Facebook has been used as a marketing channel for a while now. Through it’s advertising dashboard marketers have been able to a/b test different messages and images to try and increase conversion rates with Facebook’s large and highly engaged user base.
Did you know in addition to traditional Facebook ads you can also a/b test your regular Facebook Page updates? It’s true!
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you a/b test your Facebook Page updates to increase engagement and conversions!
1. Create Two Posts About Your Topic
Since we’re running an a/b test we need to come up with two different posts to test against each other.
Here is a list of some things you can test:
- Picture post vs. video post
- Picture post vs. link post
- Picture A vs. Picture B
- Call to action A vs. call to Action B
- Copy A vs. Copy B
In the below example we a/b test different copy versions and call-to-actions against each other:
If you want to know what exactly caused an increase in conversions from your a/b test you should only change one variable.
For example, if we only changed the call-to-action we would then be able to clearly say which call-to-action converted better in this a/b test. However, since we’re testing two different variables (copy and call-to-action) we won’t be able to see which particular thing caused one post to outperform the other. We will simply know which post does better.
Both ways of a/b testing are perfectly fine. However, before you start your test make sure you know what kind of data you hope to find at the end. If you absolutely must know what caused one post to outperform the other than only change one variable at a time.
2. Check the “Hide From News Feed”
Before you hit “Post” on either of your two Facebook updates, you will want to make sure you check off the “Hide From News Feed” box.
By ticking that box off you ensure that your post does NOT go into the News Feed of the people who ‘like’ your page. This is important because we do not want everyone to see both of your posts.
If If you don’t see the “Hide From News Feed” box, look for the little icon that looks like a clock. This icon is used to help you schedule posts in advance. All you need to do is select the current year as the year and the “Hide From News Feed” box should appear.
You don’t need to select a month or day unless you really do want to schedule the post for the future. Doing so won’t hurt anything, but if you want to start your test right away just add the current year, tick the box and hit post.
Repeat these steps with the second variation of your post until both are live on your page.
If you want, you can “hide” one or both of these from your page by clicking the Pencil icon at the top of the post and selecting “Hide from Page.”
3. Set Up the A/B Test & Targeting Options
One your posts are live, it’s time to log into your Facebook ads dashboard and set up the a/b test along with your targeting options.
To set up these posts you’ll want to select the ad option “Sponsored Page Post” in the AdEspresso dashboard or “Promote Page Posts” in the Facebook ads dashboard.
Once you select the ad option, you will be able to choose the Page post that you want to promote/sponsor.
Select your post Version A and then move on to selecting your preferred targeting options.
When setting up your ad be sure to put it into a new campaign which you can name anything you want, but I do suggest going with something descriptive. For example, I might call our campaign “AdEspresso Beta Signup Test.”
Once your Version A post is submitted into your new campaign, you can repeat the process and set up Version B within the ad dashboard.
Be sure to put Version B in the same campaign as Version A. This is what allows the two posts to be tested against you other.
If you’re not already familiar with how Facebook advertising works, any ads that are created within the same campaign will be automatically tested against each other.
Whichever ad variation performs the best will start receiving the majority of the funding for the campaign thereby auto-optimizing the other variations out of existence.
4. Track the Results of Each Post
Once your ad campaign is reviewed and approved your posts will start showing up in the News Feed of the people you are targeting.
Once the campaign has been running for a while you will start seeing some interesting data.
For example, you might see that one post is getting more link clicks, more likes or more shares than the other. Or if you are tracking the posts in Google Analytics or through Facebook’s Conversion Tracking tool you might see that one ad is generating more leads or sales than the other.
If you find that both posts are performing at about the same level you will know that the two variations are not different enough from each other.
In that case you will want to create another variation that is radically different than the other two and ad it to the campaign to best tested against the original post versions.
5. Post The Winning Update for Everyone to See (Optional)
Once you have a winning variation it’s time to present it to your whole audience!
Post the winning variation to your Facebook Page and this time don’t select “Hide from News Feed”!
Have you ever a/b tested your Facebook posts? What did you use as the variable(s) in your test? Leave a comment below!