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Making The Most Out of Facebook Dark Ads for Contractors


We launched an online advertising program here at Darren’s at the start of the year which you can read about here, but the 10,000 foot view is that it is a hybrid social media advertising/Google Adwords play that drives a one-two punch of traffic to your site. If you’ve hung out here for any length of time, you know I want you to try it, then if you don’t have time or expertise to keep doing it, that’s when you call us. So today is a quick overview of Facebook dark ads and how you can use them.

If you feel like you are in the dark about Facebook unpublished posts, you’re not alone. Dark ads are worth educating yourself about because they allow you to manage your Facebook marketing posts and avoid clogging your timeline with advertising. Being “friends” with your customers on Facebook is a wonderful opportunity to target marketing efforts, interact with customers, and build brand loyalty. However, those same customers who may be quick to become your friend can just as rapidly remove you from their feed if you flood them with ads and information that is not useful to them. That is where dark ads come into play.

What are Facebook dark ads?

If you are on Facebook – and we know you are – you have seen “sponsored posts.” These are the dark ads that those sponsors have created. These posts allow business Facebook users to create items that show up in targeted friends’ news feeds without filling your timeline with advertising. In other words, these posts show up only in front of the people you have indicated. This allows you to create multiple ads at a time without causing your customers grow weary of your spiel, because each person will only see the posts that you want them to see.

Also referred to as unpublished or invisible posts, dark ads enable targeting ads to certain followers while not appearing to post several ads at once. This is helpful because too many ads can scare your “friends” away.

How do I use them?

In order to create these posts, you may use the Self Serve Ad Manager or Chrome’s Power Editor. Both are somewhat clunky software but not too difficult to use. With a little bit of practice, you can be a pro in Power Editor. In settings, you will need to select to manage pages with Power Editor.

Ads should include pictures that are 1200 x 627 and no more than 20% text. Choose an audience for each ad, and schedule your campaign. Your audience can be customized according to several factors, including gender, relationship status, education, interests, age, location, and language. Quick tip: offer less than suggested by Facebook for promoting your ad. You can always increase it later when you have had a chance to analyze your results.

Making the most of your results.

Looking at your posts’ reach will show you the most basic statistic of your ad’s effectiveness. Based on different times of day and targeted audiences, you can track how many people had the ad placed in front of them. By comparing the reach of different ads you can adjust your marketing campaign.

Along with the ad’s reach, you will want to consider the number of likes, comments, and clicks that your post received. If your post is not receiving the kind of attention that you had hoped for, you can make some changes to your campaign.

Using the information about your ad’s reach and effectiveness, you can improve the ads that you place and create additional posts to target specific prospective customers.

These targeted ads allow you to perform tests to see which variation of an ad is more effective. By writing several versions of the same ad, you can see which receives the best reaction without putting all of them in front of the same people and risking losing them as followers.

Using Facebook dark ads can allow you to find a healthy balance between marketing to your Facebook followers and being a good friend.