Wish you had more organic reach? Did you know you can split test your Facebook organic posts?
In this article, you'll learn how to use Facebook's Post Testing tool to test organic images, text, links, and videos so you deliver the optimal version to your audience.
Why Use the Facebook Post Testing Tool?
Only by measuring data can you truly understand whether your Facebook content campaigns are successful. Luckily, Facebook provides an easy-to-use, free tool to accomplish this goal—the Facebook Post Testing tool. Anyone with Facebook page admin access can test organic content to see how well it's performing. Such analytics can help guide your Facebook marketing decisions to ensure you're reaching the right people with the right message at the right time.
To use the Facebook Post Testing tool, you create up to four nearly identical Facebook organic posts. Then you release these posts to a small sample of your audience to determine which version receives the best response. Note that these posts aren't published to your page; they're only shown to your audience sample.
When the split test has concluded, the post that people responded to best (depending on the metric you choose) is automatically displayed on your page and shown to your entire audience.
The Post Testing tool helps you assess your organic posts' performance and reveals invaluable insights. You'll see what elements are successful and what needs improvement. You'll also gain a deeper understanding of your audience on Facebook—what type of content they respond to and what entices them to engage with your posts. This will help you identify trends that inform your decisions about future campaigns.
Ultimately, the Facebook Post Testing tool saves you time and money. With a greater understanding of your audience's preferences and content performance, you'll be able to invest your marketing dollars more efficiently and effectively. It takes some of the guesswork out of Facebook marketing and enables you to create useful content that resonates with your audience and has the best chance for higher conversion rates.
Here's how to test organic Facebook video, image, text, and link posts and use what you've learned for future content.
#1: Test Organic Facebook Video Posts
The Facebook Post Testing tool is located in Facebook Creator Studio. It's from here that all testing takes place, regardless of what kind of post you want to try.
To test organic Facebook posts, select your page in Creator Studio and then click inside the content library. There you'll find a Post Testing link. Click on that, click on the blue Start Testing Now button, and then complete the following steps.
For testing organic Facebook video posts, begin by uploading the video you created for the purpose of this test.
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Then enter a title, a description, and other details that will help you locate the test later. All of this information remains on the back end of your page, visible only to your admins. Your audience won't see any of these details when they view your post.
Organic video post testing is all about comparison so you'll need to complete this step for at least two (and as many as four) videos to test. Once you've completed this, click on Schedule Test at the bottom of the screen.
Next, decide how long your test should run before the tool selects and publishes the winner. Facebook's default is 30 minutes but you can run a test as brief as 10 minutes or as long as 24 hours.
The key is to give the test enough time to gather plenty of data for reliable results. While the default is probably long enough for most post types, if you run your test during hours when people aren't typically online, 30 minutes may not be long enough to yield desirable results.
If you choose to run your test for 24 hours, you don't have to use the whole time. You can end the test early and publish the winner manually. Some tests show clear winners early or they quickly confirm what you suspected from the beginning. There's not always a need to run a test for the full duration and you're able to intervene.
On this same pop-up screen, you'll have the opportunity to select the metric against which you want to test your video posts. Options like Comments, Shares, Reactions, and Link Clicks all give you valuable insight into what engages your audience and drives them to act. Click on the metric you want to use for your test.
Once you've completed all of the fields and checked all of the boxes, it's time to publish your test. You can schedule it to run at a later time or start it right away. Simply click on your preferred option. When the test is published, Facebook will send you a confirmation so you know the videos are running. The test will also appear in your content library under Post Testing.
Throughout the test, your content library listing will reflect the passage of and remaining time in the test. When the test has concluded and Facebook has published the winning video to your page, you can see the results in Creator Studio.
The post(s) not selected will stay in your content library indefinitely. While this content won't be visible to anyone but you, it can still offer valuable data and you can use it to create future posts.
