Dark Posting on Facebook: What is a Facebook Dark Post, How To Use Them & How To Create Them

Manana Papiashvili
Manana Papiashvili
Head of Growth at Insense

Dark posts – they may conjure up scary images or scenes of an underground organization posing a threat to the online world, but fear not!

We’re here to show you that despite the name, Facebook dark posting is actually nothing to be apprehensive about. In fact, a Facebook dark post can prove an effective way to drive traffic to your website.

In this article, we’re going to break down the subject of Facebook dark posting by showing you why coming over to the dark side can be beneficial for your business, as well as demonstrating how to publish a dark post on Facebook.

First, let’s take a look at what dark posting on Facebook is.

What are dark posts on Facebook?

Dark posts actually exist on all social media, although Facebook initially created the concept. A dark post on Facebook is essentially a targeted ad, labelled as ‘sponsored content’ which appears in the feeds of its targeted audience.

A dark post on Facebook isn’t published in the same way as an organic or ‘boosted’ post. Instead, darks posts are considered unpublished posts by Facebook as they only appear in the targeted users feeds.

phone showing Facebook's home page

How to identify a dark post social media ad

Let’s take a look at how you can identify a dark post. Dark posts which are marked as ‘sponsored’ may look like regular ads in your news feed. For example, if you saw this ad in your news feed:

But, you didn’t follow the company on Facebook or see this ad in their feed, then it’s classed as a dark post ad. This would show in your news feed because you’re a part of the ads target audience.

{{ads-that-do-not- look-like-ads="/post-cta-component/drive-sales-with-ads-that-do-not-look-like-ads"}}

It’s important not to confuse dark posts with dark social. The term ‘dark social’ refers to traffic from social media that can’t be detected by social media tools.

Dark posts on Facebook are always labelled as sponsored, even if they don’t always appear like a traditional advert. As a Facebook (and Instagram) user, you can determine which company posts are ads.

To discover if you’re seeing dark posts on Facebook, head to the Ad Library. This shows users all ads that are currently running by a company. Simply type their brand name into the search bar. Here’s an example:

Ads can then be filtered by country/region, date, and platform. In addition to the ads library, you can also determine if a brand is advertising on Facebook by viewing their associated page. In the right sidebar, click on ‘Page Transparency’. This takes you to information about the brand, including the year it was founded and whether the brand is currently running any ads.

Facebook dark posting is lucrative to businesses in more ways than one. Let’s delve deeper into the benefits of Facebook dark posting.

phone showing Facebook's page on Facebook next to a laptop

Facebook dark post ads benefits

There are many reasons why brands choose dark posting over traditional ads. Here are some of the benefits of Facebook dark post ads:

  • Precise targeting. The great thing about dark posts is that you can also use varying ads to target different targeted audience segments. For example, a skincare brand who traditionally target 40 year old moms in New York and 30 year old professionals in Florida can each be targeted with customized ads.
  • They’re ideal for A/B testing. Using different ads for varying target audiences gives you the opportunity to determine which ad performs best in terms of conversions, engagement, clicks etc. Try split testing headlines, images, and copy, to see which angles work best on your audience.
  • You avoid looking spammy. Dark posts help your feed to appear more organic. Also, your current followers may be more interested in specific products/services, as well as already be a converted fan. Targeting those outside of your following makes much more sense.
  • You can create better content. A/B testing helps to improve both future dark posts and organic content that displays in your feed. You obtain an understanding of what your target audience likes and doesn’t like, enabling you to use tested headlines, copy, or images, in boosted content.
  • More organic feed for your followers. You don’t want your followers to see a bunch of ads from you – for a start, it could be annoying, and it would make their social media account appear like a product catalog. By using dark posts, you’re targeting users interests so they get to view content that is more appealing to them.
Laptop showing Facebook ads page

How to dark post on Facebook

Facebook dark posting is similar to posting a traditional Facebook ad. In the Facebook Ads Manager, go to ‘page posts’. Click on ‘ads’ and ‘create ads’. It should look something like this:

From this screen, you can fill in the details of your dark post ad, and choose the target audience, including segments.

monitor showing man with Facebook logo on his binoculars

How to create a Facebook dark post via Insense

Insense is the ultimate tool to use for dark posting, thanks to full integration with Facebook. Via Insense, you can publish in just one click, making it easy and less time-consuming.

The best thing about Insense is that you can find creators to make your ad campaigns. Find creators effortlessly via our marketplace and negotiate a collaboration directly with them.

Did you know that brands makes $5.20 back for every $1 spent on influencer marketing? That’s not all – the top 13% of companies make $20 per $1 spent. There’s never been a better time to jump on influencer marketing and you can seamlessly use influencers as part of your dark post content, whether that’s asking them to make a video, take an image, or form part of a collaboration.

man typing with one hand on his laptop using Facebook and holding his phone on the other hand

How to use Facebook dark posts for optimization

Once you’ve created your dark posts for Facebook, it’s time to consider optimization. We’ve already talked about the importance of A/B testing, but there’s a few other aspects to think about.

Once you’ve run your dark posting campaign, review the metrics – this means analyzing your results to discover which versions of your ads performed better, and what you can do next to maximize their results.

Additionally, you may need to resize your audience or retarget. This will obviously depend on the results of your initial ad campaign, as well as your overall goals.

Last but not least, remember about tracking and moderating the comments that appear under your dark posts. One negative comment may make or break your goal so answer all of them with kindness and attention

hand holding phone showing Facebook's post

Start dark posting on Facebook today

Hopefully our tips have shown that Facebook dark posting is pretty straightforward. If you’re looking to gain a new or wider fanbase, it’s definitely time to contemplate starting dark post ads.

Begin your campaigns today by using Insense to find top creators to work with. We have over 35 000 personally vetted influencers to help your ad campaigns boost your ROI.

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Manana Papiashvili

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