Using Facebook dark posts for church planting is almost as mysterious as it sounds. But it can be a great way to connect with people and get the word out about your church plant.
You don’t have to be an online ninja to figure it out. Let me break it down:
How to Pay Facebook
There are three types of ads you can pay for if your church has a page on Facebook:
- Outright ad, the kind you see in the right hand column on Facebook
- Boosted post, which is paying to get a picture, video or thought you’ve already posted on your page out if front of more people
- Dark post, which is the same as #2 above but it never actually shows up on your church Facebook page
The second and third options are always going to get more traction because people can share & re-share your posts. Everyone is suspicious of those column ads and they can’t be shared.
Why Use Dark Posts
So if a dark post is basically the same as a boosted post, what’s all the fuss about? It seems to have 2 advantages:
- It allows you to have lots of different promoted content running without spamming your Facebook page
- It smells less like an ad because (rumor has it that) it shows up in users’ feeds as a suggested post not a sponsored post
Because you can target your ads based on location, age, relationship status, and a host of other criteria, I could see using dark posts:
- to run slightly different versions of the same content to different demographics; obviously you don’t want to be a chameleon all-things-to-all-people promoter, but sometimes the turn of a phrase connects with one audience but not another
- to run completely different posts to the same audience to see what kind of content or messaging gets more traction. Going to drop $10,ooo or $20,000 on a grand opening marketing campaign? Probably worth testing your message first on Facebook before you write that check
How to Create Dark Posts
I could not do a better job of recreating Jon Loomer’s step-by-step tutorial (it has screenshots!), so I’ll offer you a quick overview and let you follow his guide when you actually get to setting up your first dark post.
- You have to use the Chrome browser, which handles Facebook’s Power Editor plugin
- In Power Editor, first create a campaign
- Select which page you’ll be promoting (in case you manage more than one page)
- Set up your content as a post, including setting your target audience
- Submit/save it to the server (it hasn’t gone live yet)
- Select that post from the list of all posts and click the Promote button and follow the prompts until it goes live
How are you going to use Facebook dark posts for church?