#2: Test Organic Facebook Image Posts
To test organic Facebook image posts, choose the Post Testing option in Creator Studio and then click on the blue Start Testing Now button. Now you're ready to set up your organic image post test. Under Content Type, select Image from the drop-down menu.
Begin by uploading the image you created for the purpose of this test. Then fill out the rest of the information. Upload the other images you'd like to compare in this test and complete the details for them as well.
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When finished, click on Schedule Test at the bottom of the page.
Complete the details in this pop-up window and set the length of your test. Choose from as short as 10 minutes to as long as 24 hours. Just be sure to consider audience engagement. You want to reach people while they're online so plan accordingly.
Decide what you want to track in this test (reach, shares, reactions, etc.) and choose that metric from the drop-down menu in that same window. This is what determines your winning post.
Click Next and review the information you've entered. If everything looks accurate, you can run your test. Schedule it to begin at a later time or begin the test immediately. Either way, you'll get a confirmation from Facebook and you can track your results in your content library.
Keep an eye on the progress of your test. You can let the test run in its entirety and wait for the outcome to be published. If you see results sooner, you can end the test early and publish your post manually. Either way, the data you gather from the winning and losing posts are equally valuable. Use that information to shape future organic image posts.
#3: Test Organic Facebook Text Posts
Facebook posts don't have to include a visual element. Sometimes a compelling text post is enough to elicit a response from your audience. To test organic text posts, open Creator Studio, and under Content Type, choose Text from the drop-down menu.
Enter your text into the field. Facebook allows 63,206 characters for a text post. Use them wisely. You want to create content that engages and drives people to act. Tell a story without being so lengthy people lose interest. Create two to four of these posts and consider changing one aspect. It could be tone, length, or approach, and then see what works best for your audience.
When you're finished, click on Schedule Test to set some parameters.
From the drop-down menu, choose the duration of your test. Be sure to allow enough time to gather plenty of useful data to help you make informed decisions about future Facebook text posts.
Then choose the metric you want to track in this organic post test. Perhaps you want to see whether wording style impacts the number of shares your post gets. Maybe you want to understand if creating a sense of urgency yields more clicks. Whatever your goal, choose the metric accordingly.
Next, either schedule your post to run later or publish it right away. Click the appropriate blue button at the bottom of the page. When your test goes live, you'll receive a confirmation from Facebook.
You can watch the results in your content library or wait until your winning post is published to your Facebook page. Either way, you'll receive invaluable information about what worked well with your audience and what could be improved for future posts.
#4: Test Organic Facebook Link Posts
Organic Facebook link posts provide a large area for your audience to click on that sends them to another location. Through Facebook link post testing, you can learn how effective calls to action (CTAs) are, whether people are tempted to watch videos, and if link placement plays a role in engagement.
Follow the previous instructions to locate the Post Testing page in Creator Studio. Then select Link from the Content Type drop-down menu.
Paste the URL you want to test into the field. It will automatically bring up a thumbnail to view. Create at least one other post to test this against.
Then click Schedule Post to set your test's parameters.
In the pop-up window, complete the open fields and set the metrics for this particular test. Choose what you want to track and select it from the drop-down menu.
For the test duration, you can choose from 10 minutes to 24 hours in length. Maximize your tracking opportunity by giving yourself plenty of time to gather data and running your test during peak use hours.
You can either schedule your test to run at a future time or click Publish Test for it to go live instantly. Once your test is running, you'll get a confirmation from Facebook and see results in your content library.
Watch your test's results in real time in your content library or see which ad wins when it's published to your page. The outcome could be eye-opening and provide important data that gives more insight into the needs and habits of your audience on Facebook.
Facebook is a powerful tool for social media marketers. With the Facebook Post Testing tool, you can try different approaches to a small audience before rolling posts out to your news feed. This helps ensure you're creating impactful promotional content that maximizes your resources and delivers useful information that resonates with your customer base. This is critical to your overall marketing success.
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