I go dark on Facebook all the time…it sounds kinda evil or mysterious. But going dark is part of my monthly strategy in building my business. So what does it mean when you go dark on Facebook?

Last week I was doing a discovery call with a potential client and we were discussing Facebook posts. She said…”I hate posting sales and ads on my Facebook Page all the time because I feel like I am bombarding my followers asking for money all the time.”

I asked her if she was doing ads or boosts.

She said, “boosts.”

I said, “You need to do dark ads.”

She said, “What in the world is that?”

Dark posts or unpublished posts are ads that you place on Facebook that never touch your business page. Your followers will never see them (if you exclude them from your audience), therefore you won’t be pushing sales and special offers in their faces all the time.

You’ve seen them before…they show ‘Sponsored’ at the top of the post. Facebook is required to tell you that you are looking at an ad. Here’s an ad from Kevin Harrington of Shark Tank. Notice the content, headline and the call-to-action button.

Instead create a dark ad (much the same way you would a post but in Power Editor) and create your audience and send it off! It’s not that easy…there is a process for creating ads on Facebook and there is a lot to learn. I have been creating ads on Facebook for a few years and I learn something new every day.

Dark posts are also a great way to create two different ads for the same service or product. Change out the graphics; use a different audience, etc. It allows you to target different audiences and to also do the A/B testing process to see which graphics work best or which audience got the most engagement. If you are targeting a specific group then use graphics that will appeal to them.

Have a product that both men and women can use? Create an ad for men using graphics that appeal to men and a separate ad for women using graphics that appeal to women.

The great thing about dark ads is that they are truly ads, not Facebook posts. So you can create headlines, content and a call to action that promotes the product or service.

If you use Instagram, you can also include your Instagram account in your Facebook ads. All ads on Instagram are dark. To learn more about what ads look like on Instagram and other platforms, check out Facebook’s Ads Guide.

Dark ads should be a part of your marketing strategy. Use them to create niche audiences and drive sales or use them to build your brand, creating awareness.

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