new, you need to stop chasing the click and start focusing on the conversion. Digital Natives have always loved pushing the trackable nature of digital sales & marketing tools vs traditional sales and advertising outreach.

What they don’t realize is that those traditional approaches always had trackable metrics. We old-timers called them sales. And now, just as it was back then, sales are truly the only metric that matters.

Sure it’s great to know exactly how you got that sale… but in an increasingly invisible world, you can’t let the tracking tail wag the sales dog. That’s the biggest achilles heel of inbound marketing. In the inbound marketing world it’s all about driving sales prospects to your website so you can get them to download something and begin tracking their every move on your website.

Don’t get me wrong… I LOVE that world. And I do my level best to get as many sales prospects to reach my website as possible. BUT, I don’t obsess over it. And I don’t let the inability to track sales prospects reading my content on someone else’s website, keep me from publishing as much as humanly possible on those sites.

Propinquity is the Solution

Sales & Marketing executives today have to stop thinking like restaurants and start thinking like taco trucks. Let me explain.

Restaurants build or rent a building, set up shop, then spend lots of time, money and effort creating awareness of their restaurant and enticing you to come eat there.

Taco trucks take a completely different approach. They simply figure out where the prospective customers are hanging out (Propinquity Points). Then they go park their taco truck on the curb in front of the customers and sell them food.

In a world where you can’t necessarily track the content consumption and sharing activity, Propinquity based marketing helps you at least stack the deck in your favor by ensuring your content is in front of the RIGHT people. And if you consistently put your content in front of the sales prospects, the right people that should want to do business with you, then you can rest assured the content is getting consumed and shared with qualified sales prospects, even if you can’t track it.

Leverage 2nd Click Content

But for those of you who simply cannot accept the invisible sales prospect… here’s a simple solution – Second Click Content.

2nd Click Content is the key to bringing some level of trackability to dark content sharing. By strategically inserting anchor links in the content you publish at your Propinquity Points, you create trackable data that will help you understand where your leads are coming from and which Propinquity Points are doing the best job for you.

To do this effectively, you need to make sure the anchor text points to a concept that is central to understanding your post’s message. That will ensure an editor doesn’t strip out the link, because they’ll understand that a reader that truly wants to understand the entire concept of your post will need that extra layer of information, the information contained in your 2nd Click content.

Then be sure to use URL attribution tags to help you see where folks visiting your 2nd Click Content page are coming from originally. This won’t necessarily tell you how the person initially found the content (did they see it published on a Propinquity Point, find it via a socially shared link or maybe someone emailed the article to them) but it will tell you which Propinquity Point content is converting to trackable website visits.

Need some help developing your sale lead generation or content marketing programs? Drop us a line below. We’d love to help you out.

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About Tom Martin

Tom is 20+ year veteran of the marketing and advertising industry with a penchant for stiff drinks, good debates and digital gadgets that helps digitally challenged companies create innovative and effective digital marketing strategies. He is the founder of Converse Digital , author of The Invisible Sale and a contributing writer for Advertising Age. Tom guides clients through the digital marketing maze and helps companies teach their sales force how to Painlessly Prospect their way to more sales. Connect with him on Google+ or follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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