How to Strategically Use Facebook Dark Posts

By Lisa Schultz

Is Facebook part of your social media plan? How about part of your advertising plan? If you’re not currently using dark posts to advertise on Facebook, you’re missing out on one of the best Facebook tricks in the book. Dark posts can help you boost engagement, drive traffic to your website and generate leads.

What is a dark post?

Unlike a traditional news feed ad, dark posts are a type of ad you can create through your Facebook advertising account that will not appear on your timeline. Instead, a dark post will only be visible in your News Feed. Using Facebook’s targeting capabilities, dark posts can be shown to a very specific group of people: to followers who already like your page or to whomever you define as your target audience.

Why use dark posts?

As a real estate agent, your Facebook followers likely consist of a wide variety of individuals with different needs and expectations. When communicating with them, certain messages may resonate with one group, but might be completely off-target with another. This dynamic can make communicating on Facebook a challenge.

That’s where a dark post comes in. Instead of sending out a generic post or private messages to certain people, you can use a dark post to target one segment of your followers or target audience. The ad will not be posted to your timeline, so you don’t have to worry about your other followers seeing it. In fact, they will never even know you posted it.

How do dark posts benefit my business?

Dark posts allow you to reach new levels with your advertising and content marketing goals. Because you can determine your audience and target certain users, you have the ability to craft messages that will highly convert.

The use of dark posts also prevents you from over-posting or annoying your followers. One of the most frequent reasons a user will unfollow someone on Facebook is because of over-posting but by using dark posts you can eliminate this risk. Continue posting as you normally would and use dark posts to entice only certain groups of people.

If you’re not sure which ad is the best for your audience, dark posts can help you split-test. Split your target segment in half and run one post to half your followers and use another post for the other half. By testing your ad this way, you can find out which imagery, headline, and copy worked the best. Once you’ve found out this data, send your new, improved ad to a larger audience.

Compared to other forms of advertising, dark posts are relatively inexpensive. In fact, you can put as much or as little into your Facebook advertising budget as you would like. The lowest you can go is $1. Although a $1 ad will not be very efficient, by setting your own budget you are in complete control.

How to Get Started

Creating a dark post is a bit different from creating a regular Facebook post or status update, but it’s very similar to creating an ad. To create a dark post, use Power Editor. If you’re already a Power Editor user, the process is simple. Be sure when you’re creating your post that the radio button says “Unpublished Post.” Once you’ve created your post, you can switch back over to the Ad Manager to finish your ad, target your audience, and choose your budget.

Have a question or thought about Facebook dark posts? Let me know in the comments below!

LISA SCHULTZ is the content marketing specialist for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties in San Diego, CA. To contact Lisa, email

8 responses to How to Strategically Use Facebook Dark Posts

  1. Nancy Caggia

    So would it ne correct to say that a dark post is a targeted ad? What attributes are there to choose from when targeting? Thanks… Great article

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lisa Schultz

      Hi Nancy,

      Yes, you are correct, a dark post would be the same set up as a targeted ad, but you would simply unpublish the post. Here’s a link directly from Facebook giving an overview of their ad segments for more info

      When targeting you can choose from the following:
      -Custom audience (one example would be a specific email list uploaded to Facebook)
      -Partner categories

      Once you get started in the ad manager Facebook walks you through each of these. It can take a little trial and error to determine what is most effective for your, but if you already have a good grasp on your ideal customer, you can target and create messages directly for them.

      Hope that helps!


      • Nancy Caggia

        Excellent info!!! (Now can you find a way to fix my typos from tiny cell phone keyboard in my original post?! Oops)
        I will definitely start using this dark post feature. Thanks!


    • Lisa Schultz

      Hi Katie,

      With a traditional Facebook ad the post will also appear on your page. A dark post works the same as your ad except it will not appear on your page. You can target a specific audience and only they will see the post in their News Feed. It’s especially helpful when you don’t want to “annoy” your current fans or if you want to target your messaging to a very specific or niche audience.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!


  2. Emily

    Great article! Just one question: with dark posts, can you target FB users who do not currently follow you?


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