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Strategize: Tips for A/B Testing Social Content

 

Guest Post by Adam Hutchinson, Marketing Manager at Socedo

As marketers, we love testing how well pieces of content—be it blog posts or eBooks or webinars—perform on social media, but we often overlook the actual social posts themselves. However, once we start tracking one type of Tweet against another, we can optimize our social media strategy for the best posting time, images, presentation, even grammar and more!

In this post, we’ll cover why you should test and how you can test the following four attributes of your social media content.

Posting Time

Why?

Unfortunately, social media usage doesn’t always line up nicely with business hours. Buffer found that Tweets received the most clicks in the early morning, with a significant drop off after 8:00 a.m. Furthermore, your audience might not reflect Twitter users as a whole. You want to make sure you’re posting your content when it will help your lead gen strategy the most.

How?

Your social media management tool can give you instant analytics on the best posting times, and Twitter and Facebook both have insights in your own account. To remove variables, consider recycling some content week over week, posting it at different times.

Images

Why?

Our marketing team at Socedo has found that our posts with images receive almost four times as much engagement as text-only posts. That said, it’s a balancing act. Have you noticed just how many videos are on your Facebook newsfeed these days? It’s almost dizzying. Don’t just use pictures—use them strategically to stand out.

How?

Be sure when you test different images that you’re testing them with the same content. For instance, share content using one image on Twitter one week, then share the same content with a different image at the same time, same day the following week (with lots of tweets in between, of course). Which one got more clicks/favorites/retweets?

Grammar

Why?

Yes, let go of your trusted writer’s manual, and adopt the short-form communication of a Tweet or a Post. Your audience might prefer leading questions or declarative sentences. Some brands are even experimenting with emojis when they communicate with their customers.

How?

When it comes to testing the language your audience prefers, you can try testing content across platforms. Take a successful Tweet, and try posting it on Facebook or LinkedIn with a different headline. The platforms might have different engagement rates, but you can track how well the post performs against historical standards.

Presentation

Why?

Your own social profile is the first impression leads will have of you, and it can often encourage—or discourage—social media engagement. Your bio page is like a mini landing page for your brand, complete with a profile picture, a link to your landing page, and an “about me,” which hopefully includes a call to action.

How?

Test each element of your profile by changing one at a time. Wait for statistical significance, a week or so if you have a lot of engagement. Track the net change in engagement after making each change, and use a URL tracking tool to see if you have more clicks on the link in your profile. Ethix Merchant Services found that just changing their profile name on Twitter resulted in a higher followback rate.

Test, Test, Test

Don’t just stop at social media engagement. Use Google Analytics or other tracking tools to see how well social media traffic is moving down your funnel. If more website visitors are making it to your signup page after making a social content change, you’ve found a winner!

 

Adam Hutchinson is Socedo’s Marketing Manager. Socedo helps sales and marketing professionals leverage social media to discover leads and build relationships more effectively.