Social Media
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Facebook Dark Posts: What are They and How to Use Them

Did you know digital advertising is an industry that brings in nearly $50 billion a year? Out of all the digital platforms, Facebook is the biggest market by far.If you are advertising online, you are most likely utilizing Facebook ads. But are you using them the right way to actually profit?In this short article, we'll give you a short guide on Facebook dark posts- the secret weapon to get the most out of advertising on Facebook. You'll learn what they are, how to use them, and why if you are not using them you are leaving a lot of money on the table.

What are Dark Posts on Facebook?

The term "dark posts" causes a lot of confusion for people, and rightfully so. Is it something sneaky and dishonest? Are they evil posts that use Big Brother to spy on people and steal their contact information and social security numbers?Actually, Facebook dark posts are not sinister at all and the name is a little confusing. So confusing, in fact, that Facebook had to change the official name.They are now simply called "unpublished posts".This is when you post an ad on Facebook and it will appear to different people randomly, but will not appear on news feeds the same as other posts. Instead of showing as a typical post, it shows up as sponsored content for the specific people you are targeting.This allows you to run and test many ads without any actually showing on your feed.

Why Should You Use Dark Posts?

Now that you have a better understanding of what dark posts are, you should be starting to get ideas about why this is so useful. To make it even simpler, we broke it down into the top four reasons why you need to start using dark posts for marketing on Facebook.

1. No Spammy Feeds Cluttered with Ads

When you make ads on social media, you obviously want to post them for people to see. But what if you have multiple ads? If you want to be successful that is necessary. But this presents a problem if you post ads the traditional way.Let's say you post 10 ads in a row. People do NOT want to see 10 of your ads in a row. If people get spammed about a product or service they are going to run the other way. Nobody wants to have a feed that is cluttered with ad after ad.However, dark posts allow you to post multiple ads, but have only one of them show at a time for a person. This way you still get the same amount of exposure, but don't risk pushing people away because you look spammy. This definitely helps you stand out from some of the other two million advertisers on Facebook.

2. Keep Social Proof on a Single Post

When you post a bunch of separate ads, there are pros and cons. One of the main disadvantages to multiple traditional ads on Facebook is that you are missing out on one of the most important parts of social media proof!On Facebook or any other social media platform, people will let you know when they are interested in something. If a post is interesting or dear to someone's heart, they will not hesitate to hit the like button, write a comment, and maybe even share the link to it with their friends.For advertising on Facebook, this aspect is vital! The number of likes and comments on a post lets people know if something is popular. If something is popular, it will, therefore, seem more cool and reputable to people. This is called social proof.For example, let's say there is an ad/post for a product and it has 5 likes and one person commenting saying that they tried the product and it worked well. That may be enough to intrigue some people.But, compare that to a post with 500 likes and 50 comments full of people discussing what they like about the product and talking to each other. When someone sees this "viral" post they will instantly be drawn to it and more likely to believe a product or company is legit. This in turn also makes them much more likely to buy from you.Dark posts allow you to keep all of the likes and comments on a single post rather than spreading them out across all of your posts. This way you can keep that precious social proof.

3. Improved Split Testing

As we have already hinted, one of the main advantages of dark posts is that A/B split testing is much easier. Since the post is not officially published, you can test out different versions of an ad.You can test out different headlines, images, the main copy, the call to action in as many variations as you want. Keep track of everything and only go with what is working best for you.Once you have a winner you can publish that ad the traditional way if you want to.

4. Better Targeting

Another main benefit of dark posts on Facebook is improved targeting. You are now able to create as many versions of an ad as you want, so you can make a new one for each segment of your target crowd. You can target men and women separately, young and old separately, people interested in a certain topic, or whatever requirements you have.This allows you to hyper-target your ads, which has been proven to get better results.

How to Set Them Up

How to actually set up dark posts on Facebook is simple. Start by opening the Facebook Ads Manager. Then click the drop down menu in the corner and select Create & Manage. Then select Page Posts and choose from either Published Posts or Ads Posts.Then you can create your ad normally. At the bottom of the screen select the option that says, "Only use this post for an ad," and you have an unpublished post. Then just follow the steps to select your budget, target audience, etc.

Facebook Dark Posts are the Most Effective Ads

Compared to traditional ads, Facebook dark posts are much more successful, and many large companies utilize this method to advertise on Facebook. Setting up the ads themselves is straightforward, but you do still need to know how to create effective ads if you want to make a profit.If you need any help creating a successful campaign, WebSuitable specializes in social media advertising and conversion rate optimization. Just use our contact page to let us know about your business and we can help you make the most of your Facebook ads.

Headshot of Nik Paprocki, head of growth at WebSuitable.
Nik Paprocki
Head Of Growth
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