For businesses looking to get noticed on Facebook - the world's largest social network - it can be a tough ask, but dark posting could help you get the attention you're after.
What is dark posting?
Dark posting refers to unpublished posts that allow you to target specific fans of your business page, but they are different to targeted posts in the way they work.
The latter enables you to filter your Facebook fans so that you are only engaging with certain people based on factors such as gender, relationship status, and educational level. Targeted posts allow you to use a number of these parameters to best reach your key target audience.
Dark posts instead focus on keywords, such as job titles or certain skills, to find the people who are likely to be most receptive to whatever it is you are trying to promote.
The biggest difference between dark and targeted posts is that both will show up in the news feeds of the people you identify, but only targeted posts show up on your own page. Dark posts - hence the name - are hidden from your business' wall so don't clog up your page with self-promoted content.
The latest figures from the 2017 Facebook Advertising Budget Benchmark Index reveal that more companies are now investing in dark posts, rather than turning to the social media platform's boosted posts. But is this something your brand should make a priority in the next 12 months?
To decide this, you'll first need to understand why dark posts are being used by more companies than ever before and how they can help your next marketing campaign.
How can it help?
Much like targeted posts, dark posting means you can reach certain people based on certain aspects of their profile. Keywords are something that a lot of companies have already invested heavily in with regards to SEO, so you can use this to better guide your dark posts without 'spamming' your own Facebook page.
Dark posting also gives you another approach when it comes to running micro-campaigns. A successful strategy needs to focus on the core values your brand prides itself on, but this can often be overly restrictive. If you are planning on launching a new product or service, which could have a number of different audience types, your only option would be to create targeted posts and then refine them. All of this would show up on your wall but dark posting allows you to refine your campaigns without publishing it for everyone to see.
Should you be dark posting?
Much like most marketing decisions, the answer to whether you need to invest in it or not revolves around your business and your target audience. Although people of all ages are now active on social media, certain demographics are more likely to respond to this level of engagement, while others are likely to ignore it.
It's important to know whether your target audience will respond well to personalised posts. If you find a high level of engagement with your targeted content among your Facebook fans, dark posting could allow you to have the same success without clogging up your wall with self-promoted content.