Tips to Execute a Successful Social Media Testing Plan – Tips & Insights Part 3 of 4

In a constantly changing social media landscape, it’s important to utilize testing on social platforms. Testing helps determine which aspects of your social strategy are working best for your brand. Not sure where to start? We have a few tips to help you execute a successful social media testing plan.

Tip #1: Have a goal in mind.
Tests launched with a specific goal will yield better results and insights for your social strategy. The best way to determine the goal of your test is to ask yourself “why?”. Figure out why you are doing the test and what you want to get out of it. Once you decide on the reason for your social media test it’s easy to execute your set goal.

Tip #2: Align test goals and set expectations with your team.
Before launching a test, everyone on the team should agree on the testing objective. This is where communication is key. The team should be aware of what to expect from the results. For example, if you’re testing two different images the expected results are to see which creative performed better, not which ad copy performed better. Also, the test objective may not match the overall objective of the social strategy and that’s okay. A social ad campaign strategy may have form fills as the objective, but the test objective is to understand which creative performs better and why.

Tip #3: Test one objective at a time.
Testing too many things at once will lead to skewed results. The most effective social media tests are focused on one specific objective. A/B tests are the most common testing types and the most effective tests are the ones where only one variable between A and B are different.

Tip #4: Give your test time to deliver true results.
If your test is too short your results may be skewed and not have enough data to provide valuable insights. The length of a test will depend on your testing goal and overall strategy. But, the best results come from tests that were able to run for 30 days. You can still receive valuable insights from shorter tests but we don’t recommend running tests shorter than 1 week long.

Tip #5: Take risks.
Running a social media test is a great way to take a risk and try out new social strategies on a smaller scale. Run your tests on a smaller budget than you would on a full campaign. Every test shows a different story and the results will help provide insight on how you should move forward with your social strategy. Be willing to admit when a test failed and why. A failed test is not a loss because it gave you insight into why it may not be the best social strategy to execute at a larger scale.

The benefit of testing on social media is that the results are immediate, allowing you to pivot strategy quickly when needed. For more advice on setting up a successful social media testing plan, we recommend checking out Sprout Social’s sample 5-step social media test.