ShareThis, a sharing intelligence company, announced the launch of a free tool that allows for A/B testing content on Facebook, as well as an alerting system that flags when content is going viral. With just a single piece of code, publishers have access to market-leading tools that increase reader engagement and enable publishers to better optimize their content.
ShareThis pioneered sharing tools for the market and continues to focus on delivering free solutions that publishers need to identify, reach and engage their readers. The new testing tool, Social A/B, allows publishers to test and optimize their headlines, images, and intro copy on Facebook to increase engagement through a data-driven approach.
For publishers with a fan base of 50K fans or greater, more than 30%—and sometimes as much as 70%—of reader traffic often comes from social channels, with the majority of that coming from Facebook. Optimizing traffic from their Facebook audience is one of the biggest levers today’s publishers can pull to drive audience growth.
“Anyone who’s serious about optimizing content for Facebook should be using Social A/B,” says Jamie Mottram, Sr. Director of Social Content & Strategy for the USA TODAY Network. “We’ve seen an average 25% uplift for our link and native video posts when testing content from For The Win and other properties.”
The ShareThis Social A/B testing tool connects directly to publishers’ Facebook pages and Facebook Ads Manager, enabling them to manage their A/B tests from one platform. Publishers can test against their own audience or test against a lookalike audience. They can save the winning post as a draft in Facebook for future publishing or can be pushed automatically to the feed. Publishers can also export testing data for offline analysis. Early trials of the tools show that strong journalist principles such as shorter headlines, active voice and knowable references win versus headlines and images that function as clickbait.
“Most publishers are pushing their business and editorial practices to align with how their audiences consume content, but this is not an overnight process. A/B testing is moving from nice to have to need to have, because it helps publishers evolve in real time with their audience,” explains Paul Lentz, Senior Vice President of the Publisher Platform for ShareThis (pictured top left). “These tools are just the latest example of how ShareThis is continuing its mission to empower millions of publishers to increase engagement, build audiences, and drive revenue.”
The new toolset also features viral notifications that monitor a publisher’s site traffic and sends automatic alerts when content passes through a performance threshold, so they are always aware of new opportunities to maximize readership and increase revenue. These alerts are delivered via email and can be set up to push directly into notification platforms like Slack.
ShareThis, the Sharing Intelligence Company, has been collecting and synthesizing social share data since 2007. Privately held, Sharethis is based in Palo Alto, CA.