When it comes to promoted content on Facebook, many businesses use the ‘boost post’ option to get greater reach for posts on their page’s timeline.
Boosting posts is an easy and accessible option, but it is not always the best way to publish promoted content.
Using Facebook’s Adverts Manager or Business Manager to publish promoted content gives more control over who sees the promoted posts and more options of how you pay for it.
Facebook Dark Posts
One option when using either Facebook Adverts Manager or Facebook Business Manager is to create a promoted post that doesn’t appear on your page’s timeline.
This is especially useful if you want to test multiple variants of a post to see which gets best engagement, or if you have content that is only relevant to a subset of your audience.
For example, if you decided to run a singles night, do you agree that the adverts for getting men in the room and the adverts to attract women might be different?
Do you also agree that if the women see the ads designed for the men (or vice versa) you may end up with very few people attending your event?
This is the beauty of dark posts… only your intended audience will see the content.
Facebook’s Transparency and Authenticity Efforts
In October 2017, Facebook announced steps to make advertising more transparent, saying:
“When it comes to advertising on Facebook, people should be able to tell who the advertiser is and see the ads they’re running, especially for political ads.”
Although the initial motivation for the change may stem from greater transparency for political advertising, the changes will eventually come into place for all Facebook pages.
An initial test rollout of new functionality starts in November 2017 in Canada and it is expected to be operational in all countries by summer 2018.
The new Facebook functionality will enable users to click ‘View Ads’ on a Page and see ALL the adverts a Page is running on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger — whether or not the person viewing is in the intended target audience for the ad.
This includes visibility of content that would previously have been considered dark posts.