You are aware of how quickly societal trends may change. What was successful for your brand a few months ago might not be as effective now. For this reason, success is more likely for social media managers that adopt a growth attitude. Doing social media experiments is a crucial aspect of constantly evaluating and refining your social media marketing approach in order to get optimal results.

Whether you have a theory, query, or difficulty with your social media marketing plan, social media experiments can help you find solutions. These findings can be used to argue for increased funding or justify a change in approach to existing material.

Not only do experiments in social media force you to rethink your approach, but they also provide you with the chance to test out various approaches and see which ones perform best with your intended audience. You may learn more about your target audience, find shortcuts to success, and reduce the likelihood of making expensive mistakes all via careful experimentation.

Here are the 7 things you need to know to conduct a successful social media study.

1. Make a guess

Use Sprout’s Advanced Listening features to get in-depth insights on your target demographic. You may construct queries in Listening to monitor and examine social media chatter, identify trends, and examine customer opinions. You may use audience data, such as what they are talking about and what they are engaging with, to test a theory.

2. Choose the appropriate social media study.

After formulating a hypothesis, the next step is to decide what kind of social media experiment you would do to test it.

The Atlanta Hawks’ social media team experimented with Sprout to see how a more casual approach to videos would go down at local events. A player’s hand-held video’s performance was evaluated against those of professionally made social videos. Sharing performance statistics was a huge gain for the social team, and the informal video format was far more effective.

Ideas for a multi-factor social media experiment

Multivariate analysis, as the name indicates, involves changing more than one factor simultaneously. It might be more challenging to analyse and understand data when doing experiments with additional variables. You’ll need a sizable sample size of the general public so that results aren’t skewed in any way.

3. Decide which metrics you’ll be using and which network you’ll be testing

Define the primary indicator you’ll use to gauge the performance of your content. Measurements of success may include the number of impressions made, the number of people that visited a certain page (such as your brand’s website or a gated resource), and the level of engagement between the brand and its audience (Think: likes, clicks, comments or shares).

4. Set a time limit for the social media study

Avoid the typical blunder of conducting a social media experiment without a clear end date in mind. Keep in mind that success in social media takes time; don’t rush new projects.

Budget, audience size, and key performance indicators all have a role in determining the reporting window, but statistical significance is the overarching goal.

The social team published findings after four months of testing TikTok since there was sufficient data to draw conclusions from. They also schedule weekly updates to our social dashboard internally so that we can keep trying new things and learning from our mistakes, as well as adjusting our approach as necessary.

5. Determine the factors you will be able to

Make sure you’re just testing one variable when doing A/B testing by thinking through all of the factors that may affect your test findings. Be sure to choose your control, or the fixed portion of the article. If you’re doing an experiment with photographs, for instance, you shouldn’t alter the text, target market, scheduling, etc.

Our social media team conducted extensive TikTok trials, examining the effects of varying format types, subject matter, and creative factors like music, sound effects, and closed captions.

6. Try it out on social media:

The hour for action has come. Plan, produce, optimise, and publish material for the experiment without any hassle using Sprout’s Publishing features. Use Sprout’s ViralPost® technology, for instance, to ensure that your messages are sent out when they are most likely to be read.

7. Evaluate and discuss your study’s findings

Go over your experiment’s data to find fresh openings or insights to add to your files.

Executive buy-in can be difficult to obtain; to do so, you’ll need to effectively communicate and craft a data story that shows how your organisation would profit from taking the actions you propose.

Using Sprout, you may quickly retrieve automated reports that are ready for presenting. Make your own reports, like the Facebook Performance Report, which details such things as the number of views, the number of likes, the number of clicks on the post links, and the frequency of posting for different content kinds.