Split Testing on Facebook
There’s been a decent amount of discussion between marketers and social media managers following Facebook’s decision to make some newsfeed algorithm changes this past winter. The change came in an announcement from Mark Zuckerberg this past January as a result of their initiative to ensure that users’ time was being “well spent” on the platform. An action likely taken following backlash of the excessive amount of time users are spending on the platform along with other social media platforms. The social media giant has been criticized for not doing more to help users who spend too much time on Facebook and so this is likely a response and method of taking action.
In the announcement, Zuckerberg noted there’d be a shift and focus on person-to-person interactions rather than person-to-page. For example, commenting or posting on someone’s wall would be valued more than a page post. As a result of these changes, marketers were seeing a significant decline in referral traffic and ultimately engagement.
In an effort to combat the decline, marketers have been using a few techniques to organically boost their numbers again included utilizing Facebook Live videos more and shifting their posts to content that encouraged discussion and engagement among their followers. Marketers also took better advantage of Facebook Groups as they are normally a smaller and more focused community known for engaging amongst each other. Facebook Live proved to be successful among many businesses, especially these agricultural ones we covered, because Live videos receive six times more interaction than a regular video.
Facebook’s solution to the decline in numbers could have just been quietly launched for some marketers. The social media giant released the ability for some page managers to participate in “split testing” their posts. Put simply, split testing is the ability to create different versions of your posts and test it to see which one performs better. This provides you with the ability to test out different types of content to see what resonates more with your audience so that you can structure future posts in that format.
This is also particularly beneficial when looking at which of your posts to boost with additional ad dollars. The content that already better resonates with your followers organically, leaves potential for the ad to perform more successfully. Split testing has already been available for ads, but the opening of it to posts is likely Facebook’s response to loss in Page traffic and reach after their newsfeed changes.
It is still to be determined whether they roll it out completely, but we’ll keep you posted on any updates!