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The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Dark Posts: How to Boost Your Ad Campaigns

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How to create Facebook dark posts

Facebook dark posts are an effective element in the digital advertising space that you can use to retarget ads to boost ROI, but how can marketers use this strategy to supercharge their marketing campaigns? 

Social media has gone beyond a platform for social interaction – businesses and advertisers are leveraging the many new opportunities it has opened to reach potential clients and maximize conversions. Facebook is at the forefront of this digital era, and it’s no surprise that it has the most users out of all the social media platforms.

But, what makes Facebook a leading platform in the social media advertising space is its ability to introduce groundbreaking features that will make our marketing strategies more effective. An example of this feature is the dark posts.

Facebook dark posts aren’t new, but many advertisers are unaware of the power of this feature. Hence, the reason for this guide. We’ll unravel the secrets of Facebook’s dark posts and how you can utilize them effectively for your ad campaigns.

What are Facebook Dark Posts?

Don’t be scared by the name – the definition is far from anything that depicts illegal or manipulative. They are called so because of how they work. A Facebook dark post is an unpublished page post that does not appear on the advertiser’s timeline nor in the feeds of the advertiser’s followers. The term ‘dark’ comes from the notion that these targeted ads are only visible to the audience intended to see them. A dark post can be texts, visuals, links, or promotional posts or offers.

Dark posts are paid advertisements that can only be seen by a specific audience. Since dark posts aren’t public, your followers won’t be able to see or engage with them in their news feeds. Dark posts are considered sponsored ads by many channels and are entirely different from dark social. Like organic posts, they can be used in many ad placements, such as Instagram and Audience Network, ensuring your ads reach many relevant users. 

Facebook dark posts are of two types – the unpublished post and the sponsored. Unpublished page posts are used to target specific audiences with sponsored content. They can be created using Facebook’s Power Editor or a third-party social media platform. Conversely, sponsored posts are used to promote specific products or services. They can help you increase engagement and conversions.

How Facebook Dark Posts Differ from Regular Posts

The differences between dark posts and regular posts aren’t far-fetched. They look eerily similar because dark posts mimic organic content to look natural in users’ news feeds. So, how do we differentiate dark posts from regular posts or organic content?

Dark posts are not published on the advertiser’s Business Page, company page or feed immediately. They show up on the feeds of targeted customers. They allow for better results for A/B testing and control over how and which audiences see certain posts.

However, a more common way of identifying a dark post is through the ‘Sponsored’ label. Once you notice the sponsored label at the upper left corner of the post, it indicates a dark post. If such a post doesn’t have the label, it’s a regular post.

Why Use Facebook Dark Posts?

People use Facebook dark posts because of what they offer. Compared to boosted posts, dark posts allow digital marketers to enhance their targeting abilities. For clarity’s sake, they create targeted ads for a specific audience. Dark posts only appear to a selected audience rather than everybody, but that’s not the only reason for using dark posts on facebook.

The following are other reasons people use Facebook dark posts:

Audience Segmentation

Apart from offering precise targeting, dark posts audience segmentation. They allow you to reach the exact desired audience without missing out on any segment, especially if you run a niche business. Let’s say you want to target moms above 50 years; you can use dark posts to target them.

Dark posts can help you perfect your other content by testing different headlines, images, and body copy. They can help you avoid making your page look spammy by not displaying it on your timeline. It means your timeline and news feed won’t be cluttered with ads or spam messages that portray you as a desperate marketer.

Your news feed and timeline should be for news, announcements, or meaningful conversations – not a dumping ground. Now, you can focus on uploading content for your followers.

A/B Testing and Content Optimization

Dark posts, like regular Facebook ads, allow A/B testing. It means you can test different versions of an ad, including different headlines, images, and body copy, to know which delivers a better performance. A/B testing can help you optimize your content, thus improving your ad result. 

A/B testing is a great way to improve your ads – dark posts make it easier. In addition, you can monitor ad performance through impressions, clicks, and conversions. It allows you to access your campaign success.

Check our blog on Facebook A/B testing and how to use it to create improved ads.

Target Multiple Audiences

Boosted Facebook posts target one audience at a time. Let’s say you want to target three separate audiences; you need to create three different boosted posts. It can be time-consuming and mentally draining.

With dark posts, you can target multiple audiences with a single ad. This is a great feature for businesses with varying audience types who want to save the hassle of creating separate posts. 

Improved ROI and Campaign Performance

Dark posts provide a way to track the performance of your ads through Analytics and other tracking tools. Tracking performance can help you adjust your marketing strategy to increase engagement and conversions. Dark posts can help you promote specific products or services.

