What are Facebook Dark Posts

Dark Post

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What is a dark post?

Marketing on Facebook: This is about unpublished page posts that are either published with a delay or only activated for a defined target group. Due to the conception, the addressee of such a dark post is not even aware that they are the “target object” of an advertisement or news campaign, they only see the “sponsored” post. He does not know that other users have received no or only a different message. Conversely, this control has the advantage for marketers and advertisers, since the approach can be target-group-specific. Product placements land with the potential customer base, where the purchase resp. Paragraph is likely.

Conceivable areas of application

The fact that it can be easily customized is also the advantage of a well-executed dark post campaign. This marketing tool can better find supply and demand together, while companies or news portals can ensure higher click rates or conversion rates through optimized segmentation. The further advantage: smaller, possibly very special target groups can be addressed with a direct sales-promoting approach without much effort. It is well known that Facebook can draw on unlimited data when it comes to data, as the company's obsession with collecting is well known.

Dark Posts - what for?

For customers

  • targeted customer approach
  • Customers feel "seen" with their preferences
  • Posts perceived less as “spam”
  • more exciting user experience

For marketers

  • precisely fitting product positioning
  • optimized budget planning
  • improved data analysis options
  • A / B tests for different address options
  • Increase the level of awareness through targeted addressing of non-customers
  • Control only via the Facebook Power Editor

The targeting is running

For example, Facebook users can receive dark posts as advertising posts on the pin board with items of clothing that come up with special colors or style variants. The advantage for the retailer: He advertises more targeted customers with (niche) products that he does indeed sell, but has not placed prominently in the shop and therefore naturally generate fewer conversions. So the benefit is twofold.

Special customers receive special product suggestions and the online retailer can sell fringe products better. Another example are invitations to regular events. If the first message is ignored out of disinterest, those who are actually interested can only be informed afterwards with reminders. Most of those who are not interested in the event remain unmolested.

The messages appear out of nowhere and disappear again if there is no longer any interest. This offers strategic advantages for online retailers, insurance companies or tour operators, as the arsenal of marketing instruments can be used very accurately and profitably. With a view to Facebook (including Instagram), the Facebook Power Editor excellent services for creating, analyzing and post-processing campaigns.

Different types of dark posts

  • A normal contribution with a link is the basic variant. Text and an additional image can be adapted to the respective target groups. This allows different variants to be tested. A call-to-action button can also be added.
  • Photos and videos as contributions are always more complex than simple text. They offer the same targeting possibilities as a normal post. However, they usually generate more attention. The impact of a campaign can be significantly increased with media content tailored to suit every age or interest.
  • Also Status updates can be distributed in a similar way and only distributed to selected groups. These are not created like the other options in the Power Editor, but are set directly on the Facebook page. The advantage lies in the general high level of attention for this type of notification.
  • Last but not least, you can targeted offers be distributed as a dark post. This includes announcements about events or references to special sales. Special promotion codes can be embedded and the link to an external login page can be integrated.

Almost the entire range of activities on Facebook can be packed into a dark post.

Marketing benefits

A dark post is always to be understood as part of an advertising campaign. He is given a budget and then appears in the news feed of the selected Facebook users. It is so interesting because the precise control of target groups is relatively easy and the content of your own site remains unaffected. Compared to the normal advertisements on Facebook, a dark post allows one much more precise control and thus also a better evaluation of the results. At the same time, just like an ad, external links can be inserted. It is true that Facebook reacted and expanded the function of target group-specific ads to include newsfeed ads. Nevertheless, the unpublished page contributions remain more varied.

Thanks to the information that is available about its own fans and generally about the users on Facebook, a dark post emerges unimagined possibilities. Ads don't have to be aimed at everyone. They can be specifically linked to specific knowledge or special preferences of close groups of people. Because the distribution of your own advertising message is more precise and at the same time less widespread, this usually results in a lower overall budget.

The dark side of the targeted message

The procedure only gained more attention when strategies in election campaigns became known. In studies that dealt, among other things, with so-called filter bubbles, it was found that different groups received very different political messages from the same party. Targeted addressing of precisely defined groups made it possible to meet their interests.

Also contradicting arguments could be spreadbecause it was ensured that the groups of people did not overlap. Even false reports and manipulated images had come into circulation. Allegations of targeted manipulation with fake news and conflicting arguments have meanwhile led to a reaction on the part of Facebook. In addition to clearly naming a post as election advertising, the publication of all variants, including target group definition, should ensure transparency.


Dark posts belong to Facebook like Mark Zuckerberg. They are part of any marketing and require strategic skill and know-how to be effective. Then the Dark Post proves to be a versatile lever - to increase sales, increase awareness and improve customer understanding.

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