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Running a Facebook page is simple enough, right up until you realise that there are zillions of useful tricks that the professionals use that you’ve never realised were useful. Engagement with your page could be even better if you master a few of them, so here are the details of one of the best tricks laid bare.

Facebook dark posts are a trick social media managers have been using for a while with great results, and it’s high time all the rest of the Facebook page managers out there use them.

And no, they’re nothing to do with Facebook shadow profiles Facebook Shadow Profiles: You Probably Have One Too [Weekly Facebook Tips] Facebook Shadow Profiles: You Probably Have One Too [Weekly Facebook Tips] You think you're not on Facebook? Think again. Facebook no doubt has a shadow profile made just for you. You may recall recently that Facebook found a bug exposing personal details of 6 million user... Read More . That’s an entirely different thing.

Why Would You Use Dark Posts?

If you’ve ever wondered how you might send a specific targetted message from your page to one subset of your audience without bothering the rest of your fans, this is the reason you’d want to use dark posts. In brief, they let you create posts that aren’t posted to your timeline, but can still be seen by all the right target audience members.

To expand a little, that means you can set up A/B testing for the text or visuals of a post without spamming your timeline. You could also send several versions of an update to different subsets of people without getting unfollowed by your fans due to over-posting.

Just think, you could post 20 different versions of your update in one day without upsetting anyone. This is quite a powerful thing to be able to do! And don’t forget how powerful Facebook targetting is in comparison with Google Facebook Ads vs Google Adwords: Which One Got Me The Most Clicks? Facebook Ads vs Google Adwords: Which One Got Me The Most Clicks? I honestly never thought that I'd be paying for any sort of advertising for my blog, at least not until it entered into the "big time", with many hundreds of thousands of pageviews per day.... Read More .

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So How Do You Make A Dark Post?

Obviously, these dark posts are not created in the same way as regular status updates. You’ll need to create each of the updates as an advert Thinking Of Paying Facebook For Ads? Use These Tips To Do It Right [Weekly Facebook Tips] Thinking Of Paying Facebook For Ads? Use These Tips To Do It Right [Weekly Facebook Tips] Does your business really make use of Facebook? Or do you merely update your page occasionally with some hope of keeping your fans updated? There's a difference. A big difference. Read More using the Power Editor. Head to facebook.com/ads/manage/powereditor and you can get started. Make sure you’re in the “Manage Pages” section and then click on the page you want to use. Then click on “Create Post” to create an unpublished post. Be sure that the radio button for “This post will only be used as an ad” is checked so that the post isn’t published.

Facebook-Power Editor

Facebook says this feature is also now available through the Ads tab of the Power Editor, so you can try this too if you like.

Facebook Create Dark Post

Now, essentially you are creating an advert from this point on, so be sure to check that the text is perfect, the image is eye-catching and all the rest in order to make your advert convert How To Create Facebook Adverts That Convert [Weekly Facebook Tips] How To Create Facebook Adverts That Convert [Weekly Facebook Tips] When you set up Facebook adverts, you want people to click on them. How do you go about making sure your Facebook ads convert? It involves creating your adverts in Facebook's Power Editor. Read More . You will also need to pay to run the advert. But for now, we just create the posts.

Once you’ve added all the information to the post, click on the “Create Post” button at the bottom to submit it. You can then click on the new line created for that post and preview it as it will look on desktop and mobile.

Facebook Preview Dark Post

If it’s all okay, go ahead and upload all your other variations on the post in the same way. Nothing will be published yet.

How Do You Run The Dark Posts?

To actually turn each of these posts into something your fans can see, you’ll need to go to the Facebook ad manager and create a new campaign for each post. Do this by clicking on “Create Ad” and following the prompts to select your audience. We’ve gone through ways to tweak your audience perfectly How To Tweak Your Facebook Advert Audience Perfectly [Weekly Facebook Tips] How To Tweak Your Facebook Advert Audience Perfectly [Weekly Facebook Tips] It's now much easier to target Facebook ads to the right users. This is what you need to know. Read More before, as well as discussing why you see the adverts Why Am I Seeing This Ad? How Social Media Ads Target You Why Am I Seeing This Ad? How Social Media Ads Target You Every social media site out there shows us ads. But sometimes, those ads can get very specific towards you, often showing you ads that seem creepy and stalkerish. How do they do that? Read More that you do and how to stop the spam Stop The Spam: You Can Control The Facebook Ads You See [Weekly Facebook Tips] Stop The Spam: You Can Control The Facebook Ads You See [Weekly Facebook Tips] Are you seeing irrelevant ads from Facebook? Here's why Facebook is showing you these ads and what you can do to influence them. Read More . All of these will help you understand how to target your audience well.

