Here is a breakdown of the key elements to consider when doing split-testing in social media:
1) Create A Brand Persona.
One of the main factors in successfully marketing your business is knowing who your audience is and how to reach them effectively. Ask yourself these questions:
- How do your customers prefer to consume content? (e.g. newsletters, blog posts, video, podcasts, periscope etc.)
- How do they discover and share content?
- What are their main search topics?
- What do they talk about on social media?
These answers will shed a light on the type of social media content that will best match your brand profile and will help you find the best strategies to get more advocates.
TowerData is a great online tracking service that helps you understand your audience and predict their actions. You just send them a list of your users and their email addresses and they provide information about the person using that email address (e.g. age, gender, location etc.). The offer a match report for free.
2. What Should You Split-Test First?
Split-testing allows you to test two variables (A and B) against each other and see which one yields better results. For example, you can split-test two Facebook ads that both have four variables: headline, copy, photo and bid amount.
Remember, only change one variable at a time: you can keep the same headline, copy and bid for one ad and test two different types of images. The results will determine which one works better for your ads. If possible, run the ad under similar conditions: same time of the day, same bid amount, same duration, etc.
Here are three variables to consider for split testing:
- Social media buttons
Don’t be afraid to remove the social media buttons from your website. Remember, readers don’t come out of nowhere – they don’t land on your website and then just run to the social sites to promote you just because you have huge social buttons on your site. Users discover content via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest etc., not the other way around.
Try and remove Facebook buttons and see how traffic from Facebook may increase. You may be surprised! The reason? Instead of “Liking” your content, users will share it on their timeline. If you provide great content, people will take the time to read and then copy & paste your URL it in their networks.
Running social media campaigns is not a 9-5 job. Use Followerwonk to determine when most of your audience is actually active in social media. Use the information to plan your daily and weekly social calendar accordingly.
Most companies either share too much or too little content. If you’re sharing your own content a few times a day, try and scale back how much you are posting your content and use that time to actively engage with users (e.g. answering questions, retweeting interesting Tweets, posting comments, etc).
Use the following tools to start boosting your social media campaigns:
- CrazyEgg to find the most-viewed areas on your site (a heatmap)
- KissMetrics and Optimizely to determine the best social button placements
- Tweriod to find out when your audience is online
- Crowdbooster or Buffer help you schedule your notifications or share them manually
As you continue to experiment with different variables, you will get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t, which areas you need to improve and what offers your customers are most responsive to.