Beck Delude

Dark Social & Why It Matters

For the past couple years we’ve heard a lot of buzz around the term “Dark Social.” It’s “a term 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.” This covers everything from sending your favorite new Beyonce video through SMS, to emailing a friend a hilarious article. These transactions generally consist of one-to-one private interactions; starkly different than general social sharing which is typical one person sharing to many people.

Social_surface&dark_finalWhy does this matter? Brands have noted an increase in direct traffic, so great that it has grabbed the attention of digital marketing professionals all over. Surely people aren’t actually typing in the direct URL to visit these specific pages all of a sudden. And sure enough they aren’t, these bumps in direct traffic are due to dark social, users sharing links through private messaging interactions. According to Hootsuite, “dark social has been reported to be responsible for up to 60% of overall referral traffic for various websites.” More and more people are sending links via WhatsApp, Snapchat and SMS and these conversions are being lost when it comes to referral traffic analytics, hence the fitting name: Dark Social.

Piegraph_finalSo is dark social a bad thing? No, it’s awesome! It’s the new word of mouth and it’s here to stay. Where it does become problematic for brands is in regards to analytics and tracking where website visitors are actually coming from. Places, such as Buzzfeed, generate personalized links for each article/user so that when they send that article to a friend through Facebook messenger, they can still track where that click is coming from and attribute the traffic source correctly.

Who Won 2015?

Who Won 2015?


With 2015 winding down to an end, we just have one question on our mind… which social media platform won 2015? We’ve lined up our top five channels, compared the numbers and weighed the results. While Facebook currently presents the highest amount of active users, Snapchat appeals to a younger generation that isn’t necessarily as active on Facebook. Twitter allows for real time updates with a chance of “going viral.” After only being around for five years, Instagram is currently the fastest growing major social platform, while Pinterest has taken off with the growing ‘do-it-yourself crowd.’ So with all this in mind, who won 2015?

Continue reading “Who Won 2015?”

The Future of Phhhotos

We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again, everything is in motion. And when it comes to photography, RIP to the standard still shot. Many have coined 2015 as “The Year of Video”, but we’re thinking it’s the year of motion and the end of the one-dimensional way we consume images.

With GIFs still owning the Internet and 360 degree photos coming to the forefront, we explore a two apps that are visual pioneers in the realm of putting pictures in motion: Phhhoto and Fyuse.



Though the name leaves something to be desired, this addicting app snaps four photos in succession and pastes them together to produce a hilarious/inspiring/creepy looped GIF. Early adopters included the celebrity likes of Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus.

Not the photography type? No problem, Phhhoto has the most awe inspiring discover page appropriately known as the “Wow” tab. Sign up to start creating or just for a dose of daily inspiration:

In the meantime here are a few of our favorite Phhhotos:




Meet the app that lives in the grey area between a video, a photo and a GIF. This “Spatial Photo” app allows you to capture images in a sharp 3D picture. Petapixel explains that on Fyuse you, “capture a dynamic photo by moving your phone around during capture, and viewers will be able to explore your 3D photo by tilting their phone in their hands.”

From landscapes to #ootd (Outfit of the Day) images, Fyuse has the potential to capture & share life’s moments in an amazing way that transcends 2D pictures. Get started with Fyuse now:

Here are a few of our favorite Fyuse posts:






The future of photography is coming into focus and it’s sure to include movement, depth and endless creative opportunities. It’s safe to say, we’re excited!

Who Is Flightpath?

Who is Flightpath

Flighpath is a Creative Digital Agency that’s been around since 1994. We’ve done it all, from designing apps and websites to providing social media, SEM and SEO services, but Flightpath is made up of more than just designers, coders and content developers. Check out the infographic below to see who we, Flightpathians, really are:


Like what you see? Want to know more? Click here to contact us!

How to Utilize User Generated Content

It’s the age of the Millennials, the first digital natives, the social media enthusiasts and the content creators. According to Crowdtap, Millennials, “report spending 5.4 hours a day with content created by their peers.” That said, not only is there more user generated content being produced at this point but it is also the preferred content for users to consume.

But, what is user generated content (UGC) really? User generated content (UGC) is defined as “any form of content such as blogs, wikis, discussion forums, posts, chats, tweets, podcasting, pins, digital images, video, audio files, and other forms of media that were created by users of an online system or service, often made available via social media websites.” As marketers we often use UGC to our benefit. However, are you sure you’re getting the most out of user generated content? Keep reading for three ways to use UGC to better your marketing game:



The first use of user generated content may seem obvious, since it’s part of the phrase itself: content.  Repurposing user generated content for a client’s digital content, including social media posts, blogs and videos, can be a big win that can make a brand appear more approachable. The right usage, attribution and timing can result in shares, engagement and additional user generated content that a brand can use.

According to Socialnomics, “90% of consumers trust peer recommendations.” With that in mind, it makes complete sense to leverage content produced by average consumers who have naturally become brand advocates, instead of a traditional celebrity endorsement or spokesperson. The authenticity that is created when a “real” everyday person advocates for a product is what using UGC as brand content is all about.


Focus Group

A focus group is a demographically diverse group of people assembled to participate in a guided discussion about a particular topic. When it comes to sampling a demographically diverse group of people, there is no better place than the world wide web. Once of the greatest accomplishments of the digital age, is the ability to connect with people all over the world.

We recently learned about a new third party program called Chute Insights, “which monitors photos and videos shared about your brand, industry and competitors in real-time and organizes then by popularity, trends, content creators or time.” When Chute’s co-founder, Gregarious Narain, introduced Chute Insights, he referred to it as an “always-on focus group.” This analogy immediately made sense in a broader way.

As marketers we have the access and knowledge to utilize user generated content as a focus group anytime we need. By viewing UGC in this way you’re able to glean insights about demographics, sentiment, etc. and use that information to inform future strategy, campaigns and product development.

Campaigns & Promotions

We’ve all been there before, it’s been a long week and now you need a brilliant idea for a new promotion/campaign but your creativity well has run dry. This is the optimum time to turn to user generated content for inspiration. Taking a look at what consumers are celebrating about a brand, as well as, the negative chatter surrounding a brand is a great jumping off point when dreaming up the next big idea.

UGC may just be at the center of that next big idea. Everyone from Red Bull to Target have launched campaigns that revolve around eliciting user generated content from consumers, which in turn creates more content for these brands to use.

User generated content has become a vital tactic in content marketing to increase brand legitimacy, visibility and sentiment. As marketers we think we know brands better than anyone else, but as the saying goes, “The customer is always right.”