Heard of a Facebook dark post? Yes? No? Either way, we're going to have a discussion about them today. Dark posts, a colloquialism for Facebook's unpublished posts ad product, are a way to post things from your own Facebook page that can show up as posted by your page, but only to certain people.
Alright, so you know how normally when you publish a Facebook ad, you choose which people will see it? You can dig down into all kinds of demographics and information to help make sure that you've tailored an ad to specific audiences. Dark posts allow you to dig into that same type of targeting, but within the people who like your page.
For example, let's say you have a clothing website with 3,000 Facebook likes. You want to promote a sale you're having on all products, but know that it won't be relevant for women to see ads with pictures of men's jeans in them, and that you're not going to sell many dresses by showing them to your male audience.
So, instead of compromising and creating a more general post that will be seen by everyone on your page, or creating two separate posts for men and women and publishing them both (ensuring everyone sees one post that's not relevant to them), you can use a Dark or Unpublished post instead. You can make it look like your page published a post about dresses for everyone, but really only the women who like your page will be able to see, read, and engage with it (like, comment, etc.). On the other hand, the men on your page will think you posted an ad for men's jeans and be able to interact with it accordingly.
Here's another example: As a marketer who helps people with Pinterest marketing but also Twitter marketing, you could create completely different posts that target the fans of your page that you feel are most likely to be using those platforms in their marketing efforts. The possibilities here really are endless.
Unpublished posts can be created in a couple of different ways, but Facebook is working to unify them so that there aren't so many tools to create similar ad products. For example, there has been a lot of confusion in the past over whether to use the standard Facebook ads page or their 'Power Editor' to create your ads, leading to many tutorials getting confusing when people find themselves in a completely different interface than the screenshots they're trying to follow.
Unpublished or Dark posts are also important with the recently diminished organic reach of Facebook pages. For the same reason boosting a post became so popular, Dark posts help you better reach people who might never see your content unless they explicitly come to your page (and most people prefer to just hang out in their own timelines, understandably). Except Dark posts are an even better option, since you can help keep them from being shown to people they aren't relevant to, and thus help keep your page's engagement score from dropping.