Close
more videos

A/B Testing Social Media to Increase & Optimize Traffic

Posted January 26, 2012 By Mark Simpson

This blog first appeared on iMedia Connection on January 26, 2012.

A/B testing is now widely used by marketers and ecommerce pros to let their live audiences decide the best-converting content for them. Many case studies point to sites seeing an increase in subscriptions, signups, and sales through even the smallest changes to elements on their website. Now, with the world-wide-web having gone social, marketers should start to consider how their social sharing buttons are performing. Just like with most other site elements the location, design and content of these buttons can have a big impact on how much your users engage socially with your brand. And as we all know, optimizing your social traffic can result in more shares, followers and an increase in click-thru rates—to name a few advantages.
So if you want to be a well-tested site, it’s time to add social presence into your strategy.
Think about Social Button Placement
Just as with your call-to-action buttons, social share buttons are aimed at driving users to convert—with the conversion being sharing your blog, article, product or promotion across a variety of platforms. These conversions can ultimately lead to more site traffic, brand or product awareness, and potentially, revenue.
1. Move it Around – Try out different places for the home of your social buttons along your conversion funnel. Does it make sense to keep on the landing page of the promotion, or is it better served in a location after a user has made a purchase? Perhaps it’s both. When it comes to publications, you ultimately want users to be able to easily share your article. Some sites find that social icons work best right under the title, while others convert better on the left hand side of the article. Whatever it is, try it out. Just because your social button placement works well in one area doesn’t mean it will in another. Let testing tell you the truth.
2. Keep It Minimal – They say less is more, and this definitely rings true with the amount of social share buttons your site offers. Let’s face it: most readers and customers are not going to share on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Digg, LinkedIn, and RSS Feeds (gee, wouldn’t that be nice!). You may find three to four essential social buttons will suffice—as well as should ultimately link back to your social strategy: where your customers are sharing and where you want them to share. Too many social button choices can overwhelm users and potentially kill conversion rates.
Optimize Your Social Profile
First impressions are just as important in real life as they are in the digital world. So when you’re attempting to attract new fans and followers, you want to make sure they are presented with a social profile that intrigues them.
The first step in optimizing your profile is to create a landing page and/or space that lets users really understand who you are, what you do, and why they should engage with you.  It may sound basic, but items such as the profile photo, “About Us” and wall postings, have on impact on follower conversions. Also, make sure to include a bio and description, as these things contribute to higher organic search engine rankings.
While testing your social share buttons and social profile content, start to monitory our profile’s performance for a couple weeks. Gather how many fans, followers and members you have accrued during this time and then make any adjustments you see necessary, testing and evolving along the way.
Know When to Share
As marketers, we know that half the battle is reaching people at the right time, in addition to the right place. The same rings true with social media mark
eting. It’s imperative to identify when your followers and target audience are online, so your content reaches its engagement potential—ultimately increasing the chance of conversions, re-tweets, and re-shares exponentially. It’s also important to test out various times for sending through promotions, blog posting, email marketing, etc., and segment and analyze your traffic—and the results—accordingly.
Helpful hint: check out the following tools to help you discover when your fans are online and peak promotional times:

We all know social media is a crucial piece of the marketing puzzle. But, just like your web and mobile efforts, it’s important to test, analyze and discover what really works for you and your audience. For help understanding the different types of testing available, I encourage you to download a new eBook from Maxymiser: “Creating the Ultimate Online Experience: Conversion Immersion” Happy testing.

One Comment

  1. Posted March 6, 2012 by Ciprian | Permalink

    don’t forget to read this post that oedviprs a breakdown of where to place your social media buttons to get the maximum exposure along with a number of other insights that we’ve found to be very

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*