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An unpublished page post, also known as a dark post, is a page post that is used as an ad and targeted to certain audience groups. These ads can be extremely effective because they can be placed in the Newsfeed and appear to look like regular posts (except for the fact that the user has not necessarily liked the page).

Unpublished page posts have fast become one of the most popular ways to get your brand on the Newsfeed (arguably the most viewed page on the internet) of your key audience members. But like any post, an unpublished page post is only as good as its content. There are a few elements that must be spot-on in order to get the most out of them.

First, the image needs to be compelling. Images of people using your product work well if they are interesting. If your product doesn’t look that interesting, it’s important to mix up the image with creative pictures that will grab the attention of the users when they see it on their Newsfeed.

The image below was used to promote Timbuk2’s yoga bag collection. Instead of just a simple image of a bag, the creative shows a high-quality image of a woman using the bag as well as the words YOGA spelled out. This will draw attention in the Newsfeed.

timbuk2 facebook ad

Next, the ad copy needs to be quick and to the point. The average user is not going to sit around and read a long post. Plus, if these ads are also appearing on the right-hand rail, only the first 90 characters will show. Good ad copy will provide a link to the product, registration, etc., as well as show why the user should take an action.

unpublished page post

Finally, it is always good to have positive engagement with the post. Enabling social context will help users see how other people, not associated with your brand, feel about your product. Positive engagement is the equivalent of positive reviews.

The ad above, from Citrus Lane, is a great example of an unpublished page post. The image appeals to the targeted audiences; the text is quick, to the point, and encourages an action; and the post has  seen quite a bit of positive engagement!

When you have all three elements down (remember, there’s no substitute for testing different ads to see what works best), you’ll be ready to leverage the targeting might of unpublished posts.

Good luck!