Dark Social – The Dark side of the Web’s Moon

It may be one of the most famous “motivational” speeches in movie history: A top agent (played by Alec Baldwin) unleashes a seven minute verbal assault on four lackluster real estate agents in 1992’s Glengary Glen Ross. The salesmen are convinced they could close more sales if they could get their hands on the most highly sought after leads, the Glengarry leads.

The idea of getting leads is foremost in the mind of many salespeople. What could be more important? How about listings? Talk to any top real estate professional and they will be quick to tell you that making more money and working “smarter” always involves getting more listings. And how does a real estate agent get more listings? One way is by understanding a new term: Dark social.

“Dark social” was coined by Alexis C. Madrigal, a senior editor at The Atlantic, to refer to the social sharing of content that occurs outside of what can be measured by Web analytics programs. One example would be when a link is sent via online chat or email, rather than shared over a social media platform, from which referrals can be measured.

No one knows more about getting leads for real estate agents than the person overseeing an office. Mike Runyan of RE/MAX Real Estate, knows that before you get leads, you have to get your name out in the community. He teaches agents to build relationships and cultivate integrity. Then he protects his agents’ good names with TruWeb Verified.

TruWeb Verified Reviews is the newest player in the world of dark social and they get it. They partner with Big Web Machine-a network of hundreds of news and review sites-to broadcast client reviews. TruWeb Verified then makes sure all client reviews are third party verified as having come from a real consumer with actual experience with a product.

Daniel Johnson of TruWeb Verified explains it this way: “Up to 90% of consumers do a web search before buying a product. We make sure the reviews they find are legitimate. In addition to this, we partner with Big Web Machine for clients who want an even broader reach. We teach businesses the value of connecting the dots online. Think of each piece of online content- customer experiences and reviews, for example-as being dots. The more dots consumers see when doing a search, the quicker they choose that agent.”

“The dark social part comes in when real estate agents are able to provide links directly to their reviews. Those links and emails add up to what it called ‘dark social,’ the net effect of fully utilizing the power of the Internet. And what is the net result? More listings!”

Both Runyan and Johnson agree that people are talking online. It’s just a matter of taking notice of that fact and tapping into the connections people are naturally making. In the end, dark social is still social sharing.

Staff Writer – BW Media Group 10/9/14 Tacoma, WA.