Social media marketing has taken off, and the tools available to brands and influencers have continued to evolve as well. The industry started out with brands analyzing ad performance with screenshots you'd send them. With time, things like a/b testing (aka split testing) on different ad campaigns became the norm. Now, there is ad spend and targeted audiences to put icing on the cake.
In this article we'll define dark posts, one of the newer methods of social media marketing, and explain how and why you should moderate comments on them. It's important to know that dark posts have a lot of different titles. We'll keep our wording consistent in this article, but know that you'll find terms like, "unpublished posts" and "unpublished page posts" from other sources.
What are Instagram/Facebook Dark Posts?
This relatively new type of advertising is becoming common practice for brands to run whitelisted content on social media. Dark posts are ads that do not appear as organic posts on your page, or in the news feed of your followers.
How it works: dark posting is a marketing strategy where brands pay for content you've created (content you may never even post on your own social media page) to be seen by thousands of people, saving your page from being inundated with #ad posts, and generating traffic to your profile. Your brand partners have unique targeting options when they create ads like these from your content, and the target audience they select is often similar to your current followers (can you say, "more followers" five time fast?).
Click here for a more in-depth explanation of dark posts.
Why is Moderating Comments on Dark Posts Important?
A successful influencer knows that it’s important to moderate comments and interact with their followers. The same holds true for dark posts. Moderating and responding to comments helps you:
- Delete negative or hateful comments. It's an unfortunate truth that social media is often riddled with negative comments, and even carefully curated target audiences get negativity as well. Most would agree the world is a better place when we have positive interactions online, so removing hateful comments helps maintain a more peaceful online space that everyone can enjoy. More than that, an ad campaign that has overwhelmingly positive comments and interactions is more likely to be extended by your brand partner.
- Gain more followers by interacting with people who comment on your dark posts. Remember, dark posts are targeted ads, and they're usually shown to users who are similar to your current followers. Engaging with those users in the comment section encourages a visit to your page and a follow!
- Increase your attractiveness to brands. Responding to comments increases engagement on a post, which makes the metrics more attractive to advertisers. Consistently high engagement with all of your dark posts increases brand awareness, making you a more desirable influencer and positively impacting opportunities for future brand collaborations.
Of course, moderating comments is easier said than done: dark posts aren't organic posts: they don't show up on your feed! So, accessing the post can prove difficult. But have no fear! We’ve put in the work and created a step by step guide for finding your dark posts in the depths of social media, moderating the comments, and reaping the benefits.
How to moderate comments through Facebook Business Manager:
If you have a Facebook Business Manager, you can access all Facebook Page dark posts under Page Posts.
- Login to your Business Manager at business.facebook.com
- Click the drop down menu and select Page Posts
- Ensure Ads Post is selected on the left hand side of the screen. You’ll find a comprehensive list of all dark posts created using your Facebook Page identity.
- Click the Post ID for the post you would like to engage with.
- Select Comment to view and respond to comments
Advantages of Moderating through Facebook Business Manager:
- A list of all dark posts that were created from your Facebook page identity are in an organized list
- Page Posts shows your reach, likes/comments/shares, and link clicks for each post
Disadvantages to Moderating through Facebook Business Manager:
- There is no access to Instagram only dark posts, e.g. posts that do not appear on Facebook will not populate under Page Posts
- Requires setting up a Business Manager and linking your social media platforms: ie. your Facebook Page and Instagram account
- Only available on a desktop
How to moderate comments through your Facebook Page Inbox:
- Login to Facebook and go to your Facebook Page
- Click on the Inbox tab
- Select Instagram or Facebook on the left hand side to access and respond to comments
Advantages of Moderating Comments Through Facebook Page Inbox:
- Access to both Facebook Page and Instagram dark post comments
- Accessible on desktop and mobile (must have the Facebook Page Manager app for mobile)
Disadvantages of Moderating Comments Through Facebook Page Inbox:
- Marking the comments as read removes the notifications from your feed making it difficult to access the post again at a later date
- There are no additional metrics on reach, clicks, etc.
That’s it! You now have the steps needed to monitor comments on your dark posts. As we mentioned before, moderating dark post comments is the most effective way to manage negative comments, grow your following and increase your attractiveness to brands!
A quick tip: your brand partner has likely included a CTA (Call to Action) in the ad copy, or a call-to-action button in the post itself. Engaging with users and pushing them to act on that CTA is good practice and makes your brand partner love you even more.
NOTE: While you may get notifications on Facebook/Instagram that will take you directly to the post, we don't recommend relying on these notifications when moderating comments: it's easy for dark post notifications to slip through the cracks/ be buried by organic content notifications.