Everything You Need to Know About Dark Posts

Dark posts are every marketer's secret weapon when it comes to accurate targeting. These invisible posts allow you to create a customized experience for your different segments while keeping a consistent message on your Timeline. Here's what you need to know to make the most of this powerful tool.

Everything You Need to Know About Dark Posts

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Why You Should Use Unpublished Posts

These hidden posts have many benefits that can help you get more out of your Facebook advertising, without diluting your company’s general messaging. There are endless ways your company can benefit from dark posts. We are just going to cover topics that we feel are the most important to help you get started.

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What are Unpublished Posts?

Unpublished paid posts (also known as dark posts) are Facebook ads that are only visible to specific audiences which you can define for each post. These posts will not appear on your company’s Timeline so you can use specific language and content to better connect with each of your target groups. The ad will appear as a sponsored post in your target group’s News Feed and can either be a Link, Photo, Status Update, or Offer.

When To “Go Dark”

Before you create an unpublished post, you first need to set your goals – whether that’s getting more Fans to like your Page, or driving traffic to your website. Your goals will ultimately determine your posts’ content type and call to action, so always plan ahead.

From our experience, unpublished posts should coincide with your Timeline content. For example, your Page may promote your wider overarching campaign themes, while your unpublished posts can be used to advertise specific pieces of your campaign that would have an even greater impact with a strategically-defined target group.

Unpublished vs. Published Posts

The difference between paid published posts and paid unpublished posts is simple.
Published posts begin their ad-life organically and are “boosted” to increase reach and visibility. Everyone that visits your Timeline will be able to view these posts.

Unpublished posts are highly targeted and are only seen by your intended audiences. This gives you more flexibility, and allows you to promote tailored content based on your target group’s demographics or interests. The possibilities are endless!

How To Get More Out of Your Dark Posts

Ads can be unpredictable, so you may have to use trial and error tactics before you can master your creative and targeting options. But that’s okay! Facebook gives you full flexibility over your dark posts which allows you to experiment with your ads.


Facebook assigns a Relevance Score for each of your Facebook Ads, rating the quality of your ad on a scale from 1-10 based on how much Facebook thinks it will appeal to your target group. If your ad is receiving a low score, you have the ability to tweak your copy, image, targeting options, etc. to increase the ad’s effectiveness while it is still live. This is a perfect opportunity to A/B test your ads. By altering specific items (from the same ad) you are able to track which ads have the most success. Once you have discovered what works, you can use this information to inspire your future campaigns.

The Takeaway

Dark posts are integral to any Facebook strategy. They need to be used strategically in order to be most effective. There is no specific recipe for measuring the effectiveness of your unpublished posts which is why your goals need to be clearly defined before you launch your campaign. Decide if you want to measure success in terms of reach, click through rate, Facebook Likes, conversions etc. and always assess your Average Relevancy score and adapt your ads as needed.

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