Digital Marketing

Facebook Dark Posts: how to increase your conversions!

“How do I reach more users?” This is a question advertisers on Facebook have been asking themselves for quite some time. Facebook offers companies the opportunity to make more targeted contact with their audience to buy Facebook Likes or with potential new customers and to sell their products. Promoting content on Facebook is attractive to many product makers, but all too often it doesn’t get the desired results. Many ads go “in the void”. The conversion, i.e. the interaction of users with your posts, does not take place.

But what can you do to reach more people with your product and increase your conversion? Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to create new audiences. You don’t have to suck new offers and content out of your fingers and frantically place more and more ads. While content is still king, the way you create and run your ads on Facebook also matters.

Of course, this all sounds like an empty promise at first. The following article explains step by step how to reach more users and increase your conversion with Facebook ads. The conventional methods of placing ads are compared with a few new tips and tricks that can make your life on Facebook noticeably easier.

The trick here is called “Facebook Dark Posts”.

Place ads on Facebook the traditional way

Facebook ads, or “ads” for short, can take many different forms. There are standard banner ads, carousel ads, canvas ads, video ads, page-like ads, and more. When choosing the type of ads, it depends on what goal is being pursued with the application.

When companies create their own ads, they usually just go to the respective campaign and then click on the respective ad type. They simply click through the conventional way to create their ads. It’s also really simple. Simply click on “Create Ad”, fill in all necessary information, website URL, headline, and CTA button, and submit the ad. Finished!

If you want to create a new ad for a different audience using this method, you can easily repeat this process. You just go to your next ad group and click “Create Ad” and play the game you’re used to. This method is simple and effective, which is why most advertisers like and use it frequently.

However, this is not the most profitable way to create and run ads. The conversion often fails to materialize.

Why traditional ads often fail

While creating ads this way is easy, there is one major problem: the lack of social verification and authenticity, or social proof for short. One of the biggest reasons Facebook is successful is the potential viral effect and social proof that audiences can provide. The more authentic you as a company are in your posts, the higher your conversion.

When you click “Create Ad” and fill in all your information, you have created an ad with a unique Post ID.

The more unique ads you create, the more unique post IDs you create. The big problem here is when you want to use the same ad across multiple ad groups. “Same ad” means the same landing page, headline, image, etc. So basically, everything about this ad is really the same as your other ads.

One ad can be relevant to multiple audiences, so you’ll want to use it widely in your account. However, if you had to enter the same ad in 10 ad sets, you would essentially create 10 different unique IDs using traditional creation.

With that, you’ve neutralized the main benefit of Buy Facebook Page Likes: social proof. With this strategy, all the likes, comments, and shares your post accumulates are now spread across 10 different locations, rather than just a single location. This makes it much more difficult and time-consuming to build successful social proof for your advertising.

Of course, it’s better if the same ad is built in one place with social proof. This strengthens your presence and is most effective.

Well, there is a solution to this problem. It’s called: “Dark Posts”.

What was the “dark posting” originally?

“Dark Posts” admittedly sound like black magic. But luckily it’s not that bad after all. “Dark posts” are simply unpublished posts. They were officially dubbed “dark” posts but rebranded due to confusion surrounding the malicious name. In many advertising communities, however, these unpublished side posts are still referred to as so-called “dark posts”.

With a dark post, you are essentially creating a post (or ad) with a unique post ID that is not found in real-time or organically. The post is also not in your Ads Manager. It can only be found in your side post tab in the account options in the top left menu. It remains unpublished there until you use it in your ad sets.

As usual, Dark Posts allows you to choose different types of ad options depending on the campaign and goals. You can choose from Link (default ad banner that sends to a landing page), Carousel, Photo, Video, and Status.

What are “dark posts” today?

Facebook recently made changes to how to run a dark post. About half a year ago, when creating an unpublished post, it was possible to create any type of Facebook ad in its entirety as a “Facebook Dark Post”.

You could previously easily create a dark post by entering your destination URL, text, CTA, link heading, up to and including selecting a photo or video. The end result would look and work just like a Facebook ad created in Ads Manager.

However, if you were to do the same thing today, the result would look very different.

You need to know that now all you can do is choose your URL, post body, and CTA button. There is no headline, no descriptive text and no window. The posts are just shadows of their former selves with a lot fewer options. The options are now missing to give your post a firmer structure and additional information. All of these are critical to the performance of your Facebook ads.

To date, there isn’t too much information as to what led to this change in the system, but it happened almost overnight.

Think about the additional items like AdWords Ad Extensions. You don’t technically need them, but they will help your ad work a lot better.

Now, what if you want to create a full ad but also a dark post? {:gap {:kind :userinput}} should use only one unique ID per identical ad. Is there another way?

Yes, there is another way. But technically it’s not a dark post anymore.

Since Facebook changed the way dark posts are made, another way had to be found to use the same post ID so that the social proof can be collected in one and the same place.

The problem can be solved by simply creating an ad in the traditional way in Ads Manager. After creating the ad, you then find the unique post ID associated with that ad. Copy and replicate this post ID across multiple ad sets. But don’t worry, the procedure will be explained in detail below.

The functionality and the result of the dark posts are still the same. The main difference is that the original source ad is published in Ads Manager. It won’t appear in the Page Posts tab like before.

Why dark posts are always better and you should be using them

As mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons why Facebook is so successful is due to its viral nature and authenticity. First of all, the ad content is irrelevant. Social proof, i.e. the “authenticity” in your online presence, makes you powerful, and authentic and can help people to make decisions and increase your conversion. Use this to your advantage.

