Definition of Dark Post

A dark post refers to a sponsored or promoted social media post that is specifically targeted to a select audience and is not visible on the main timeline of the publisher’s account. These posts are typically used to run advertisements, test various content strategies, and personalize messages for different user segments. They allow marketers to reach their targeted audience effectively without cluttering their main page or overloading their followers with multiple promotional posts.


The phonetic representation of the keyword “Dark Post” in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is:/ˈdɑrk poʊst/

Key Takeaways

  1. Dark posts are targeted advertising content, often used for A/B split testing, that don’t appear on the brand’s main social media pages.
  2. These posts are undetectable by users unless they engage with them, providing advertisers a powerful way to tailor their messages to specific audiences.
  3. Dark posts can be effective at increasing engagement and conversion rates, but it’s important to use them ethically to avoid misinforming or misleading users.

Importance of Dark Post

The digital marketing term “Dark Post” is important because it refers to a highly targeted advertising strategy that allows marketers to create and deliver personalized messages to specific audience segments without visibly posting the content on their main social media pages.

This approach helps businesses increase their ad effectiveness through customization while also reducing clutter on their main pages and preventing ad fatigue among their followers.

By utilizing dark posts, marketers can A/B test different ad variations, improve engagement, and optimize their campaigns to drive better results and achieve marketing goals.

Overall, dark posts enable brands to reach their desired audiences more effectively and unobtrusively, making it a crucial aspect of digital marketing.


Dark posts are an invaluable tool for digital marketers, particularly when it comes to fine-tuning their advertising strategies and targeting specific audience segments. The primary purpose of a dark post is to allow brands to test, optimize, and personalize ads, without publishing the content to their publically visible social media page.

This affords businesses the opportunity to A/B test multiple ad variants, explore various messages, calls-to-action, and creative elements to determine which version resonates with their target audience. Furthermore, dark posts enable marketers to serve hyper-relevant content to subsets of their audience, ensuring that the ad is well-suited to each individual, catering to their unique interests and online behaviors.

Beyond facilitating tailored advertisements, dark posts also play a crucial role in safeguarding a brand’s reputation. By disseminating these ads discreetly, marketers avoid bombarding their followers with an oversaturation of promotional content, which could lead to unfollows or damage the brand’s perception.

Additionally, dark posts are instrumental in managing time-sensitive campaigns, such as limited-time offers or exclusive promotions targeted at selected demographics. By leveraging the power of dark posts, digital marketers can bolster their outreach strategies, drive higher conversion rates, and ultimately achieve greater success in today’s highly competitive online marketplace.

Examples of Dark Post

Dark Post (also known as Unpublished Post) refers to a social media advertisement that isn’t publicly visible on a company’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page but is visible to a specific, targeted audience via the ad campaign. These posts are created in the platform’s ad manager and usually don’t show up on the company’s timeline or newsfeed, making it invisible to regular followers. Here are three real-world examples of using dark posts for different purposes:

Product Launch:A smartphone company, XYZ, is launching a new phone targeting millennials in the United States. They create dark posts with a promotional video that highlights the device’s unique features and an attractive limited-period offer. These dark posts are targeted at the desired audience, i.e., millennials, based on demographics, interests, and online behavior, without appearing on their company’s Facebook page.

A/B Testing:A fashion retailer, ABC, wants to test out different ad creatives to assess which performs the best before committing to a larger ad campaign. They create two dark posts with varying headlines, images, and ad copy, targeting the same audience. This way, the retailer can monitor which version generates better engagement and conversion rates, without cluttering their Instagram page with variations of the same advertisement.

Regional Promotions:Imagine an international fast-food chain, XYZ, launching a localized limited-time offer exclusive to a certain region, say Italy. They create a dark post on Facebook advertising this offer specifically for users located in Italy based on geo-targeting. This ensures the promotion only reaches the intended audience, without confusing or potentially upsetting their global customers who can’t avail the offer.

Dark Post FAQ

What is a dark post?

A dark post is a type of targeted social media advertisement that is not published on the advertiser’s timeline. It appears in the news feeds of the targeted audience only, and is meant to reach specific customers without interfering with the overall image of the advertiser’s social media page.

What platforms support dark posts?

Many popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, support dark posts for advertisers. Each platform may have its specific term for dark posts, but they all serve the same purpose of targeted advertising.

How do I create a dark post?

To create a dark post, you will need to use the advertising tools provided by the social media platform. Usually, this involves utilizing the platform’s ad manager, selecting the targeting criteria, and creating the content for the ad. It is crucial to keep in mind that the content and messaging of the dark post should be tailored for the specific target audience.

What are the benefits of using dark posts?

Dark posts have several advantages for advertisers, including precise targeting, A/B testing, better engagement, cost-effectiveness, and maintaining a clean brand image on social media platforms. They allow advertisers to reach the right audience while keeping the main timeline focused on company updates or other content aimed at the broader audience.

Can I track the performance of my dark posts?

Yes, you can track the performance of your dark posts using the analytics tools provided by the social media platform. These tools show various metrics, such as impressions, clicks, conversions, cost per action (CPA), and more, which can help you measure the effectiveness of your dark posts and optimize them for better results.

Related Digital Marketing Terms

  • Unpublished Post
  • Targeted Advertising
  • Social Media Promotion
  • A/B Testing
  • Custom Audiences

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