The Importance of A/B Testing Social Media Formats

Why A/B test social media platforms? Why not just use the latest social media innovation for your next campaign? The answer is simple: Social media has evolved. If social media isn’t static, why should your advertising be?

Social media advertising is showing increasingly clever and complex creatives to viewers. In this sudden format influx, how does an advertiser, or brand, know which version will interest their intended audience? Just because a new format has hit the scene, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good for your brand or relevant to your message. A/B Testing allows advertisers to wade through the clutter to determine the best format, and course of action, for that brand. A/B testing isn’t flashy, it is simple, unbiased, empirical evidence of what works (and what doesn’t) for your audience, giving you the best possible ROI.

The Domino Effect: Campaign Success Through A/B Testing

A/B testing ensures you’re using the creative that gets the best interaction with your service or product, vastly improving your campaign performance.

  • Better Interaction: You’re presenting the customer with what they want to see, not what you think they want to see.
  • Reduced Bounce Rates: Better interaction reduces bounce rates, and increases conversion rates, because people are staying on your page longer.
  • Reduced Cart Abandonment: A/B testing can also significantly reduce instances of cart abandonment, which continue to plague eCommerce retailers. A/B testing helps determine the underlying causes, and shows brands how to reconfigure their sites to improve the chance of purchase follow through.
  • Risk Reduction: A/B Testing also reduces risk to your brand by allowing you to test out a new landing page or website overhaul safely before committing time and money to something that isn’t responding well with users.
  • Education: A/B testing educates brands about their end users. They learn, and then understand, what visitors really need and want from brands. It takes the guesswork out of offering a better experience to them.
  • Experience Improvement: It improves the user experience by adapting to changes, such as adding in a certain function to make navigation easier, or removing an extra step that was a barrier to purchase. Problems that aren’t always evident can be revealed by A/B testing.

How to Make it Less Confusing

A/B testing can be a bit overwhelming with so many options available. How do you get accurate test results when faced with so much data, and so much to choose from?

The key is to not test too much at once. Think about what you want to achieve, and the messaging you want to get across and go from there. For example, focus on your call to action button, so that you aren’t overwhelmed by other external factors that could potentially skew results. Focusing on fewer variables also allows you to easily pinpoint what’s not working. If necessary, run more tests to check other areas, but work in batches, focusing on one or two things at a time. You can run tests on anything, from images, text, videos, to dynamic creatives to see what works and what needs tweaking.

Using A/B Testing for Charlotte Tilbury

We recently helped UK makeup retailer, Charlotte Tilbury to better understand how ad formats were affecting their overall KPI’s on Facebook.

Using A/B testing we were able to prove the value of different formats to Charlotte Tilbury’s bottom line. We tested traditional link ads against Facebook’s Offer Ad format, which instills a sense of urgency using a timer countdown to the offer expiry date. It also dynamically populates the ad with the number of customers who have already claimed the offer.

The A/B testing revealed that Charlotte Tilbury’s audience responded with a 20% higher CTR to the Offer Ad over other formats. The Offer Ad drove 48% greater revenue than traditional link ads, and was 30% more efficient.

This is just one example of how brands can leverage A/B testing to get the best possible insights as to where to put their time and money when it comes to creatives that offer the greatest ROI.

Learn more about our social media capabilities here