Experts Blog

Twitter Tips: Split-Test Your Twitter Marketing

By Shelly Kramer on Feb 14, 2013 - 10:00 AM

Testing is a critical part of any marketing strategy—and social media marketing is no exception. I'm a huge proponent of not only collecting data, but using it to see what works (and doesn't work) with your target audience. After all, digital marketing campaigns aren't stale, static strategies—instead, they continually shift and evolve based on new tools, best practices and what your audience tells you they want.

Some types of marketing, like email marketing, make it easy to test various components so that you can quickly gather and analyze data with built-in tools available in a wide array of email marketing programs. Other platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as Twitter dashboards like Hootsuite and TweetDeck, offer built-in analytics that provide some valuable information.

Yet if you want to increase your success with Twitter and get better results, consider implementing some Twitter split-testing. By setting up some simple tests, you can measure audience engagement in a way that shows you the best time to tweet based on when your particular Twitter audience is most active.

MathTest.jpgLet's take a look at how to create a Twitter split-test:

1.) Create your test tweet. If you want to find out when your Twitter audience is most active, you can use the same tweet that includes a different shortened link for each time at which you'll tweet.

2.) Once you've identified the link you'll include in your test tweets, shorten it with a service like, which allows you to shorten as many links as you want and gives you related analytics. If you're a HootSuite user, you can opt to use the built-in link shortener, which will also provide analytics (TweetDeck has a built-in link shortener, too, for those of you who are TD fans). Make a note of which shortened link corresponds with which publication time so that you can track results.

3.) When your tweets are ready to go, schedule them using Buffer, Hootsuite or TweetDeck. Make a note of the times so you can keep an eye on your analytics once the tweets have published.

4.) Check your data over the next day to see what tweet received the most clicks. If you published identical tweets at different times, make a note of the time at which your tweet received the most engagement—this will let you know when your Twitter audience is most active so you can take advantage of that time period.

Most importantly? Once you've started testing, don't stop! Testing over a one-day period can give you some useful data—but it's best to test over several days and compile a large amount of data that you can analyze to find meaningful conclusions. You'll probably find that your audience is much more active on one day as opposed to another, but the only way to discover that is to test over an entire week.

And once you've gotten the hang of Twitter testing, use similar testing practices to refine your approach on other social media platforms, too. Use Facebook analytics to determine when your Facebook audience is most active. Try posting different types of status updates, too, to see what type of content drives the most engagement.

Then refine your strategy so that you take full advantage of your findings. Data isn't just a pile of numbers and stats—it's valuable information that lets you get a glimpse into the minds of your audience. Taking advantage of those resources will help you create smarter, more effective campaigns, regardless of your industry or campaign specifics.

Do you test parts of your digital marketing campaign? Have you discovered any surprising results?Planet Ocean article end

Shelly Kramer, Writer & Lead Social Media Trainer for as well as owner of V3 Integrated Marketing in Kansas City.

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