Using social media as a testing platform?
One great way to test out your marketing campaigns early on, and have them be as effective as possible, is to make use of social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the like. Social media enables businesses to share content with their target audience and allows their audience to engage with this content, acting as one big focus group which is easily accessible. There are approximately 2.56 billion global mobile social media users, equalling 34% penetration; globally with 1 million new active mobile social users added every day. And now, 78% of businesses have dedicated teams for their social media.
Unlike traditional media channels, social media enables marketers to test their messaging in an affordable and effective way. By testing your marketing material and creativity through social media, marketers can better understand the effectiveness of a message before investing heavily into it.
For example, Twitter, with its limited character space, is the perfect platform for testing email subject lines for newsletters. After all, a predominant factor in the click-through-rate on a mail out is the headline used. The headline must be interesting and engaging enough that people decide to open the email in good numbers.
In social media testing, preparation and set up is KEY. Businesses must understand what questions they want to have answered and what variables they can test to find these answers. It’s also essential to be clear and focused with selected choices. There are an unlimited number of variables in social media testing, but too many can confuse the results. When testing content, it is important to try and separate the variables you are testing.
Of course when testing on social media, we know the most important thing is to measure our social activities to see what is successful and what isn’t in order to further improve our strategy.
Google has a comprehensive analytics service that helps track user activity on your website in real-time. By setting up UTM codes you are able to track all ads driven to your site. Within a matter of minutes, you can have Google Analytics set up to tell you, among other things, the number of daily visits to your site, the demographics of your users, how they got to your site, how long they stay, and which content is the most and least popular.
Facebook Ads Manager
Adverts manager is a powerful combined management tool for creating adverts, controlling when and where they will run, and tracking how well the campaign is performing. So, when you are ready to run your adverts through social media platforms Facebook, Instagram or Audience Network here is possibly one of the best places to start.
Facebook pixels is an analytics tool that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your advertising by understanding the actions people take on your website.
You can use pixel data for:
Conversion tracking. See how successful your ad is by seeing what happened as a direct result of your ad.
Optimization. Automatically bid for conversions after you set up your pixel.
Remarketing. Remarket to everyone who visits your site, or just to people who visit specific pages or take specific actions.
In simple form social media…
- Allows to develop, test and launch marketing campaigns
- Acts as a quick and easy monitoring tool
- Generates quick response rates
- Is essentially a huge focus group with continuous interaction which is easily accessible
- Can test topics, format, messaging and length – anything that has been previously serviced by focus groups
- Allows businesses to assess click through rates
Which elements should be tested?
- Headlines. The single most important element of every advertisement. The first and most lasting impression of your product/service. A headline exerts the power to attract, repel, or slip by readers unnoticed. Therefore, extremely important to test in order to attract attention.
- Mediums. You should test numerous mediums. For example, videos, audio, visual, text, which works the best for your advertisement? Which content format is getting the most attention from your audience? Not only the different mediums but the impacts and actions, the actions you are inspiring your audience to take! Is tagging effective? Are URL’s effective? Hashtags? Landing pages your pushing towards?
- Social media platform. On the build-up to your big launch test your campaign messages through different social media platforms. Why not try out tweeting, Facebook posts, blogging, LinkedIn updates? You will be able to see which platform is attracting the most attention from your audience, and so, which platform will work best for you. For example, which platform is getting the most response rates, engagement, views, likes or comments?
- Visuals. First impressions really do matter. Colour/Design/Layout/Imagery. We all know purchasers are frequently driven by emotions, creating visual content is extremely important for advertising as this can be a deal breaker in affecting buyer’s perceptions of your organisation.
- Posts/Updates. You can measure the success of your posts/social media updates with native insights inside every social media page you run. How many people view, like and click-through? Analysing how your posts are doing is really important. Every piece of content you are posting is giving you data. You have insights which you can learn about your audience.
- Optimal posting times. When is the best time to reach your audience? The fastest way to multiply engagement is to improve when your sharing content. By posting numerous times, you will be able to test when is the best time to interact with your audience. You will see peak times for viewing, liking and downloading content. Ultimately you must know when are the best times to publish in order to create the highest value and achieve your business goals.
Case study: Samsung
Goal: Increase brand awareness in Argentina while driving traffic and sales to its website.
Test carried out by: Electronic giant Samsung, competing in one of the fastest-growing industries on the planet known for its fiercely competitive nature, the mobile phone industry. Competing against the likes of Google and Apple, Samsung sought to grow their audience using a series of Facebook ad campaigns.
Test: As part of the launch of its new Galaxy S6 smartphone in Argentina, Samsung used a series of Facebook video ads in order to see if they could bring in more customers before the launch of their new phone.
Samsung used three video ads in the campaign:
Video ad #1: “Next is now” showcasing the phone’s stylish and unique design.
Video ad #2: “Camera“, highlighting the new and improved camera design, with ultra-high resolution and shutter speed.
Video ad #2: “Quick charge“ revealed that the S6’s battery would last 50% longer than the next best competitor, and charge in a matter of minutes.
Result: Samsung reached more than 63% of its target audience. They retargeted those people with photo and video ads for the weeks that followed.
In just one month, they were able to reach 6.5 million people out of a target audience of 9 million.
The results were remarkable:
- Nearly 5X ROI from the ad campaign
- Roughly 7% uptick in new customers
What’s more, 18% more of their existing customer base reported remember the ads themselves, a testament to the effectiveness of the target audience, the retargeting efforts and the ads themselves.
By just testing their campaign over the one-month period, Samsung’s Galaxy S6 established a position in the minds and pockets of Argentine smartphone users.
Tips on using social media to test your marketing campaign
(How and what can you test?)
- Create and design a landing page which incorporates potential visitor questions. For example, introduce an information box at the bottom of the page which explains your business services. Providing stats can also be beneficial when increasing trustworthiness amongst customers of your brand.
- Ensure you create direct and clear CTA’s (call to action). Text is likely to be less confusing than images and symbols.
- Ensure visuals are powerful and relevant. Use images of your product to end customer curiosity, and allow them to see what they’ll be getting, this should really grab attention.
- Headlines/subject lines are everything! Test which headlines are gaining the most responses and are therefore likely to create the most interest.
- It’s also important to note you are testing your ad and not your audience, your audience should already be established. So remember what is needed to be monitored is your images and content based upon your target audience only!
- A/B testing is one of the best ways to ensure you get the best headline or imagery you possibly can to attract the most interest.
Upon reading this material, the importance of testing and how social media can play a huge part in testing at minimal cost has probably been embedded into your thinking. We have found testing at an early stage will allow you to overlook your campaign performance, ensuring that you leverage the right creative to drive success. What’s important to remember is that just one day of resources spent on pre-campaign testing can lead to insights that will outperform strategy. Why not be inspired to hold some A/B tests on Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn? Test your creative and see which best suits your audience.