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4 Essential Image Tests For SMBs Selling Goods on Social Media

November 11, 2015 Diana Mackie

Social media is more than just an outlet for businesses to raise brand awareness, they can now utilize the major networks as selling platforms.

With new features like “buy now” buttons and shoppable Pinterest pins, one thing is clear – social selling success is increasingly reliant on quality images.

Depending on the industry, you’ll want to perform one (or all) of the below imagery tests to see which type of “social selling” post resonates most with your audience.

(Note: since Facebook has by far and away the most users, and engagement, I'd suggest testing there. To get the best test results (the most eyeballs), spend about $50-$100 to Boost each Facebook post.)

Test 1: Tabletop vs Lifestyle

A common “this or that” photo choice would be your products laid out on a table or your products being worn or used in a “lifestyle” photo.

Tabletop, or arranged, products typically see more engagement than stock photo style products (you product with just a white background), so you can skip over that imagery test for now.

For one week, try slightly different variants of each style, noting how many clicks or or sales each made (using the 'Boost Post' feature, or an actual Facebook ad). Compare at the end of the second week.

Divert more of your budget to photography and paid Boosted Posts for the winning style. You should still occasionally utilize the other style, just for diversity of posting’s sake.

Examples of Tabletop Imagery:

4 Essential Image Tests For SMBs Selling Goods on Social Media | Social Media Today4 Essential Image Tests For SMBs Selling Goods on Social Media | Social Media Today

Examples of Lifestyle Imagery:

4 Essential Image Tests For SMBs Selling Goods on Social Media | Social Media Today

Test 2: Obvious Targeting

Take a look at your sales, do you see a clear majority of one group over the others (women vs men, young vs old, stylish vs tomboy)? Typically, the best social media ads are the most targeted ones.Take your top 2-3 customer groups, and try creating ads that speak directly to them. Great places to start are men vs women, young vs old, treating one’s self vs treating others (especially children).

Compare posts promoting Ladies’ Night against posts promoting your restaurant as the ideal place for Moms’ Night Out. This is a great holiday marketing tactic too.

Examples of Obvious Targeting:

4 Essential Image Tests For SMBs Selling Goods on Social Media | Social Media Today
4 Essential Image Tests For SMBs Selling Goods on Social Media | Social Media Today

Test 3: Coupons & Savings

Did you follow JCP’s journey of attempting to get rid of coupons? It didn’t go well, because JCP customers simple love saving, cutting out, and using coupons. Test to see if your audience is also much more motivated by sales and coupons.

For one week, run variants of your best performing post to date.

The next week, include a coupon or sale promo on top of your images – the key to this test is to include the coupon or sale promo in the image, not just your usual copy. Typically promo codes or actual coupons (bring this with you to the store) outperform sales that seem more general, such as 20% off for everyone.

And note, your overall image must still contain less than 20% text, in order to be Boosted.

Example of Added Coupon:

4 Essential Image Tests For SMBs Selling Goods on Social Media | Social Media Today

Test 4: Project Ideas

Sometimes the most effective way to get new (or old) customers to interact with your brand is to give them a reason to. Try testing project ideas, that utilize your goods and services, to get their wheels turning.

Promote fun ideas that people do not regularly do, like a family bike trip, hosting an inside camping party for the kids, or game night. You can also get more specific, and focus on decor or design ideas like how to style your couch or making a seasonal wreath.

Example of Project Ideas:

4 Essential Image Tests For SMBs Selling Goods on Social Media | Social Media Today

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