Every once in awhile, Facebook releases a new feature. Most times, these roll out for the social network, but the ad manager is never left out for too long. A while back I started noticing the “split test” check box on the ad creation screen, and so I tried it out.

What is an AB Split Test?

An A/B split test is simply comparing two variations of the same thing. On your website, it might be changing the register button from green to yellow. On your AdWords campaign, it might be varying the title and keeping the body text the same. But the common theme in most AB tests, is that a single element changes.

It’s also possible to test multiple elements, which we refer to as multivariate testing. Multivariate tests are more complex, so we wouldn’t be covering them today.

If you're not AB testing, you're leaving money on the tableClick To Tweet

Why is the new feature important?

Seasoned marketers have always run split tests on Facebook for years. So what makes this feature so different? In the past, when you ran a split test, there was no real guarantee of an overlapping audience. Simply put, if I run a test for Advert A and Advert B, there was no guarantee that user A wouldn’t see both. And this possibility ruined the entire scientific approach towards AB tests. With the new Facebook Split Test feature, Facebook will ensure a proper audience split, meaning that user A only got to see Advert A.

How I got a 30% lower cost per result

The goal of my test was to determine which of two age groups responded better to my adverts. So I create my Facebook campaign testing audiences. One audience targeted an age bracket of 21 – 30, and the second targeted 31 – 45. The adverts for both audiences remained the same.

Split test results

After running the ads for 2 weeks, I came up with a cost for audience 21 – 30 that was 30% lower than the second group. What this means is that at the same ad spend, if I was to get 1,000 users, I was now getting 1,300.

What can you split test on Facebook?

You can test any of the following Facebook goals

  • Traffic
  • App Installs
  • Lead generation
  • Conversions

And any of the following elements can be test variables

  • Target audience
  • Delivery optimization
  • Placements

The thing to keep in mind is that AB tests cost you nothing, but can save you a lot. If you do not AB test, you’re certainly missing out on better results and lower costs. So checkout the Facebook Split Test details page and start testing away.

Marketers should keep in mind is that AB tests cost you nothing, but can save you a lotClick To Tweet

If you’ve already run a few tests in the past, be sure to share your insights with us in the comments below.