We’ve all heard about the many ways that you can use social media to effectively market—grow your followers, measure engagement, use unique URLs—but often a question that social media managers and digital advertisers want to ask is:

How can I target my content to specific people without posting it for everyone else to see?

And I totally get it. You don’t want to be spammy and waste the hard work you put into gaining fans and followers only to alienate or annoy them with content that’s not right for them. So, what’s the answer? Dark posts.

Enter, Dark Posts

Dark posts are ads that you can create and promote without having to publish them on your company’s Facebook timeline or LinkedIn page.

Facebook and LinkedIn both offer this feature (although on LinkedIn it’s called “Direct Sponsored Content”).

Dark posts, in less technical terms, help you be less spammy to your social following. But more than that, they allow you to:

  • Promote a product or service to a specific targeted audience: You’re able to target an audience that you know will find that ad more relevant than when it is shared with a broader audience. Additionally, a better targeted ad often means better engagement.
  • Adjust the messaging on your ad, based on the segment you are targeting: For example, your ad copy and image will be different if you are targeting a B2B audience vs. a B2C audience.
  • Promote locally: If you are hosting an event in Denver, you probably do not want folks in New York to see location-specific ads for The Mile-High City. With dark posts, you can target people who call the specific city or zip code home.
  • A/B test: You can test your headlines, images, or targeting to optimize their click-through or conversion rates. Dark posts make testing a lot easier since you do not have to publish the same article or ad twice on your newsfeed or company updates.

Interested in learning more about dark posts? Check out our latest video blog here!

How have you used dark posts? Share your story in the comments below!

[Video] The Social Media Lead Generation Trick You Need To Know was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com

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