You also may want to organise your adverts into different ad sets according to the promotion or the audience, just to keep things neat. Also, don’t forget to monitor the performance How To Use Facebook's Conversion Tracking Tool [Weekly Facebook Tips] How To Use Facebook's Conversion Tracking Tool [Weekly Facebook Tips] If you run any sort of business and occasionally use Facebook's advertising campaigns, you already know that there are many ways to track the popularity of the advert and keep track of how well it's... Read More of your adverts and make adjustments accordingly.

Have You Tried Dark Posts?

Have you already tried using dark posts? What made you try it? And how did it go for you?

  1. Eksi
    May 28, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    Can we turn dark posts to public posts eventually?

    • Andy
      June 28, 2016 at 9:17 am

      Hi Eksi, I think you have already realized it, but if not: it is really easy. You can pick each of your Unpublished post in Power Editor and then click on the "Actions" tab where you just choose the "Publish" possibility. And that´s it.

  2. Emma
    February 26, 2016 at 6:24 am

    Hello, I've been using dark posts for my clients and wondering if I tag someone in a dark post, will they receive a notification that they have been tagged? I'd still like them to be notified so they can potentially share. Thanks!

  3. Emma
    February 26, 2016 at 6:02 am

    Hi!,

    I've been testing dark posts with a few clients and wondering if I tag another page in my dark post will that person be notified that they've been tagged. Ideally I'd still like them to be notified so they can share with their fans.

    Thanks!

  4. Shaya Lowenstein
    November 2, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    I'm trying to setup a post and it's telling me that there's a 20 person audience minimum. Is this accurate or is there another way to do it that will allow for a smaller audience?

    • Angela Alcorn
      November 8, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      That sounds about right. I think that's the minimum for Facebook adverts in general, which is why you'd see that.

  5. Aaron Billings
    June 9, 2015 at 2:47 am

    Update: I just figured out how to do what you wrote about being in the Manage Pages section.

    Maybe you could mention that the top, left drop-down menu needs to be set to that option. That would have made more sense to me.

    Thanks for the post!
    Aaron

    • Angela Alcorn
      November 8, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      Sorry for the confusion. :)

  6. Aaron Billings
    June 9, 2015 at 2:43 am

    Hi. The instructions in this post about how to create a dark post do not seem to work at this time. I went to the power editor link that you provided: https://www.facebook.com/ads/manage/powereditor

    And I didn't see any way to create a post, though I was indeed managing my page.

    Do you know where I can find updates instructions?

    Thanks!
    Aaron

  7. Michaele
    May 20, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Thank you for such a great overview on dark posts!

    I felt like there was a part missing after you finished creating the post. I just did that and have the half moon showing, but when I went to create ad, there was no option for selecting the dark post.

    So the 'how to' on going to the ad manager and selecting your dark post (without it publishing to your page) wasn't covered in what you wrote.

  8. Drew
    May 7, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    Can you only send dark posts to people who already "like" you?

    • Jeff
      May 13, 2015 at 4:55 am

      No this is what makes them so powerful. You can target different audiences inside power editor and can spend as little as a dollar per post variable. You can target a wide range of demographic and behavior criteria. Including liking a direct or indirect competitor.

    • Drew
      May 13, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      Thanks Jeff; this helps me out!

  9. Misha
    April 6, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    If a user decides (for whatever personal/ random reason) to click to a company's timeline through a dark post, what happens? Can the user see the dark post on the company's timeline? I mean, if the user can't see it, I consider it very confusing for the user. The user could find the company's page untrustworthy for this.

  10. ABrownT
    February 27, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Hahahaha! You're telling me to take out an ad (or several) on facebook? Well, or I could have more control with what I share using circles on Google+ for free. Sure, it's not as broad and less involved as throwing up an ad, where you just tick off which demographics you want to hit, but at least it won't cost you money.

    At least let's be honest, calling them "dark posts" is really misleading. What you're really trying to do is make focused advertising.

  11. UnhappyGhost
    February 26, 2015 at 7:48 am

    I never knew you could do so much with FB Ads manager! Surely an amazing tip that i learnt today and will use it every time I make posts on my fb pages!

    • Thomas
      May 7, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Don't do it every time, you still want to have engagement and organic traffic from your fans. Use it for A/B testing to see who is responding to your ads using different target groups and then use the best performing ads and use it for your fans when the time is right.

  12. Stevie P
    February 26, 2015 at 5:44 am

    Facebooks ads are such a scam.

    • Thomas
      May 7, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      Depends on what you're selling and who you are targeting.

  13. Mark
    February 26, 2015 at 2:18 am

    So, do you have to pay to use these dark posts?

    • Thomas
      May 7, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      Yes, they won't have any organic reach. You can spend as little as a dollar to reach an audience, you can target interests, competitors followers, purchasing habits, you name it. I'm just getting the hang of it and it seems to be working.

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