A/B testing is not a new term. The first A/B test was performed over 300 years ago. James Lind conducted a clinical trial in 1747 to show that lemons and oranges are cures for scurvy.
Skipping a few years, Google used A/B testing to see which shade of blue was suitable for their ad campaign. In between, many marketers and advertisers used A/B testing on direct mail, TV commercials, and so on.
And now, A/B testing is a weapon for social media marketers to analyze their campaign performance. Today, 97% of businesses use social media marketing. But, only a handful of them get lucky and generate significant results.
Marketers have no clue what customers want. Social media has given so many options to run a campaign that advertisers can’t decide which option is the best for their brands.
A/B testing here eliminates the guesswork. It provides complete social media analytics to understand your targeted audience base. It can also help analyze competitors, campaigns, and social media platforms.
Sounds cool, right?
Let’s dig deeper into social media A/B testing for better understanding.
Why Is A/B Testing on Social Media Campaigns Essential?
A/B testing or split testing is a scientific approach to analyzing your social media campaigns. In it, you use a part of your social media content and show it to your targeted audience.
This helps you understand whether your content reaches out to the targeted audience or not. Usually, the audience group is divided into two parts, and then two variations of social media content are shown to them. After that, marketers analyze results driven by both groups.
Not only social media users but web developers and landing page designers can also use this test. Web designers can create the best interactive websites via running A/B tests on content, visuals, and other components.
Here are some benefits of using split testing on your social media campaigns:
Boost marketing campaigns’ success
According to 27% of SMM marketers, creating engaging content is their biggest challenge. Marketers struggle to create the right content tone to keep viewers engaged with their campaigns.
As we all know, content can make or break your business image. A small emoji or a comma in the wrong place can change the entire meaning of your digital ad campaign.
But thanks to A/B testing, you can now test your content to improve your marketing campaign’s success.
Suppose you want to run paid ads on Instagram to generate leads from the US. In that case, you can create two variations of content copy and show two small groups.
Then, using Instagram analytics, you can understand which copy performed well. This way, you can boost your lead generation rate and save marketing money.
Figure out your ideal buyer’s persona
Creating a buyer persona is the fundamental demand generation strategy. It is a fictional character of your potential buyer. It can help you understand the needs of your potential buyers and create marketing campaigns accordingly.
But, when you deal with multiple products and services, finding an accurate buyer for your solutions is harder. Also, how a buyer sees your product is different from how you see them.
Therefore, running an A/B test can help you dig deeper into your buyer’s persona. For example, you can determine your ideal customer’s age, income, location, etc.
If you use a robust analytical tool like Sotrender, you can dig deeper into your audience persona. For example, you can understand the factors behind your Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook engagement metrics. Further, you can make your social media ads reach the correct accounts.
Gain competitive edge
Whether it is B2B or B2C business, everyone is today investing in social media marketing. In fact, 70% of marketers plan to increase their social media budget in the next few months.
So, the competition is already furious on social media networks. And now, with more businesses investing in social media marketing, the competition will be cutthroat.
The results of intense social media competition are already visible on the ground. Today, the organic engagement rate on Facebook is hilarious. And the Instagram algorithm is also making it difficult to improve your engagement rate.
So, in this, A/B testing can protect you from the competition. You can drive more value when your content and visuals reach out to a suitable audience base.
You can also use the SMM panel to efficiently run your social media campaigns. Automation can help you target your audience at the right time.
Obtain high ROI on marketing campaigns
It is an expensive business to run social media ad campaigns. Based on the statistics circulating on the web, it can cost you anywhere between $2000-$7000 per month to run a social media campaign. Some campaigns can even extend beyond $20,000 per month.
That means, if your marketing campaign fails, you can lose a great deal of money. But, when you run A/B tests before launching your campaigns, you can minimize risk and increase ROI.
You can obtain more value from your marketing campaigns when you target your audience with tested content and visuals.
Where to Run A/B Testing on Social Media?
Wondering whether Facebook video ads are more impactful than photo ads? Does short content work best or long form on social media?
There are several questions that marketers have to ponder upon before launching a campaign. We have a solution for you if you are also swirling between all these questions. We have listed down the social media ad campaign components on which you can run A/B testing and get all the answers.
Ad copy is the most important part of your social media campaign. It holds the message of your campaign and presents it to your audience. If your ad copy content is not framed properly, you might miss a lead generation opportunity.
Also, one can do so much with ad copy. You can use emojis to add fun elements to your ad. You can use small paragraphs, bullet points, or emojis to make your content readable.
Everything impacts the performance of your ad copy, from your chosen words to how you have summarized your content.
Thus, running an A/B test on your ad copy can help you find the right tone, words, and format style. In fact, it can reduce your content marketing expenses as you don’t have to bear the loss of poor ad copy.
Here check out this The New Yorker ad where they have kept images and CTA the same but played with ad content to target different audience groups.
A Columbia University study shows that 59% of shares on social media were never clicked. Instead, people just read headlines and share the article.
Thus, the headline of your social media campaign matters. It must have the right tone and words that can impress your audience.
A good headline has emotional and informational values. It has perfect word balance, including power words, emotional triggers, and unique words.
You can use tools like the CoSchedule headline analyzer to test your headlines. It can help you test different headline variations.
Content style or type is the crucial element of your campaign. It hooks viewers to your content and motivates clicks on your ad.
For social media, you can use various content styles like images, videos, gifs, real-time photos, and whatnot.
The best approach here is to select the best content style based on your engagement goals and targeted audience.
