How to Create Facebook Dark Posts, and Why Facebook Tracks Your Off-Site Activity


In our latest video, we talk about how Facebook “dark posts” (or, more officially, unpublished posts) are one of the most effective ways to get your message out on the platform.

But what are they, and how do you actually make one?

Unpublished posts are posts for pages that don’t appear on your actual timeline. Sounds confusing at first, but there are actually a lot of uses:

Testing posts: It’s always hard to know what combination of words and images will perform well on Facebook. With unpublished posts, you can try two or more versions of the post with different groups of people, see which one performs better, and then publish the one that does.

Coupons and deals: If you have a store or event and want to do either a temporary coupon code or one for a specific geographic or demographic group, unpublished posts would help you do so without ever having to make it public to all of the people on your page.

Demographic Targeting: If you wanted to target a specific demographic of people—say, men or women of a certain age, or audiences who speak different languages, unpublished posts let you do different versions of the same ads, tailored to each group.

How do you actually publish an unpublished post?

First things first, there are two types of unpublished posts.

1. Posts that will appear on people’s news feeds, but not on your Facebook page
2. Ads that will appear on people’s news feeds, but not on your Facebook page.

The difference is the same as with regular posts and regular ads: you pay for ads, but they theoretically reach more people. And you can target them specifically at people who don’t already like your page.

The following is adapted from Facebook support:

To create an unpublished Page post:
1. Go to Power Editor and select Manage Pages from the top left drop-down menu.
2. Select the Page you want to create an unpublished Page post for from the left-side column.
3. Select Create Post.
4. Choose the type of post you want to create and enter the info you want to include in your post.
5. Select This post will only be used as an ad if you only want to use this post as an ad or select This post will be published on the Page if you want this post to appear on your Page.
6. Click Create Post. Keep in mind this post isn’t published yet. It’s saved in the list of your posts with a half moon symbol to indicate that it’s not published. If you publish the post on your Page, you’ll have the option to only show the post to specific languages and locations.
7. Click your selected post so that it’s highlighted and then click. Create post.

To create an unpublished Page ad:

If you want to create an ad of a Page post, but you don’t want the post to show on your Page’s Timeline, you can create an unpublished Page post ad. To create an ad from a Page post in Power Editor:
1. Go to Power Editor and select Manage Pages from the top left drop-down.
2. Select the Page you want to create a Page post ad for.
3. Select Create Post
4. Choose what type of post you want to create, fill in the details for that post and click Create Post.
5. Click the post and then click Create Ad
6. You’ll be prompted to select the ad account and the campaign you want this ad to be a part of. Keep in mind, you can create a new campaign for the ad.
7. Fill in the details of your ad including Creative, Audience, and Optimization and Pricing.
8. Click Upload Changes to upload your changes to the ads system.

  • Andrew Emerton

    Dude! Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve been digging around pretty hard on dark posts for a while now and most “hot to’s” are pretty dated and awful. I’m super interested in learning more about demo targeting. That seems to be the next “google ad words”. Any tips on that would be sweet. Also, is it possible to create an unpublished, targeted, non-ad or non-sponsored post? I work for a national brewery that happens to have a large FB fan page and I’d like to run targeted non-ad, unpublished posts that his specific neighborhoods featuring our retail accounts (not sure if that makes sense). Just trying to figure out if it’s possible or if I’m crazy. Thanks, man!

  • denni

    I liked your YouTube video!

    to anyone interested, Amy Porterfield is all about FB and DarkPosts. 😉

  • Kelly

    Love the video and blog. I am trying to determine if it is possible to make a dark post with a video. I would prefer folks be able to just play the video with one click rather than be redirected to a link that houses my video. Is there a video option with dark posts?

  • Ryan Peach

    Simply put, this is some valuable shit. The video is concise, clever, and useful. The blog helps me walk through the step by step process. Brilliant work. I’ll be back for more!