Dark Social, Live Auctions and Deconstructing Influencers

Your bounteous internet friends are back. This week, we’re all about influencers, and taking a moment to find out what’s happening with dark social, look at some interesting uses of Facebook Live, plus the usual channel updates, and a new and exciting “award”.

How to win funds when influencing people

Influencers are so hot right now —leading to the rise of several specialist agencies or services with many and varied spins on the burgeoning industry, and an increasing cohort of wannabe social stars.

Measurement and efficacy are still reasonable question marks on the trend — and against increasingly quantifiable media elsewhere, influencer marketing may never grow up until its impact can be totally measured.

Additionally, there is a general question is the as is the potential legal impacts of these cash for comment relationships.

That leads to this piece from Digiday, which explores the bloated and unstable influencer market — and what lead us here.

Just because photos look good and have 200,000 followers means nothing. You can’t rely on content creators all day long.

What does this mean for brands who want to jump on the influencer bandwagon (or those with existing relationships)? Consider a few things:

  1. Engagement Rates: follower count is largely a vanity number. How high is the engagement of your potential influencer partner ?
  2. A Good Contract: as the influencer market matures, contracts become more and more common — consider setting payment terms based on KPIs and performance.
  3. Quality of Content: there is no denying that influencers are a useful resource for content creation, but does a product shot or flatlay add much to your brand? Remember: all killer, no filler.

What to read a little more on the topic of influencers?

Who Pays Influencers? is a resource for influencers to list the agencies and brands they’ve worked with, and what they were paid. There are some interesting insights and benchmarks here if you’re embarking on your first influencer campaign.

This piece from Brandnew IO CEO Francis Trapp looks into the world of micro influencers — and looks at the resourcing challenges associated with the small-audience approach.

The public impact of dark social

Dark social is huge — the sheer number of people using Facebook Messenger, WeChat, WhatsApp and iMessage (to name a few) is staggering, and at the moment, largely untapped.

While some cues can be taken from how brands use WeChat, generally dark social platforms are yet to catch up to public platforms when it comes to monetisation — which may be a good thing for the user.

Once response to this is Google’s newly launched tool, Spaces. Simultaneously a little public and a little dark, the platform is aimed at small groups — while tapping into the wealth of knowledge Google gives you, and probably giving back its own share of user data, too.

Dark social isn also affecting Facebook. While they own two if the best performers in the messenger space, they are still struggling to stop the haemorrhage of original content to competitors like Snapchat, and messenger services.

As advertisers, it’s important to recognise how much of discussion around our brands occurs in spaces we can’t monitor — word of mouth is still number one.

Channel Updates


There’s an election happening nearly everywhere — but not to be outdone, British PM David Cameron is joining Tinder, under the auspice of advertising on the platform to convince people to vote. We’ll see how this goes.


Mobile analytics for Instagram may be coming to a phone near you soon — showing key demographic data and information. You can read more about Instagram Insights over at Later.

It will be interesting to see how reporting third parties, like Simply Measured, respond to Instagram’s increased analytics presence.


Reports earlier this year suggested that Twitter would be removing its 140 character limit were dismissed by Jack Dorsey — but now a more feasible suggestion has come into play. By removing photos and links in their 140 characters, Twitter would open their channel up significantly.


Video ads can now appear throughout Facebook’s Audience Network, the collection of non-Facebook websites enabled with the social giant’s targeting capabilities. This beefs up the Audience Network’s capability significantly, and perhaps makes it a more interesting placement as video continues to rise.

Facebook’s algorithm is complex — and hungry for more data, always. Reactions provide a reasonably explicit way for consumers to voice their opinions — and Belgium police have warned that it may be just another way

More brands are getting wise to Facebook Live — and adapting it in increasingly interesting ways. Domain recently broadcast an auction in Sydney live using Facebook — and the City of New York…well, it destroyed some motorbikes.


YouTube has just launched YouTube Red, an ad-free paid version of the video giant. Alongside offline streaming and a few minor benefits, YouTube Red will also offer access to unique content from some of YouTube’s biggest creators, like PewDiePie.

YouTube are also rolling out an in-app chat service for their iOS and Android apps. The service will allow for text and video chat inside the app. No word quite yet on when it will be publicly available, but if a friend gets it they can invite you.

BONUS ROUND: Religious Memes and The Handys

This great piece looks at Muslim Memes — and the appropriation that goes on to turn Disney Princesses into the freshest Islamic content.

And switching topic entirely, here come The Handys. A picture speaks a thousand words, and advertising could always do with a little more self awareness.

SocialSelect is a weekly aggregation of the things that matter from the scariest parts of the internet, brought to you by Marcel Sydney.

Like what you read? Give SocialSelect a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.