3 Ways to Take Advantage of Facebook’s Dark Posts

Facebook’s News Feed is often seen as mysterious—you never know whose content you’ll see and when. But for smart marketers, the News Feed is a place to serve precise messaging to exact targets with laser focus. With the use of Dark Posts, an advertising feature that allows you to target members of your fan base with content that won’t show up on your Facebook page, brands—particularly ones in a regulated space—can eliminate waste and craft a focused plan for Facebook.

Even though Dark Posts will not appear on your Facebook page, they will show to select members of your community via targeting. Here’s how to use this to your advantage:

1. Deliver content based on geographic regions AND interests.

Let’s say you’re Perdue and you need to sell chicken. People consume chicken differently in different parts of the country. Here’s an example target: People in Louisiana who recently visited your website. What content would we serve our friends in Louisiana? Maye a post like: “Check out this authentic Cajun recipe for sodium-free gumbo. Click here > [insert link].” By making the content more relevant to the region where it’s shown, it’s more likely to resonate with your audience and inspire action. It doesn’t have to be as obvious as the gumbo example. Simple copy changes by region can work wonders.

2. Use Dark Posts to determine your content calendar mix.

Communities are weird. Some communities like puns. Others hate them. Some really want to talk about the product that owns the page. Others are all about the lifestyle that’s around that product. I can’t tell you how many brands I’ve worked with that spend thousands of dollars and countless hours crafting content that simply doesn’t resonate. If instead, they simply tested some content with an A/B strategy using Dark Posts, they’d save time and money. Test two different images with the same copy. What resonates? Is it a lifestyle image? Is it a product shot? What colors work better? There is no better opportunity for market research around your creative than using Dark Posts on Facebook. This works particularly well for healthcare brands, as they’re often in the dark (no pun intended) about what will engage people on Facebook.

3. Host a secret contest or promotion for an exact target.

You can’t really control who “likes” your page on Facebook. However, you can serve exclusive content to the members of your community who matter. Let’s say you are a medical device company and you only want to target fans who actually use your product. You could serve content only to those who are in your email database and show as an active Facebook user. The rest of your community wouldn’t see the promotion, and it would only benefit the intended target. Meanwhile, a consumer brand launching a higher priced item could set a Dark Post contest that would only run for people with more than $125,000 household income. The opportunities are endless to combine creativity with perfected targeting.

Have you considered using Dark Posts? How are you incorporating newer Facebook ad units into your social strategy?

  • Carrie Kerpen

    Carrie Kerpen is CEO of Likeable Media, a social media and word-of-mouth marketing agency that recently launched Likeable Health, a healthcare specific vertical to ensure that all regulations are adhered to and all social media needs are met.


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