3 Simple Tips for Successful Social Media Split Testing

Posted by Rowland Marsh on 08/09/16 17:04
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Rowland Marsh

a/b split testing for paid social media

You have a budget at the ready and you are primed for launching your paid social campaign, but have your done split testing on your ads? If the answer is "no", then you really need to hold back on your campaign until you have carried this out. Split testing is a crucial process within a successful social media ad campaign.

Enchant outlines 3 simple tips for successful social media split testing to help optimise social media ads for maximum impact:

Determine the elements you need to split test

Split testing – or A/B testing – is all about pinpointing the effects of each element within your ads that can impact customer engagement and conversions. If you don’t keep everything else constant when testing one of these elements, it makes it impossible to get true insights about the impact. It muddies the water.

So the golden rule of split testing is to change one thing about your ad each time you test it. It is an ongoing refinement and optimising process, which helps you remove the low performing factors and tweak and empower the successful elements to maximise an ad's potential.

Each time you test you should deliver the same ad, but with one element changed, to each half of your tested audience. This way you can measure the success of each ad, according to the responses you receive, so you can determine which version delivered the best experience.

You can split test keywords, hashtags, character lengths, images, videos, use of symbols or emojis, and calls to actions. You can split test your target audience by gender, demographics, interests, locations and preferences. These are all important elements for testing and optimising paid social ads, but they also help build up your pool of insights for knowing more about your prospects and customers for future campaigns.

Establish your budget and scope for split testing

The budget you have for testing, and the scope and duration of the testing process, will depend on your business' objectives and goals – which we will get onto later – and your audience size. How big is your audience? How many ads do you need to test? What size portion of your audience are you going to use for testing? You need to decide upon your answers to these questions.

If you haven’t got a huge audience, you don’t want to over-test and risk bombarding the same prospects and affecting your brand reputation and customer experience. If you have a large audience, you have the luxury of utilising various segments of your audiences for an array of testing.

If your budget is limited, set a maximum spend for cost per click (CPC), otherwise you might burn through your budget too soon. You will need to be quick to act when optimising your ads, to be efficient and cost-effective with your budget. Although cost per click is a key metric for paid social, your cost per conversion – or cost per acquisition (CPA) – is what is really important for your business. This is what you are aiming for after all; optimising ads to drive conversions of your business goals.

The duration of your testing will largely depend on what level you are at as a business with your social media activities and how much you already know about your audience.

Set clear objectives and goals, manage your budget

Make sure you have clear objectives and goals set out before you begin testing. It is crucial to think about what you are looking to achieve and what you want to deliver to your customers. This will dictate the messaging in your content and the positioning of your ads.

Having a clear vision will help you establish who to target and what to test. It will aid your CRO (conversion rate optimisation) and give you a head start on your split testing. You need to focus on finding the most effective ways to persuade and entice customers to click on CTAs (calls to action).

Setting clear objectives and achievable goals will make managing your budget easier. You can control your budget in really time, if you closely monitor the testing process, tweaking both the elements of your ads and the levels of your budget – cost per clicks and cost per conversions.

Your split tests will help you optimise the key indicators for your objectives and goals, whilst refining the creative elements of your ad, such as your visuals and promotional copy. Be sure about which social media channels you want to be using for paid social ads. Don't dilute your budget by trying to have a presence on too many channels. Read our blog on selecting the best paid social channels for your business: 5 Simple Steps to Choosing the Right Paid Social Channels


Split testing is a crucial part of a success paid social campaign. It requires trial and error, but ultimately optimises your social media activities and builds insights about your audience. Split testing stops marketers going blindly into campaigns with assumptions and guesswork, helping to maximise potential for engagement and conversions and manage your budget effectively.

Get Enchant Agency's proven split testing planner tool for email marketing campaigns and start making waves with email!

Download Email Split Testing Planner

Topics: A/B testing, Email Marketing, Email marketing campaigns, Email marketing strategies, Split testing, Testing, email strategy, email marketing testing, email testing

Rowland Marsh

Written by Rowland Marsh

Rowland is the Marketing Manager at Enchant Agency. He is a writer, content marketer and former film reviewer. Rowland studied Literature and Philosophy at UEA and has a background in promotions, marcomms and print media.

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