We have seen the Dark Knight Rise, we have seen Darth Vader give in to the dark side, we have seen a very dark rabbit in Donnie Darko. What do each of these film references have to do with Dark posting? Nothing unless they are deploying dark post ad units to promote themselves.
Dark posts sound more ominous than they actually are. No, these are not posts by some secret society or the underbelly of Facebook. Dark posts are a type of ad unit that does not get organic distribution via a brands owned presence.
Basically, the unit would look like a Facebook page post ad unit, only the post does not actually exist on the brands timeline. The post is created for the sole purpose of targeting a very specific and relevant message to it’s intended target. This opens up a number of possibilities to segment messaging to a specific audience (male vs. female, different age demo’s, etc..) with the benefit of the rich creative of page post ads vs. standard marketplace units without compromising the brands publishing cadence.
Today, Facebook announced that dark posting is now supported directly in the News Feed. This is most likely tied to the upcoming changes to the newsfeed to further extend the targeting and segmentation for brands without overposting across feed types.
According to Facebook… “This functionality will allow you to access our most engaging placement on the site while still preserving the tone of your Page. Therefore, you can optimize your ads by creating different versions of the same message to see which one performs best. All advertisers will see this change in the placements section when they create an ad or sponsored story using the dark post via the create flow, Power Editor or API.”
Twitter has also enabled Dark posting or as they call it “Narrow Casting” options as part of their paid suite of ad tools. If you are looking to further segment or target a specific activation or promotion, Dark Post types are an option that will provide additional context to the target without compromising the communication to the whole.
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