We’ll let you in on a secret – you can use CRO for social content!

Most marketers think it’s reserved for websites only, but CRO techniques can be applied to social channels and posts too.

Here, we’ll look at using CRO for social content, describe the top techniques and help you increase your conversion rates on social media. What could be better?

An introduction to CRO for social content

A quick recap: CRO is conversion rate optimisation – basically a method that encourages visitors to take action.

People generally focus their CRO efforts on their website. They usually try to improve these four core elements:

  • Click-through rates
  • Email sign-ups
  • Downloads
  • Purchases

CRO tends to be forgotten about when it comes to social media, but if you think about it, it shares many of the same conversion goals. For example:

  • Click-through to landing pages/content
  • Signing up to newsletters from page

You see? It makes sense to use the same methodology, or even the same techniques! Then, you can add in your usual social media metrics too and discover new areas for conversion rate improvement:

  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Retweets
  • Shares

Why is it so great?

CRO for social content is all about getting the highest possible engagement for your social media pages - which has to be a good thing!

Your social media content plays a big part in the start of your customer’s journey. It sits at the ‘awareness’ phase of the conversion funnel.

It’s a bit like SEO, in the way it helps ensure people find you online. However, it goes one step further, by encouraging users to take your desired action.

By using CRO for social content, you hook the audience’s attention and entice them to convert. This doesn’t always happen straight away, but creating a stack of CRO social media content will help push the visitor to the next stage, ‘interest’.

This practice brings a greater number of engaged visitors to your site, and will hopefully prevent drop-offs further down the funnel.

Essentially, CRO for social content brings more relevant traffic to your site which increases the chance of purchase – result!

CRO for social content: what can you test?

When trying to optimise your social media content, there are lots of variables you can test. So many in fact, we couldn’t fit them all in our list! But here are the core ones we think you should start off with:

Sections of text

Whether it’s a headline, description or image caption, text can make a world of difference to your conversion rate.

Test each individually, and see how different variables can affect audience response. You could:

  • Adjust the phrasing – short, sharp and direct vs long and descriptive sentences
  • Employ emotional language – aspirational vs fear
  • Change the length – a single sentence vs a whole paragraph
  • Switch hashtags – just use one vs a myriad of related keywords

There’s plenty of things you can do to change things up within your social media text. CRO for social content is all about finding out what works best for your specific audience. That’s why there’s no universal cheat sheet (sorry)!


It’d be a mistake to think that all your Twitter or Facebook posts should look the same. There are plenty of ways you can add variety:

  • Buttons – Facebook, and some other sites, let you add buttons throughout your posts, profile and pages. Change their colour, size and CTAs to figure out what works best.
  • Images – Play with the types of image (e.g. cartoon, photos, cute animals, people, objects), and see which your audience responds to.
  • Layout – You can choose different types of posts depending on your platform. Facebook has a whopping six types of ad for you to try!

Publication elements

Many think it’s just content you can make changes to, but there are other elements you can test when looking at CRO for social content:

  • Timing – Post at different types of the day, to work out the optimum times for your audience.
  • Audience type – Target users according to key demographics like location, age, gender, job title, education, interest and behaviours.
  • Device – See if mobile or desktop generates a greater response to your content.
  • Advertisement offers – Try out different deals, work out what appeals to your target users and run with those in the future.

These tests will provide insights into customer behaviour and motivations that will really help inform your content strategy.

How do you perform a test on social media?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, CRO testing on social media is pretty similar to testing websites. Use a simple A/B test where you change just one variable to analyse the effect, and you’re good to go!

There are tools specifically for social media that will help you conduct your A/B test. Kissmetrics and ShareThis are two of our favourites. Look for a provider that can connect your social media CRO to your website analytics too, that way you can see the full effect and the entire customer journey.

Here are some tips for testing CRO for social content:

Start with broad targeting

You may have a pretty good idea of who your audience is – great – but carry out a few tests before you decide to solely focus on this group.

You might have an unexpected segment that provides a lot of revenue which you could get rid of accidentally if you begin super-specific targeting straight away.

When you reach the point where you want to start focusing on specific audience groups, use lookalike features that mirror your current customers to find relevant visitors. Hone your list as time goes on, and you’ll soon have a strong base of followers.

Find your perfect test frequency

Conduct tests during your normal publishing times and at a rate you can control.

Don’t overwhelm your audiences (or yourself) with lots of content as that’s a sure-fire way to make them disengage and skew your data in the process.

Approach your testing in a structured, well-planned manner, and you’ll be good to go!

Keep testing, no matter what

Testing is not just a one-time fling, it’s a long-term relationship.

You should never stop testing as there’s always more to learn as new customers come in, trends change, and new technology/features pop up. This is particularly important in social media, as those creative minds at Facebook, Twitter and SnapChat are always coming up with new ideas.

Testing also really helps with improving your personalisation efforts. The insights provided by extensive CRO tests will tell you what your audience is looking for (and why), so you can tailor content to the specific needs of your users. Hooray!

Make sure you keep your messaging consistent

Your brand’s tone and style should come across throughout your content – otherwise it won’t be recognisable as your brand.

Make small incremental changes on social media, and if they’re effective you could look at making the same adjustments across other brand materials.

Also, what you offer on social media should match up with the page visitors will reach after they’ve converted. If it doesn't, they’ll bounce right off the page because they won’t be able to find what they were looking for.

This could be tricky if you’re conducting CRO tests on your site at the same time as social media. But, if you stay in control you’ll create a smooth user experience, from start to finish.

Check that your variations still offer high-quality content

Quality is key when it comes to social media. If the image in one of your variations is fuzzy, or if there’s a spelling mistake, you can be fairly certain that your visitors will disengage.

This will knock out the results of your test, as well as damage your reputation and credibility. Not good!

So, we’re pretty sure we’ve covered the basics of CRO for social content. It’s a fantastic and exciting world waiting to be discovered. Why not jump in?