How Dark Social Impacts B2B Marketing

Justin Flitter
5 min readSep 3, 2022

‍In a perfect world, every B2B company would have the opportunity to market their products and services directly to their target audience at any given moment. Unfortunately, we don’t live in this perfect world.

Thanks to the prevalence of social media and other digital marketing channels, it feels as though everyone is constantly being bombarded with advertisements from brands at every corner. However, that doesn’t mean that B2B marketing has become any less challenging.

In fact, thanks to what marketers have come to refer to as “dark social” (more on that later), many B2B marketers are facing renewed challenges when it comes to effectively reaching their target audience online.

For those who aren’t quite familiar with the concept of dark social and its impact on B2B marketing, below you will find an introduction to this somewhat hidden side of social media marketing…

What is Dark Social?

Dark social refers to all of the social media interactions (e.g. likes, comments, shares, retweets, reposts) that occur outside of a user’s designated social media app. Since these social interactions take place behind the scenes, they are often missed by most social media monitoring and analytics software. As a result, many marketers have no way of knowing that these interactions have even taken place.

While this might sound like an inconsequential issue, when you consider the sheer volume of these “dark” social interactions taking place every day, it becomes clear that this is a significant issue for B2B marketers. In fact, a 2016 study from Forrester found that more than half of all social media interactions are taking place off the grid.

And, when you consider that B2B marketing mainly takes place on social media, this could be a significant problem for B2B companies.

Why Is Dark Social a Problem for B2B Marketers?

As the above section makes clear, dark social has the potential to undermine almost any B2B marketing campaign. That being said, its impact is most noticeable when it comes to social media marketing. After all, this is where most of these “dark’ social interactions are taking place.

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Justin Flitter

CMO #SaaS | Marketing Strategy & Activation. Author of Unrivaled B2B Strategy Workbook | http://Unrivaled.co.nz