Recently, a Facebook advertising technique, "dark posts," has been gaining a great deal of attention from social media strategists and advertisers.

The term dark posts actually refers to a Facebook "Unpublished Page Post" which is a Facebook advertisement post that is not publicly posted to a brand's News Feed. It can be in the form of a status, photo, link, video, or even an offer. Insights and analytics for these posts remain the same, they just aren't visible to the public on your News Feed.

This tactic has quickly become extremely effective and successful for many brands. Here's a few reasons why you should test out dark posts:

1. A/B Testing Without Spamming Your Loyal Audience

Like any smart marketer, I'm sure you love to A/B test and compare your creative and messaging options to optimize how you communicate with your customers in their journey with your brand.

Using dark posts gives you the ability to conduct A/B/C/etc. testing of multiple ads, CTAs, messaging, or images as New Feed ads. The beauty of dark posts, though, is that you don't have to spam your loyal Facebook audience with different ads across their News Feed every time you want to test new creative. It keeps your brand's Facebook feed from being polluted with your testing.

2. Enhanced Optimization and Personalization

Dark posts allow you to only show the post to your precisely targeted (or custom) audience. This also allows you to make your ads much more personalized for your intended audiences. Using dark posts helps you customize content to make the experience more personalized to your specific audience segment.

The ability to test different creative also gives you the ability to optimize your content. You'll have more data to make strategic decisions and determine the best advertisements for your audience.

3. Exclusive Offers and Promotions

Using dark posts you can also offer exclusive promotions and offers to only certain segments of your audience. You can run a 30% off snowboarding gear promotion to only people interested in Snowboarding and not your whole fan base. You could also segment it by geography, so you're only showing this ad to people in Australia during their winter and show your audience in the U.S. a sale on surfboards.

This also allows you to get extremely creative with ways to promote your email subscription or to engage with your brand on other channels with promotions that aren't available to everyone. This can help give your audience the "exclusivity" feeling and have a much more personalized relationship with your brand.

You can also improve your LinkedIn advertising campaign performance by using LinkedIn Direct Sponsored Updates-LinkedIn's equivalent to Facebook Dark Posts. Using Direct Sponsored Updates, you can test multiple different versions of your content in a way which would pollute your company's brand page if you published each version, but enables you to carefully measure which ads are more effective. Direct Sponsored Updates also allow you to personalize your content, for example calling out a specific job title in an ad.

A great deal of brands are finding success using dark posts. It's unclear how long this feature will be available and how effective it will remain, so test for yourself and see what additional value you can extract from your social advertising. Have you tested with dark posts yet? What results have you seen? What best practices would you recommend?

Also be sure to download our latest Social Advertising Benchmark Report for a comprehensive look at Facebook advertising benchmarks for your specific industry.