Your social media presence is a precious part of your brand. Using social media can help your small business build brand awareness, grow your client base and connect with current customers, especially since 80% of smartphone users reach for the phone within 15 minutes of waking up.

You should note that, crazy as it may seem, social media success does not depend on how many followers you have. Success is determined by the level of social media engagement.

Shares, likes, comments, subscriptions — these are the metrics that matter. If your small business is struggling to surpass the 1 share, 2 comments and 7 likes threshold, perhaps it’s time for you to look into A/B testing your social media.

What is A/B Testing?

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is one way for your business to research what works. It’s vital in social media marketing to figure out what methods are most effective to reach your audience. The key is to test one difference at a time. You can test time and day of posts; types of posts, like photos or videos; what you say in the post; how you tag others in your posts, and so on.

A/B Test with these easy steps:

  • Create an objective to measure: more likes, comments, shares, etc.
  • Choose an element to test — for example, the image. 
  • Next, figure out what you currently know to help think up ideas about ways you can test the element.
  • Then, create varied posts with the 1 changed element difference. With the image example, test black and white images against color images or even highly saturated colors.
  • Publish each variation on your social media, but keep everything else the same.
  • Track and analyze the results as they come in.
  • Determine which was more successful.
  • Finally, either test this success again against another element change or use new findings going forward.

There are endless ways to split test on social media. Any component of your social media posts can be tested and the good news is that results are available to you quickly. Here are some elements to get your A/B testing started.

Measure Up the Text

If you’re looking to test the written part of your post, there are 3 ways to do this: zero text, short text, extensive text. Zero text is pretty self-explanatory. Although it might seem odd to post without words, this may be a useful tactic for a photography company.

If you’re a dog groomer whose dog photos fall a little flat, the short verses long text is worth a shot. If you’re having difficulty coming up with topics, Thryv’s software offers an easy-to-use posting plan with a library of over 525,000 pre-written posts to help you break out of writer’s block.

You may find that different copy lengths work better on certain social sites than others. For example, you may find that 1 or 2 sentences will suffice for an Instagram post, but your testing shows that a more robust copy is best practice for LinkedIn posts.

Watch Your Words 

Considering your style of language is another text-worthy element. Does your business use quotes or statistics in current posts? Maybe your business page would do well with trying a hard-hitting statement. This is where you test casual versus formal and passive versus active. For the fun of it, toss in an emoji and see what happens. The tests are limitless, and you’ll never know until you try.

One and Done

Thryv social media dashboard
Your Thryv social media dashboard will give you an overview of how your social posts are performing.

Testing text on your image is a great way to kick-off your tests because the variation is so simple. If you run a travel agency, your test could be as easy a photo of a woman with a map vs that same photo with the words ‘Travel on a Dime’ across it. How easy is that?!

Work on Their Time

You may need to dig deep into your analytics to figure out which day or time of the week in your sweet spot to post, but it’ll be worth it. Most social sites offer an insights page for you to dig into; however, Thryv features a social insights overview that will identify your top times for posting, which saves you time.

Once you’ve narrowed down your business’s peak times, it’s time to test. If you’re not looking to sit on the laptop waiting for 1:30 pm to come so you can post, Thryv also helps users schedule content in advance. No more being tied to your desk.