Support for More Business Features

Facebook dark posts support some features that are limited to boosted posts. For example, with a boosted post, you can get more:

  • Engagement
  • Messages
  • Leads
  • Calls

However, Facebook dark posts offer users everything a boosted post supports including:

  • App Promotion
  • Traffic
  • Awareness 

As you can see, a Facebook dark post supports more features than a boosted post. Dark posts allow users Facebook users to visit wherever you want them to go, whether a landing page, a website, or an online store. Conversely, you can’t say that about a boosted post.

Prevents Competitors from Spying on Your Ads

Businesses and brands love to spy on each other. That’s a fact. Everyone wants to see how the competitor thrives or employs their marketing strategies. The competition to succeed brings about spying, but do you know you can stop that with a Facebook dark post?

Yes! Dark posts can stop your top-performing ads from being copied by other competitors in the same industry as you. What you push out there remains private. So, no prying eyes can know how you run things.

Creating Effective Facebook Dark Posts

Making a Facebook dark post is similar to regular Facebook content. You need to specify your target, write a compelling copy, and have a nice visual. To create dark posts, follow the process below:

  1. Accessing Ads Manager for Dark Post Creation
  • Navigate to Facebook’s news feed by clicking the three lines at the page’s top right corner.
  • Scroll to Facebook Ads Manager and click.
  • At the top left, Tap ‘Create and Manage’ > ‘Page Posts.’
  1. Configuring Dark Post Settings and Target Audiences
  • Tap ‘Create Unpublished Page Post’ at the top to create a new post.
  • Fill in the details of your ad, such as the URL and post text.
  • Choose how you want to use the post and the location.
  • Select who you want your ads to reach. You can use already-segmented ad sets if you have previously published ads or create new audiences if you’re new. Fill in the details on the page. 

Best Practices for Dark Post Content

When creating a dark post, you must optimize your content for the best results. Whether conversion or sales, you need to ensure the dark post achieves the objective it was created for. Optimization includes:

  • Using high-quality visuals either images or videos
  • Developing a catchy headline and keep your ad copy concise and legible
  • Using a clear and compelling call-to-action to encourage users to take a step further, either to click a link or go to your page
  • Running an A/B test to know which ad copy performs better for the audience you want to target
  • Resizing your audience if need be

Measuring and Tracking Dark Post Performance

If your dark post has gone live, maybe it’s been published for several days, you’d want to know if it’s performing well. This is where you use tracking tools to monitor the metrics, such as impressions and clicks. To track dark post metrics:

  • Go to Ads Manager > Columns > Customize Columns to set up the metrics.
  • Access your dark post performance by checking the metrics.
  • Analyze what’s working and what’s not with the metrics you have.
  • Use the metrics to optimize your dark posts to achieve better results. Adjust your targeting, ad copy, and budget to improve your results.

Overcoming Common Challenges with Facebook Dark Posts

While dark posts are more beneficial than traditional Facebook Ads, they also have their cons. Let’s take a look at some of them.

More Complicated than Traditional Ads

Using Facebook dark posts can be more complicated than conventional Facebook ads or boosted posts. You’ll have to use existing Facebook campaigns to create and manage dark post campaigns. If you have no new campaigns, you must create one before using any dark ads or posts. This is a cumbersome process for those who have never launched an ad campaign.

Serves a Specific Objective

Dark posts are tailored, which means they are for a targeted audience. If you want to show your posts to everyone, these ads may not be ideal for you. You only benefit from dark posts if you intend to tailor your content to a particular audience. To target different audiences, you need to develop one dark post for each demographic. 

To manage multiple dark post campaigns, use Facebook Ads Manager and create a schedule to keep track of your dark posting campaigns. You can also leverage third-party tools to help you manage your ad campaigns.

When to Use Facebook Dark Posts

There are certain scenarios where using a Facebook dark post is better than traditional Facebook Ads or boosted posts. Use dark posts if you want to: 

  • Identify a target audience or learn more about your audience
  • Optimize content via A/B testing to know which copy performs best in brand awareness, conversion, etc.
  • Run content from different identities to reach various audiences
  • Keep your page from being cluttered with different promotions or ads
  • Deliver specific content to a particular audience
  • Maintain a consistent, likable social media voice and brand presence
  • Collect valuable data about your targeted audiences
  • Promote your brand and increase brand awareness
  • Create a positive relationship with your followers
  • Optimize your social media campaigns


Facebook dark posts are becoming more popular than ever as businesses use them to target their audiences. They are also advantageous if your ads stay hidden or clutter your Facebook page with many ads. That ensures your followers aren’t bombarded with the same type of ad. So, the next time you want to run a Facebook ad, use the dark post. The results will leave you astonished if properly optimized. Stay ahead of the competition with dark posts.

Are you ready to go dark? Use the tips in this guide to create Facebook dark posts.

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