How to Run a Split Test for Your FB Performance

Split testing or, as they call it, A/B testing is surely an effective tool for comparing two campaigns leaving out unnecessary variables. To get accurate results, launch identically twin campaigns whilst saving for a single variable: a deviation in images, wording or landing pages. Then just list all the variants on different pages and monitor their performance. The concept is quite straightforward but it is enormously powerful in usage.

A Checklist for Testing

Before you start with FB split testing, make sure to obtain several necessary tools or just double check whether you already have them all. Almost all tools are available online free of charge.

  • FB page of your business is the first essential element. We are talking exactly about a page, not a personal profile.

  • Your FB Ads account is the second required tool. The idea of split testing is to make the necessary improvements to your campaign, so an initial campaign is vital to start the process.

  • Google Chrome is a must. A/B testing can be run with a special extension that is compatible only with the aforementioned browser. So, no Internet Explorer, Opera or Mozilla will work. Only Google Chrome is good for split testing.

  • The final point is Power Editor extension on FB. Again, it can be easily found if you are using Google Chrome. The process will not work if this particular element is missing, so ensure you have it.

Obviously, to run a test on something, you need that something. In our case, it the ad content and your landing posts. So, if your check list is complete, you are ready for testing.

Setting up for A/B Testing

Setting up for split testing might be a piece of cake if you utilize the FB Power Editor and follow the next steps.

  1. Open the Power Editor to design a campaign and an ad within it.

  2. Among other options choose ‘For a Page Using a Post’, then select the type of advertising you launch. This measure will make the ad you’ve just created target some particular post on your page.

  3. Add a brand new post designed with your A/B testing in mind. It’s vital for you to have at least two of these (if you compare two variables) or more when out more. Specify FB users who are linked to your page in the connections list.

Your key to successful testing is unpublished content. Unpublished posts are pieces of information on the FB page of yours that are visible only for users with direct links. Such links should be provided in the ad you place on Facebook. So, only users who actually click on this link can view the content added. Yes, such posts can’t be viewed by users simply visiting your page or looking for them in search engines. So, you can register incoming data on every single post you test and compare the effectiveness or conversion rate of different ads.

Useful Tips for Beginners in Split Testing

  • Approach testing like an experiment in a laboratory. When running tests, make one change of variables at a time. By adjusting more than one of those, you will not understand which variable is more effective and which one doesn’t work properly

  • Create similar conditions for every advertising piece. Mind the time of the day you post them, the quantity of users you share them with and the length of every campaign. All these variables should be the same except for ones you are testing.

  • Use actual metrics, never trust your guts. When you get ad results and start the analysis, you should carefully monitor the final reports. Even if you believe that one campaign generated better results, you need to check it as your reports may show otherwise. Regardless of your testing experience, you need to trust figures, only figures.

  • Design new ads for every testing, don’t use existing ones over and over again. Corner-cutting is unacceptable in A/B testing, especially if you know how simple it is to create an ad. Just use ‘Create a similar ad’ option on Facebook and keep on going.

  • Splitting is needed not only for your ad but also for the landing page of yours. That’s what testing is all about – you take unpublished ads, then run two campaigns with them but use different landing pages; which aids you to manipulate with the wording and edit unpublished posts.

  • Search for the golden mean when running ads. You should not stop your ad campaign too soon, nor should you let it last for ages. If the click rate is not high, most probably you wasting money on exposing the saturated market on a over-prolonged ad. If you fail to show you ad for long enough, though, you will not get a visible result from your A/B testing.

Which Variables Should Be Tested?

If you don’t have an idea from which variables to start, consider the following suggestions:

  • The title of your ad. Try classic brand mention in the name of your control add, while be creative with the title of the testing one.

  • Images used in the ads.Visual content (here: an ad image) is what attracts the eye of the customer in the first place. Search for the most appealing images and then compare their effect. When talking about an image on your landing page, you can tweak it a bit in order to make it more suitable for customer expectations.

  • Customization. Even though Facebook doesn’t give you a space for playing with ad details, you can still customize them to some degree.

  • Details in the landing posts. The abovementioned point is also applicable here. You can’t change colors or fonts, but you may modify small details.

  • Ad script. Check if the text you’re using in your posts is compelling and grammatically-correct. Stop here for a while and brainstorm. Maybe you’ll come up with more interesting ideas.

  • The text of your landing post. This is probably the most important part for successful A/B testing. You have so many things you can tweak that you may spend hours of split testing only on this particular part. Though, you should not forget the golden 80/20 rule that states that 80% of results come from only 20% of your actual efforts. So, don’t waste too much time on this part as there are many other parts that need your attention.

  • Targeting.Facebook offers you a great tool for controlling audience segments – FB Audience Network. So, you may see whether some segment is more responsive to your ads than another.

At every stage of your testing, you have to closely monitor conversions, click rates and

thumbs ups coming from your targeted segments. Keep an eye on the statistics to control your experimental and control ads. Remember that you need to regularly modify both of them. You may use tried-and-true ads as control ones, however. Still, prolonged exposure to one and the same ad may be irritating to your audience and hence it will minimize the effect and skew the results. What you need is balance that you should always keep so that there will be a fast turnover of ads.

A/B testing is considered a powerful tool for measuring post performance on Facebook. What’s more it encourages you to run more ads that eventually bring in more customers. So you not only determine which ad works better, but you get more clients, which is a win-win situation. 

27 June 2014
Looking for more services?