Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Many businesses want to be active on social media but do not know how to use social media effectively to achieve their business goals.
The best use of social media for a business is to build brand awareness. But, how do you know if you're marketing the best content possible to the world?
You do so by A/B testing your content in real-time.
Why A/B Test?
Just because you were told which content marketing tactics work best on social media does not mean it will necessarily work for you and your target audience or ideal client.
You have to determine what your audience wants to watch, read, or hear from you. For example, pictures may work for your best friend, but your audience prefers videos.
How To A/B Test
You can A/B test your content by producing and distributing similar content, but with one element of the content changed.
On social media, you may swap out the image but keep the copy. With a blog post, you may modify the copy but change the blog title.
Check out the examples below. Do you see how only the content in red changed, and not the entire design?
What's most important is that you test one change at a time. If you test too many elements, you won't be able to determine which change achieved better results. It defeats the purpose.
Keep in mind that A/B testing is a method of marketing testing meant to optimize conversions. If you want to optimize your content, A/B testing is the way to go.
A similar marketing test would be split testing.
What About Split Test?
Split testing is not A/B testing. For example, to conduct a split test you would use, let's say, one of your social media posts as the control and then create an entirely different design for the same post to see which one your audience likes more.
Below is an example of a split test with a significant amount of the layout altered when comparing both designs.
Ways To A/B Test
Same Copy Different Images
With your social media post, you can create a post with the same copy but with different images.
Same Images Different Copy
You can also create a post with the same picture while changing the text.
Image vs. No Image
You could also test posts with the same text, but one with an image and one without the image. We all hear that posts with visuals do better, but that may not be the case for you.
Other A/B Testing Variations
You can also test by either changing a post's length, style, tone, or hashtags. Add a quote, emojis, or bullet points to switch it up, too.
This exercise will help you to see which posts receive more engagement. You can then go with the ones that do.
Also, be sure to test different changes to your posts on various platforms. For example, what seems to work well on Instagram may not work as well on Twitter.
Question for you...
At the speed at which social media feeds update, should we still care to test posts or just repurpose content as time goes on?