However, some content styles are so similar that you can’t pick the best one without testing things like images and videos.
In that case, you can use the A/B test like this Seattle Storm campaign.
They have played with two styles of images to promote shooting guard Jewell Loyd.
Social media platforms are all about hashtags. The right hashtags can increase your reach on social media platforms, and the wrong ones can make your post lost in the vast content pile. Nowadays organizations have adapted enterprise social media tools to manage and run effective campaigns.
Today, brands are testing hashtag campaigns with various hashtag groups like branded hashtags, user-generated hashtags, etc.
Most marketers mistake selecting random hashtags or borrowing hashtags from their competitors. And then they wonder why engagement is low on their content.
For marketers, hashtags are not less important than keywords. They help to expose your social media content to the right audience.
Nowadays, you can use many great hashtags search tools and experiment with your ad copy, like:
- Tweet Binder
You can take a reference from a Flytographer post. In the first post, they used hashtags, and the second one did not.
This test helps to see whether hashtags help your brand on social media or not.
This is a bit of a technical test. You don’t change your campaign content or visuals in this test. You simply show your same ad copy to a different set of audiences.
This test will help you understand your potential buyers. You can gain insight into your audience’s mindset. It can help you design personalized marketing strategies targeting your different audience groups.
You can integrate your CRM solutions with your website to better test your audience.
For example, if you have a Shopify site and use Excel sheets to record data, you can integrate Shopify to Excel sheets. It can save you from the trouble of mitigating data from one place to another. You can better change your marketing strategy based on your audience’s reaction.
Finally, you must test your ad campaign’s call-to-action content and button. CTA tells your viewers what to do next after viewing your ad. If you don’t have a clear call to action, you might lose a potential client.
A CTA has several aspects. First, several things impact the visibility of your call to action, from color to text format. Therefore, you must try different formats, color combinations, content styles, and other relevant things to create a compelling call to action.
Here check out this World Surf League ad example. They have just tweaked CTA content to test their ad.
7 Ideas to Run A/B Testing on Your Social Media Campaigns
Now that you know where to use A/B tests on your social media ad campaign, the next step is understanding ideas to make your testing more bulletproof. You can follow these ideas to drive maximum value from your social split testing:
1. Define your marketing goals
Before mapping your split testing roadmap, you must define your marketing goal. This will help you understand what type of A/B test is essential for your business.
For example, suppose your marketing goal is to generate more leads. In that case, you need to test your targeted audience.
You can show your social ads to different audience groups based on age, gender, location, etc. This way, you can design the marketing ads for the individual audience group.
You can target the pain points and needs of each customer. This can help you implement account-based marketing on your social media campaigns.
2. Specify your targeted audience
Taking forward the above point, you must segment your audience group based on their preferences. You can segment your audience based on their demographic and geographical presence.
Segmenting helps you create specific social media content for your audience. That is because your customers’ preferences change significantly based on location and other demographic factors.
Take Microsoft for an example. They have dedicated social media pages targeting each prominent location. Here you can see the difference between Microsoft India and Microsoft UK Instagram pages.
The brand might have the same message across both pages. But, the visuals and content style are different on both pages based on the targeted audience preferences.
Note: You must use VPN while studying your audience’s behavior across different locations. That’s because location settings and restrictions might not show you the right results. VPN can help you stay anonymous on the web and search freely.
3. Experiment with hashtags
Don’t be shy, and experiment with hashtags as much as you can. Hashtags make your content visible on social media platforms. Thus, you must explore different hashtag groups.
One more thing, don’t use the same hashtags on all your social media platforms. Every platform has different rules and algorithms to target hashtags.
For example, Instagram only allows users to add 30 hashtags per post. On the contrary, Facebook has no such limit. You can add as many hashtags as you want to your Facebook posts.
Similarly, social media algorithms are designed to understand hashtags in different ways. For instance, LinkedIn posts with limited hashtags work best.
4. Create two variations of visuals
Visuals are what most attract viewers to your social media campaigns. Thus, you must experiment with two variations of visuals before taking your campaign live. You can experiment with images, videos, 3-D images, and other visual elements.
5. Track and analyze your results
Once you have test results in your hand, don’t just limit them to one marketing campaign. You must create a proper record of all your social media test results.
This way, you can refer to your previous campaign results to create new marketing strategies. Besides this, you can create your social media dashboard to check your analytics to build your buyer persona, understand shortcomings in your sales and marketing approaches, and track competitors. Therefore, update your database with social media results and keep a constant tab on them.
6. Monitor your test at equal intervals
A/B testing is only helpful when it is conducted at equal intervals. When you conduct A/B tests on a regular basis, you can compare test results and analyze how your campaign performance has changed over time.
This also helps you analyze whether your A/B testing has improved your marketing campaign’s reach. If not, you can analyze your testing strategies to ensure you follow the right social test protocol.
7. Test for a significant period
Importantly, the testing should be done for a significant period of time. That is because users’ preferences and market conditions rapidly change. This can impact your marketing campaign’s performance. Therefore, you should schedule an A/B test after a significant period like monthly, quarterly, etc.
Let’s Do Social A/B Testing Now!
There you go, marketers! Now you know how and when to do social media AB testing.
It is clear that A/B testing can help you drive maximum value from your social media campaigns. As a result, you can better allocate your marketing budget and implement personalized social media marketing strategies.
All in all, testing can help you understand your audience and improve your marketing efforts. So, all you now need is the best social media analytical tool to track and analyze your marketing campaigns.
And for that, you can always consult the Sotrender team to get a demo of their social media analytics solutions.