Paid Media

Shedding a Light on Dark Posts

Dark posts are posts that appear in a user’s newsfeed without actually appearing on your page. Dark posts exist on mostly on Facebook but are now appearing on LinkedIn. Earlier this week we talked about A/B Testing, and now I’m gonna tell you why that’s important for dark posts.

On Facebook, a dark post can behave the same way as an advertisement or promoted post, it just doesn’t appear on your Timeline. You can set up all the parameters of an ad such as the location, age, and interests of an audience, but that also gives you the ability to test. You can test different CTAs, headlines, or test the same ad on two different groups to see which group responds to it better.

Imagine that you sell within three distinct product categories, but the audience varies extremely between the three categories. The dark post could be your best bet. Sure, you could probably post a generic ad or promoted post, but you’re ruling out specificity in the process. Using a dark post will allow you to post all three specific versions of your “ad” while targeting the three groups. This way, your audience won’t see all three versions at once, as they would if you normally posted, but they’ll see just the one version that applies to them.

LinkedIn now offers dark posts, but they call them direct sponsored content. Trying to hop onto the same train Facebook started, LinkedIn direct sponsored content posts behave the same way as Facebook’s.

Next time you want to test a message in your Facebook or LinkedIn posts, try a dark post for a quick test. It’s a simple way to test social messaging to see what your audience responds to.

photo credit cc

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