By allowing your social proof to build on a post ID instead of splitting the pie, you improve your viral potential. The more people, i.e. potential customers, come into contact with your posts, the more likely it is that they will make a purchase. It is important that your posts do not appear too obtrusively on your central brand page.

Having an ad with 10 likes, 3 comments, and 2 shares can help convince a customer to buy. But what if you could have the same post with 100+ likes, 10+ comments, and many more shares? The Facebook user would be much more likely to be attracted to and inspired by the market power and popularity of your product. Your conversion would be significantly higher.

So how exactly does it work?

As mentioned before, use the post ID across multiple ad sets by replicating them. It’s actually pretty easy to do.

1. Create your ad the traditional way in Ads Manager:

Since an unpublished page can no longer be created the same way, create your first ad in Ads Manager. From there, click on your campaign and then on your ad group in which you want to create a new ad. At the ad level, click Create ad.

Once you click “Create Ad” you will be taken to the ad creation window. You have two options: you can either create a new ad or use an existing ad.

The first time, you choose “Create a new ad” to first create your base ad before replicating it across multiple ad sets.

After selecting “Create a new ad”, you can now create your Facebook ad. Make sure to type everything you want about Destination URL, Headline, Text, and Link Description for News Feed when working on a Facebook desktop.

Save and publish your ad once you’ve created it.

2. Use the post ID of the ad you just created:

Now you want to replicate the same ad across multiple ad groups without having to create multiple ads. First, you need to get the post ID of the ad you just created.

You can do this in two ways. The easiest way is to click the menu in the top left and return to the Page Posts window. If you get to the menu and don’t see “Page Posts” as an option, select “All Tools” and you’ll find it on the next screen.

On the Page Posts screen, your most recently created ad will appear at the top of the list.

As you create more and more ads, you create more and more post IDs. If you search for a specific post id in the page posts, you may not find it immediately. As you continue to create new ads, the most common way to get a specific ad ID will no longer appear in the Page Messages tab, but in Ads Manager.

If you want to get the Post ID of a specific ad, go to your campaigns and the ad level. Once you find the ad you want, hover over it, select the Edit option, and click on it.

After you select “Edit”, the ad editing option for that specific ad will open. From there you can edit every aspect of the ad.

However, instead of editing the ad, locate the small square button with the arrow above the ad preview.

After clicking the square arrow button, select “Facebook post with comments” from the drop-down box.

After clicking “Facebook post with comments” you will be taken to a page where your ads will be live on Facebook. There you can see all your comments, shares, and likes.

Now it is particularly important that you look at the top of the screen, at the URL of the page. There is a sequence of numbers at the end of the URL that represents the post ID.

With this strategy, you can easily find the post ID for any ad.

3. Use existing post ID for other ad groups:

Now that you have found the post ID, use it to use the same post for other ad groups so that all social proofs are created together.

The next step is to click into your ad group. This time, however, you’ll choose “Use an existing post” instead of “Create a new ad.”

When you’re in the space to use your existing post, simply go to the Creative section and enter the Post ID you retrieved earlier.

Once you enter the post ID, the ad will load along with the social proof.

How to optimize your “dark posts”.

As so often, it is essential to develop new strategies and ideas over time. The same goes for optimizing dark posts. You can always test new variables to improve performance. Here are 3 quick ways to check your ads on Facebook:

  1. A/B Test: Choose a variable to test. It’s best to isolate the variable so you know exactly what is doing the trick. For example, test the ad image or ad line, keeping everything else the same.
  2. Facebook Optimization: To help Facebook optimize your ad, choose the metric that defines your success. 9 times out of 10 you decide to convert or make a purchase. However, in some cases, you only want traffic for your content. In this case, they are optimized for link clicks or landing page views.
  3. All tests as dark posts: For faster testing, make all your tests dark posts and then run them across multiple ad sets. That will help you scale your efforts. You can learn faster what works and what doesn’t.

The Cons of Dark Posts

Of course, everything by and large have a good and a bad, in this case, “dark” side.

The biggest flaw with dark posts is the fact that you can’t edit them. If you’ve converted an existing post into an ad group, you won’t be able to edit the headline or link. If you notice a spelling mistake, you’ll need to create a new post and then apply that new post to all of your ad sets. This is of course quite cumbersome.

However, you can edit the original post that you created first. However, if you do that, a new post ID will be created, so you will lose any social proof. In other words, it’s basically like creating a new ad. You must replace the new post ID for all your ad sets.

Hard-coding the UTM parameters into the link itself will also affect tracking across all your ads.

The reason this affects tracking is this: if you have a UTM for the “UTM campaign”, that UTM will stay with you as a dark post. So if you choose to launch this ad in a new campaign, the UTM you create will be associated with you when you promote it. All leads from this campaign will then be displayed via your CRM page.

To avoid this, you should use Facebook’s ad-level “URL Parameters” option for each post you create.

If you use the URL Parameters tool, when you change campaigns or ad sets, you can update the UTM parameters accordingly for more accurate tracking.

Use dark posts on your Facebook page

Since social proof is an important part of Facebook’s advertising success, implementing dark posts will also help your success on Facebook and visibly increase your conversion.

Dark posts also increase overall efficiency when creating ads. A dark post is a huge time saver by reusing the same ad over and over for multiple ad sets.

As a company and advertiser, have you already had experience with a dark post? Definitely worth trying out this concept.