We all know we should be testing elements on our websites, like landing pages, navigation, and even the words we use on the page, but one thing dozens of marketers overlook is the importance of testing across all their marketing efforts. Testing our social media best practices to see what small changes we can make to increase engagement has never been more important than it is now, with the recent changes to Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm sending many brand pages reeling at their loss in visibility to their fans. Below are 5 simple ways to get started:


The most visible part of any social media post is the physical copy on the page, and you NEED to be testing it. Ideally you should have a good feel of what voice to use for your audience because you have created an audience profile or identified what you consider to be your “ideal” customer. First assumptions are not always correct, and social media audiences are ever changing. Take a few minutes to look at how you are talking to your audience. Posting in a passive voice? Try switching it to active and see how your audience responds. Are you making statements? Try asking a few questions. The point here is to dig into the words you are using, how you are using them, and switch it up to see how your audience reacts.


In case you have noticed by now, running social media campaigns is NOT a 9-5, Monday through Friday job. Try using a tool, like Followerwonk, to evaluate when the majority of your customers (and target customers) are actually active in social media. Make sure you plan your daily and weekly social activities around being available when your customers are active.


Surprisingly, an overwhelming number of posts on social media sites are still text only (or at least mostly text). As Arthur Brisbane (and many others) once said, a picture is worth a thousand words, and nowhere is this sentiment more true than in the social media world. Several recent studies have concluded that photos tend to grab the most fan attention on Facebook, and the emergence of photo-based networks like Pintrest show us just how powerful they can be. Try mixing it up with your audience. Push out a good variety of posts containing photos, videos, links, and of course text and see what works best for you.


How often are you posting to your social sites? Once per day? Once an hour? Every 15 seconds? Testing the frequency of your social media posts may seem like a tedious task, but the simple truth is most brands either share way too much content or way too little. If you’re posting your own content several times a day, try and scale back how much you are “pushing” your content and spend that time engaging with other user’s content (i.e. answering questions on Twitter or retweeting interesting and relevant Tweets). If you’re only posting once or twice a week, crank up the dial a bit and see what happens.


I know, I know, this one only applies to Twitter, but it’s often overlooked. Try sending similar content out using a variety of different and relevant hashtags and see what happens. Chances are you’ll be surprised to see what happens when you switch up your tagging. Here’s another interesting experiment to use with hashtags — while most tweets feature hashtags at the end, try moving them around and using them in different parts of the tweet to see if it has any impact on your engagement levels.

As with all testing that marketers do, and, yes, you SHOULD be testing everything you can, testing your social media efforts is not an easy or fast fix to all of your woes. However, if done correctly, it can lead to some extremely powerful observations and changes to how you attack your social media plans.

Have any questions or additional tips for testing social media? Let us know in the comments section below!