Vet Your Social Marketing Message with A/B Testing

Laptop with analytics graph pulled up

This post is an introduction to what A/B testing is for a social marketing campaign. The process of A/B testing allows you to know particular message will lead to the most engagement with your client base.  Read on for resources and ideas.

I know that you are working on an absolutely amazing project! 

 It might be that you have a great program that you want more people to participate in.  It might be that you have a great project that you want people to donate to.  It might be that you are a creative, and want sponsors to notice your work.

You are super talented, have a great idea, and 
you want people to pay attention.

And to that we can all say “Thank you social media!” Thank you for making the world smaller and for putting communication with anyone in our pockets and in our purses.

You do in fact have the ability to contact and influence just about anyone in the world with social media platforms.  The caveat is that once you know who you want to target with your message, you need to figure out the best ways to communicate with them so that they take the action that you want them to.
A/B testing on social media allows you to engage masses of your customer base
Image taken from www.unsplash.com
 To describe the idea of A/B Testing, in the online Social Marketing Certification curriculum with Northwestern University, Stefi Decker and Randy Hlavac talked about throwing everything against the wall and seeing what sticks.   In How to Implement A/B Testing for Social Media CampaignsMegan Biondi described A/B Testing as holding one variable the same while you test the other.

Assuming (safely) that you are chasing after what Biondi calls the holy grail of posting:

“The right image with the best copy, aimed at a specific target, at the perfect time.” 

Your variables are:

  1. Image
  2. Copy
  3. Time

This means that you will need to take some time and plan out variations of an image you will push out at the same time with the same copy.

In a/b testing, test 1 variable while you hold all others contant
Image taken from www.unsplash.com

Once you find an image that proves popular, keep the image and time constant, and change the copy.

Once you find a copy and image combination that works well, push that combination out at different times.

Keep track of your engagement rates during the testing process, and this will be instrumental in telling you how your target market responds.

This process of A/B Testing turns the unrecognizable masses of people into individuals with preferences and sentiments.  

What does this look like in action?  Kristina Cisnero writes about this in How Social Media Can Help You With Your Next A/B Test.  The are so so so many things that A/B/ Testing can help with.  Among them are:

  • Headlines
  • Calls to Action
  • Images
  • Reviews

And the great news about all of this is that there are endless possibilities to what you can apply this strategy to.  Like most good research, this testing will open up more questions, and iterative testing will give you more avenues to that will allow you to achieve the holy grail of posting and get people paying attention to your great idea!

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