Facebook Dark Posts: A Quick Guide for Marketers

July 21, 2015

11:00 am

Over the past few years, Facebook has become the new Google for online marketers. Having a huge audience of 1.44 billion monthly active users, it now has the power to make or break the reputation of any business. Even today the scenario is that, if a marketer is on a tight social advertising budget, he prefers to use Facebook over other advertising platforms.

To help marketers reach out to their right audience, Facebook offers a number of killer advertising features, out of which the most effective and fastest-growing is the Dark Post. It may sound quite sinister to you but don’t worry, this guide will make you an expert in setting up Dark Posts!

Facebook Dark Posts: What Are They?

Dark Posts, also known as Unpublished Page Posts, are indeed a piece of content that doesn’t appear on your Page’s timeline, but is accessible to your targeted users in their News Feed. They are created using the Power Editor and often used by marketers to create News Feed style ads that are not visible to your Page audience. They are identical to regular posts in terms of look and feel, with the only one difference – functioning like an advertisement. At present, Facebook supports five types of Dark Posts:

  • Status: A simple status post with a text description.
  • Photo: A post with an image and a text description that may contain a link.
  • Link: An effective alternative to the photo post, allowing you to share links of a website.
  • Video: A video post with a call to action button and a text description.
  • Offer: A page post with an expiration date, which allows you to promote deals for your online store.

Using Dark Posts proves to be quite useful, especially when you don’t want to clutter the News Feed or Page Timeline up with irrelevant content. As they provide you an effective way to tailor different versions of the same message to different audiences in the News Feed, you can easily find out what messaging style puts most of your budget behind. Once created and promoted, a Dark Post starts appearing as a “sponsored” story in users’ News Feed.

Reasons Why You Should Use Them

The Dark Posts tactic has been proven to be extremely beneficial and successful for many brands. Let’s see how it can benefit you as a marketer:

More Customized Targeting:

Unlike regular posts that are visible to everyone who likes your Page, Dark Posts appear only to the “right people” that you’ve chosen as your target audience. Instead of wasting your valuable money on reaching out people who even don’t care about what content you’re sharing, you’re able to target one subset of your audience that you think will find that content more useful and relevant.

Great for Split Testing:

Dark Posts help you conduct A/B testing through which you can easily compare several creative variations of an ad against each other and analyze which one worked the best. Using this great feature, you, like any smart marketer, not only can test out things like headlines, images, CTAs and links, but also can creatively optimize them to get a huge spike in your Facebook reach.

No Spamming:

One of the best things about Dark Posts is that they don’t overwhelm your loyal fans with a lot of irrelevant page post ads. Instead, they keep users’ newsfeeds uncluttered while promoting your business. Every time you test a new creative variation, you don’t annoy your followers with repetitive content, which leads to fewer Page un-likes.

Avoid Post Rejection by Facebook:

Not to mention, Facebook rejects Ads that include images comprised of over 20% text as it considers these kinds of ads “over-promotional”. It instead recommends marketers to use “images with minimal text” so that users will only see high-quality and engaging content on Facebook. Using Dark Posts tactic, you don’t need to worry about post rejection.

Discover New Prospects:

Unlike a traditional Facebook ad, a Dark Post appears like a normal status update or page post in a user’s News Feed. You target it to a specific subset of your audience and thus, you have a golden opportunity to prospect and acquire new customers that you never knew but existed. As a general rule, the more customers you have, the more your business will grow.

How to Set Up a Dark Post Ad

Setting up a Dark Post ad is quite easy and only requires you to have enough working knowledge of Facebook Ads. You can create and set-up a Dark Post ad in just three simple steps:

Step 1: Launch Power Editor

Open up Power Editor and from the left-side column, select the Page for which you want to create a Dark Page post. Keep in mind, using Power Editor requires you to use Google Chrome browser.
Facebook Dark Post - Step 1

Step 2: Create a Dark Post

Once you’ve chosen the page, click “Create Post” button that is shown just below the page name.
Facebook Dark Post - Step 2

A light box will open where you can select what kind of Dark Post you want to create. Depending on your Dark Post type, fill in the required details and click “Create Post” button. Also, make sure you’ve checked the radio button for “This post will only be used as an ad” before hitting the same button.

Facebook Dark Post - Step 3

You now will be able to see your newly created dark post in the list of your Page posts with a “crescent moon icon” that indicates the post isn’t published yet.

Facebook Dark Post - Step 4

If you try to publish this post, you’ll have only two options: publish and schedule.
Facebook Dark Post - Step 5

Means, you can’t edit a Dark Post after you’ve created it. Besides, you’re not allowed to create Dark Posts in bulk. So, you have to create them individually.

Step 3: Set Up an Ad for It

Once you’ve successfully created a Dark Post, you’ll need to create an ad for it to actually make it visible in users’ News Feed. So, go back and select the newly created Dark Post from the list of Page post and click the “Create Ad” button.
Facebook Dark Post - Step 6

Now, choose an existing campaign you want to promote your unpublished Page post ad from, or create a new campaign.
Facebook Dark Post - Step 7

Configure the remaining options just like you do for other Facebook ads. When your Dark Post ad goes live, it would only be visible in the Newsfeed of the people that you’ve targeted.


Although there are many ways to advertise your business on Facebook, only Dark Posts allow you to reach the people who matter most to you. They not only provide you the most effective way to discover new customers but also prove to be quite beneficial for engaging them with you. So, try creating a dark post today and I bet you’ll be surprised by the results!

Did you like this article?

Get more delivered to your inbox just like it!

Sorry about that. Try these articles instead!

Ajeet is a senior web developer at WordpressIntegration - PSD to WordPress Coders - where he writes custom JavaScript code for WordPress themes. In his spare time, he writes about different topics related to JavaScript, WordPress, HTML5 and Social Media to share his work experience with others. You can follow WordpressIntegration on Facebook