Dark posts let you target your Facebook messages

October 17, 2014

 

facebookFacebook dark posts, also known as unpublished posts, are all the rage right now. Many  marketers believe they combine the best of Facebook ads and promoted posts.

Facebook ads are losing popularity among a lot of marketers because first, they look like ads, which can be a turnoff for some users. They also appear on the right hand side of computer screens and users tune them out. The great thing about them, however, is that you can specifically target the users who see them.

Promoted posts appear in users’ news feeds among all the other posts of friends’ vacations and updates from pages they’ve liked. The likelihood of catching a user’s eye is greater for content in the news feed. However, you don’t get the option to target a promoted post until after you’ve posted it to your page’s timeline. If you post too many, your page looks too self-promotional.

Dark posts from the start allow you to target your posts to those followers who would find them most relevant, and those posts appear in their news feeds. This can be a real advantage now that Facebook has reduced the frequency that non-paid page posts appear in followers’ news feeds. Any way your business’s message can get in front of the right eyeballs is a plus.

Dark posts do not cost money to set up, but in order to make the best use of them you need to assign them to a paid campaign.

You create dark posts in the Facebook Power Editor, which is found in the Facebook Ads Dashboard. Remember that Facebook calls dark posts “unpublished posts.”

When you create your unpublished post, you can choose from a variety of post types, but the important feature to look for is the choice between “This post will only be used as an ad” or “This post will be published on the page.”

If you choose the ad option, you will create a post that you can later promote to a portion of your followers.

The “post will be published on the page” option means the post will be published on your page. You can target language and location, but the choices are more limited than what you would get with an ad. However, it is more than you would have with a regular post. This is a good option if you are trying to target people in a specific location with a message.

In Facebook Ads Manager, you can create the same type of post to turn into an ad. Marketers call it A/B testing, even though these days we are creating sometimes a dozen variations to test. You then filter out the lower performing ads so you’re left with only top performers.

In addition to creating websites, I am also a wedding photographer, and I often post to my Facebook page about photography in general, I could create dark posts to target potential brides. I could also use dark posts to target people who are interested in learning photography through one of the courses I have created. Dark posts would help keep my marketing messages off of my timeline and in the newsfeeds of those who would be interested in them.

To decide how to use dark posts for your business, think about the messages you are sharing and with your Facebook audience. Think about how you can keep the marketing messages out of the general public timeline of your page, so you can better target those messages and increase your ROI. With some time and practice, you can master using dark posts.

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