The point of branded social media posts is for it to be seen by as many people as possible, but some brands are gravitating towards using “dark posts” for social media. These targeted pieces of written or visual content are meant for specific viewers and readers. Think private YouTube videos that can be viewed if you have the URL, but can’t be searched.
This gives marketers a way to push out content that doesn’t necessarily have to be on their public profiles for everyone to see, but is still easily accessed by those who have the URL directly to said post.
The idea of dark posts is nothing new, even if it’s only now gaining new traction. On Facebook, there has long been an option to create a post that can go to select members or followers without the post or link having to be seen on the brand page when anyone else visits. This is great for things like sales, sneak peeks and other exclusive content you’d prefer to save for those who are already tapped into your content.
While they might not work for each and every brand, some brands do benefit from sending posts to specific users rather than blasting it across all their social media and other platforms. For publishers, they can post advertorial content in that way, ensuring the content gets to the intended audience without disrupting the rest of the readers. You can also use dark posts to test various content strategies and see which version of the content performs the best before posting it publicly for the world to see. Having these different versions of posts on your main timeline wouldn’t exactly bode well with most of your followers or readers.
Dark posts can also live in LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter in different ways, so don’t think you’re limited to just Facebook if you want to do this. Dark posts give you the ability to post ads with different images, since different photos will appeal to different demographics. You can target some of your followers to ensure specific imagery appears for them that will make them much more likely to interact with your post.
Dark posts will also allow you to run micro-campaigns if you have different products that will appeal to different followers. Dark posts are a good way to gauge which
Dark posts are meant to be targeted, and while this can help brands feel closer to their followers or fans, it can easily cross the line into creepy territory if you’re not careful.