Apple has had a Twitter account for over seven years, but if you visit its page, you’ll see an empty feed without a single tweet. It looks like Apple simply hasn’t gotten around to tweeting in all that time. But, in reality, Apple tweets constantly. You just don’t see it.
Check out this tweet about Mac.
Or this one promoting the new iPhone.
These are just two examples of dozens of Twitter campaigns Apple has run in the last year.
What’s happening? Social media has ushered in a new era of “dark marketing,” a phenomenon that illustrates the dramatic changes in how brands communicate online.
Dark Marketing 101
Dark marketing can be traced back to 2012, when Facebook first enabled advertisers to create “dark posts,” which are posts that are only shown to carefully targeted audiences. Soon thereafter, dark posting was made available on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube, and the tactic evolved into an all-encompassing, multichannel strategy we call dark marketing. Today, 90% of Twitter ads, 85% of Facebook ads and 60% of YouTube ads are “dark” or hidden from public view.
For brands, this is a gift and a curse. The benefit is that they avoid wasting resources through “spray and pray” advertising like broadcast television, sending the same message to millions of people. Instead, the brand is drilling down to reach audiences most likely to be receptive to their messages. And consumers become part of an entirely new digital ad experience.
Read more at Target Marketing Magazine