With social media marketing, nothing’s set in stone. That’s why it’s important to test and adapt your tactics and be prepared to adjust your campaign in real-time. In this video tutorial, digital and social media strategist Martin Waxman explains why you need to be flexible and shows you how to conduct A/B tests to determine which creative options work best with your customers.
- [Voiceover] Before social media, marketing your business was easier to do. Maybe you'd produce an ad and place it on a local TV show, perhaps you'd try to get a story written about your business in a trade magazine. Once you had a plan you stuck to it, and often wouldn't know whether it achieved your goals. Today, you also need to develop a social media marketing program, and it's important to realize that nothing is set in stone. That's why you should test and adapt your tactics, and be prepared to adjust your campaign in real-time if your metrics tell you you're not heading where you want to go.
Social media changed the speed of communication, gave us two-way interactivity, and increased the proliferation of channels so your customers can spread the news. Let's look at Topsy Turvy bakery. Suppose they want to write a blog post on cake frosting tips and share that on social media. Imagine they've come up with a couple of headlines and aren't sure which one their customers would prefer. How can they test that? If they have a large email marketing list they could do an A/B email test.
In an A/B test, you compare two creative options to determine the one that performs best. Topsy Turvy would start by randomly selecting a few hundred people from their email list, dividing them into two groups and sending one group the first headline, and the second group the second headline, then they could examine which headline had the better open or click-through rate, and also if it performed the same or better than other initiatives.
Analyzing the data will help them decide which headline worked best for their customers. A simpler way of doing an A/B test for a headline is to try it out on Twitter. Tweet out each headline with a trackable link. You can get those links from a site like bitly.com that shortens links and tracks the engagement, then figure out which headline drove the most traffic to your site. Of course, this only works if you have an engaged following.
The point is, you want to pay attention to how your marketing is being received, and ask yourself the following questions. Are you getting the number of clicks, comments, and traffic that you expected? If not, do you know why? Are people reacting positively, negatively, or in a neutral manner to your content? How does this initiative compare to what you've done in the past? Then, analyze the answers and determine whether or not you need to adapt.
Be sure to limit the number of variables you test so you'll have a better idea of what's working. You might need to change the image or photo, maybe the headline isn't catching people's attention, or perhaps it's a combination of the two. It's tough to predict what will catch on. Learn from past initiatives, stay open to making adjustments, and above all, test out various options before you go live, and be prepared to listen to what your customers are saying and turn on a dime.
That way you'll have a better chance at social media marketing success.
- Using social media to listen to customers
- Setting goals
- Crafting a social media policy and a plan
- Creating shareable content
- Measuring your social media success