Split testing is everywhere in the digital world – you name it and it’s being split tested right now. However, the concept of split testing Facebook posts doesn’t seem to have taken off, and we think it’s about time it did. Like with some of my previous articles, a lot of Community Managers out there are going to be grimacing as yes, this will mean multiple posts!
Why Split Test?
Split testing is an absolute fundamental in digital marketing. The ability to test, learn and optimise to improve results in short cycles is one of its’ great advantages. Split testing allows us to get better at just about anything, and needs to continue to be embraced.
How Is This Relevant For Facebook Content?
Facebook content is no different to any other medium in terms of the need to test. If you’re launching a big campaign for instance, it’s important to know which part of the content is working for which segment of your audience.
Say you’re posting with product content in a focused campaign. It’s absolutely crucial to know the following for this specific content campaign:
Knowing the above will allow you to increase your conversions in this instance by optimising content length, image, time of posting, call to action message and targeting criteria. The same applies for engagement focused and other campaign types in the exact same way.
The questions really should be, “How is this not relevant for Facebook content?”, as why would you not want to improve your conversions and engagement?
Sounds Great, How Do I Do It?
There are a few different options as to how to split test your content on Facebook, and it’ll largely depend on personal preference and who your audience is as to which will be best for you. Here’s how we tend to work at Zazzle Media:
Aside from the process, there’s the physical act of posting on to Facebook in this way. There’s a couple of ways to do it, first up is by using Facebook directly and using the targeting features (normally available once you have 5,000 fans on the page):
Doing it this way will require multiple posts to be created aimed at different segments. One way to create a fair test is to break the ages down into say 3 year age groups so you’d do posts for:
Whilst that means doing 8 posts potentially, this will allow you to test with a segmented audience. This can be used to see how a post performs amongst certain demographics.
Alternatively, to test how different versions of a post perform fairly, the best way is to layer the ages as best you can, such as in the below example:
This would result in 10 posts, but would give as fair a result in this context as possible. Alternatively, you can layer your years by two or three year gaps, however the wider it goes the more diluted the results will become.
Don’t forget that you can test on Facebook by locations, ages, genders, and of course by anything in your content (copy, call to action, link, image).
The other ways to physically do this include using any of the standard posting and scheduling tools (Sprout Social, Hootsuite, PostPlanner etc) and using the targeting functions built into those apps, which use the options on Facebook.
Do you split test your Facebook posts? How have you found the process? Share your experiences in the comments or by tweeting me @benharper87