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Dark Posting On Facebook And Instagram
What Are They And How To Use Them


Dark Posts Are Targeted Ads On Facebook, Instagram, And Other Social Media 

Unlike boosted and organic posts, however, dark posts don’t appear on your timeline. Nor do they show up in the feeds of the people who follow you. Instead, dark posts show up as sponsored content in the feeds of users you are specifically targeting. They’re not published like organic posts, so they’re more formally known on Facebook as unpublished posts. A lot of marketers use a combination of boosted posts and dark posts because of their effectiveness in encouraging conversion. A survey from Curalate shows that across all social media channels, 76% of consumers buy products discovered through social media. According to SocialPilot, however, the average reach of an organic Facebook post is at only 5.2% of the page’s total likes, highlighting the need to invest in boosted and dark posts on Facebook to increase reach. As a digital marketing service experienced agency, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the best practices for dark posting on social media — and how it’s done. Let’s dive in!


tldr summary


1. What Are The Benefits of Dark Posting?

Part of creating a rock-solid social media strategy for a brand, involves being able to accurately, flexibly, and reliably garner data that influences your audience – without directly impacting your organic content.

Some of the ways in which dark posting accomplishes this are:

It Allows You To Work Around Content Schedules
With dark posts, you don’t have to tamper with your existing content publishing plans – if you have some hot, relevant content, and want it to hit audiences without breaking up your schedule, dark posting can get the job done.

It Allows You To Push Sales Content Without Compromising On Your Feed
As dark posts aren’t part of your feed, you can use them to push more CTA-style content to your audiences. This allows you to grab quicker sales, but without turning your social media feed into an unnecessarily pushy hellscape.

It Allows For Quick A/B Testing
Let’s say you’re testing out two content variations – one that’s text-heavy, while the other focuses on images. Regular posts will simply crowd your page with copy variations, while dark posts allow you to track each post’s performance individually and make key decisions about your copywriting style and design choices.


2. Facebook Dark Posts

A Facebook dark post is also called an ‘unpublished page.’ It’s an ad that isn’t published on an advertiser’s feed or Business Page. Rather, it shows up on the feeds of targeted customers only. To advertise via Facebook dark posts, you can use Facebook Ad Manager and choose how you want to distribute them. Facebook dark posts are great for testing out results for A/B testing because you can test out ads with consumers and decide on what to send out to new audiences. Dark posting allows you to control how many times specific audiences see certain posts. Essentially, you can manage how the ad is seen, scheduling it for a future date, or making it part of a promotion under a larger set of campaign materials.

Estes Media Blog Dark Posts


3. Instagram Dark Posts

Instagram dark posts are similar to those of Facebook. They don’t appear on the advertiser’s timeline, page, or stories. They instead appear on the feeds and stories of targeted audiences. A ‘sponsored’ tag likewise appears at the top, as well as a call to action at the bottom. Essentially, if you think of it this way, all Instagram ads are dark posts. If you run an Instagram page, you can use your own brand for dark posting. You can also use your brand ambassadors’ pages, as well as those of other influencers who’ve agreed to promote your brand.

Estes Media Blog Dark Posts


4. How To Dark Post On Facebook and Instagram: Step-by-Step

Please ensure that the user that you use to login to Facebook and Instagram has management roles in the Business Facebook managing advertisements. By means of this platform, Facebook and Instagram dark posts are managed.

1. Go to your Facebook’s newsfeed and open Facebook Ads Manager. This is located on the page’s left-hand side.

Step-By-Step Dark Posts on Facebook And Instagram

2. Select ‘Create‘ and choose an objective that best suits your business needs.

Step-By-Step Dark Posts on Facebook And Instagram
Step-By-Step Dark Posts on Facebook And Instagram

3. (Optional) On the next page, click on ‘A/B testing’ and create two versions of the same ad. You’ll then be able to compare different ad elements to see which comes out on top.

Step-By-Step Dark Posts on Facebook And Instagram

4. After choosing your conversion location, begin to define your audience: via location, age, gender, interests and more. You can then save and use this custom audience for future dark post campaigns.

Step-By-Step Dark Posts on Facebook And Instagram

5. Now we get to the ad itself. Choose your ad’s creative and format. Ensure to write a compelling headline and description and choose a CTA most relevant to your end goal.

Step-By-Step Dark Posts on Facebook And Instagram
Step-By-Step Dark Posts on Facebook And Instagram
Step-By-Step Dark Posts on Facebook And Instagram

6. On the right-hand side, Facebook Ads Manager provides a preview of what your final post looks like under different devices and placements, including Instagram. Once satisfied with your ad preview, click on ‘Publish‘ and wait for it to be approved by Facebook before launch. This can usually take up to 24 hours.

Bonus Tip: After several days, you’ll want to start measuring your dark post’s performance. To do this, go back to the ‘Campaigns‘ page and click on ‘View Charts‘ on your active dark post. You can then view your ad’s performance on the ‘Performance’ page, which includes metrics such as impressions, clicks and ROI.

Step-By-Step Dark Posts on Facebook And Instagram



Ready For Your First Dark Post? 

Dark posts are a great way to promote your brand without having to crowd your timeline or page with ads. You also won’t bother existing followers with ads that are meant for new, potential clients. In this guide, we’ve shown you a detailed guide for creating dark posts, which you can bookmark for later reference. We hope this helps you create your very first dark post on Facebook or Instagram. Estes Media serves different industries, especially roofers and contractors, to get more and better leads through Social Media and Advertising. If you have any questions or want to escalate your business online, feel free to contact us anytime!


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