The power of social media in advertising of a brand is somewhat a digestible fact for most of the marketers now, and it is considered to produce 58% more outreach than any other advertising method. Brand marketers are increasingly using platforms like Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR), Pinterest and YouTube, but very few of them are able to get their posts and updates right, in that sense, very few are able to gather above average success/engagement rate. For the same reason, Dark posts were introduced by Facebook,, also called as message testing which allows marketers to send out promoted posts, videos, links or images without publishing them on a brand page’s timeline.
Through Dark posts, marketers can measure engagement rate in a particular demography and decide which posts are more suited for publishing on a brand’s timeline. It helps brand by publicizing their ads in the news feed of their fan base, rather than annoying them by endless notifications of publishing posts on the brand page. Dark posts are best used if a brand firm is venturing into a new area or if they are looking to measure customer satisfaction rate amongst its existing user base.
NewsFeed is one of the most engaging parts of Facebook, and Dark Posts are the best options which can help in designing efficient ads which can not only drive better engagement but also prove to be more economical for advertisers. Imagine if Flipkart is looking to expand its services to neighboring countries like Sri Lanka or China. It can start sending out Dark Posts to Facebook users of those countries. Facebook has introduced geo-targeting by which they can target audiences based on the following criteria – location, language, gender, age, relationship status, education status, and gender. Marketers can send Dark Posts by choosing location criteria and analyze engagement rate from viewers.
Brand Marketers should focus on sending different types of posts which publicize diversified wares, apparels and products from the online store and based on the engagement rate they can decide which product launch would be optimum. In countries (like China) where local players are dominant (Alibaba.com), engagement rate would either be null or just above average – only for those products which are less available or in the region. Hence this gives a better idea of which products would be most suited to launch. When Amazon Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) entered sub-continent India, they started off by launching limited products and are slowly expanding to different product categories.
Facebook had recently introduced one of the most appreciated and unique features of custom audience. Usage of custom audience has increased by over 75% in the last few months as marketers looking to target audiences based on their contact details (Facebook ids, contact numbers, or email ids) are increasingly using the feature to re-target the audience base. Dark posts combined with custom audience can be best used by marketers for measuring the customer satisfaction rate.
Brand marketers generally prefer targeting their existing customer base during special promotion of products or to publicize any special holiday shopping offer or deals or if the brand is looking to convert the existing customer base into their brand app users (to keep them updated with brand stories/shop online via app). In such cases, Dark Posts must be promoted to contact addresses of fan base, if the engagement rate is positive, chances of driving further business through existing consumers is higher, else marketers must focus on fixing the issues which might have resulted in lower engagement for Dark posts or poor customer satisfaction.
Top brands who have built a significant fan base on Facebook, the last thing they would expect is – brand followers unliking the page due to overflowing published posts on the brand page, which spam their notification box. Hence, Dark Posts are important in such cases and must be used increasingly to maintain high-quality fan pages.
Marketers should use split testing of different brand messages and publish the one which receives more engagement in Dark Posts test. Unpublished posts are quite helpful in message testing, but it is important for marketers to be true to their brands on Facebook. The main motto or essence of the brand must not be lost by including any meaningless or funky messages which are nowhere related to offers or upcoming promotions of new products, in the Dark Posts.