What Brands Can Learn From Buzzfeed’s Tracking Tool “Pound”

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Pound, which stands for Process for Optimizing and Understanding Network Diffusion, is the secret weapon that viral content website BuzzFeed developed in order to track content attribution beyond just counting social media shares and clicks. By tracking content sharing as “an oscillating, anonymous hash in a sharer’s URL as a UTM code”, the tool enables BuzzFeed to track how a story travels between users across social networks or platforms, without collecting personally identifiable information.

A true cross-platform tracking tool, Pound reveals new insights into attribution by tapping into its inherent tree structure that traditional web analytics are unequipped to capture. One major insight Buzzfeed shared is that social networks can drive an entire “downstream cascade” type of sharing. This has led Buzzfeed to develop a different publishing process, in which a core team of people making content pushes that content to different platforms, including the website, the Buzzfeed app, or sometimes YouTube, with varied priority. Moreover, BuzzFeed claims that sponsored content is shared just like regular editorial content.

Why Dark Social Matters To Brands

Read the original story on: MediaPost

Dark social refers to sharing activity that falls outside traditional ad measurement and analytics—mostly, the content shares that happened on texting, e-mails, and most recently, via various messaging apps. According to a recent Radium One study, 59% of all online sharing is done via dark social channels.

To get a more complete picture of their audience, therefore, it is important that brands consider what integration options are available from social communication providers themselves. Making use of the data and analytics available without compromising users’ privacy and security, and aligning insights with existing analytics, is a good way to conquer the oft-neglected “dark side”.

What Is The Invisible Audience

About three-fourths of the social media  audience are just silent observers: they contribute to impressions, but don’t factor into the other measurement that marketers care about. However, some of this invisible audience might just be sharing the posts on the so-called “dark social” channels such as emails, IMs, or texting, making it extremely difficult to measure engagement accurately.