December 15, 2014 / Melissa Faudree

Do you ever feel like Facebook knows you? Perhaps too well at times. You’ve seen ads that are of interest to you across your news feed. Perhaps you are a dog owner. You may have seen companies such as BarkBox promoting ads specifically to dog owners. Chances are these ads in your news feed are dark posts.

Bark Box Ad

What are Dark Posts?
Perhaps you are familiar with Facebook’s advertisements called ‘Dark Posts.’ For those of you that aren’t as familiar, the term dark posts are actually referred by Facebook as “Unpublished Page Post.” This kind of unpublished post does not appear on your timeline as other posts do. It was designed for those Facebook Pages who need to advertise with a specific audience in mind. It is not an organic post. Dark posts only appears as an ad.

The purpose of an unpublished post is to reach a specific audience. You are in control of who gets to see your posts. Prior to dark posts if you wanted to post an ad on Facebook, it went to your entire fan base. However, with dark posts you do not have to bombard or spam your fans over and over again with the same message. This is great news for marketers. You can promote a specific message for different groups of people without cluttering the news feeds of those who don’t have any interest. Plus you get to keep your fan because you aren’t spamming them. Dark posts are valuable for marketers because they offer split testing (such as A/B testing), demographic targeting, and other promotions or offers.

How Do you Create an Unpublished Post?
To create a dark post you must be in the Facebook Power Editor. The Power Editor tool only runs in Google Chrome, so be sure you have Chrome installed. Your first step is to decide what page you want to create an unpublished post. Then you must craft a Facebook post. Just like normal posts, unpublished page posts can be a photo, status, link, video or offer. Then you must select that this post will only be used as an ad. Otherwise, the ad will be posted to your Page.


For more information on how to create an unpublished post, visit Facebook’s help page.

Are you utilizing Facebook’s dark posts? If you need more convincing, search for New York Times best-selling author, Gary Vaynerchuk at the Inbound Marketing UK conference in 2014. He explains why you need to be using Facebook dark posts in a rather interesting way.

Posted In: Blog, Social Media