Recruiting testers to a beta test is one of the biggest challenges beta managers face. After spending months getting a beta product off the ground, the last thing a beta manager wants to do is spend lots of time recruiting candidates to their test. Luckily, social media is a great tool for quickly recruiting quality participants to a beta test.
Why Use Social Media?
Social media is any website or application where people can share messages, pictures, or other information; especially in online communities based on shared interests or backgrounds. Some of the most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. Because different social medias attract different users, each platform boasts different demographics (i.e. 53% of all Instagram users are ages 18-29). Thus, social media is a terrific tool for recruiting targeted testers into your beta community.
Define Your Target Tester
Remember from our Beta Tester Recruitment Kit that every product has a particular market, and every good beta test is designed to target those specific users. Your team’s agreed upon target market will help you determine which social media users best fit your product’s target demographic. By implementing targeted social media outreach, you make effective use of your time by only contacting candidates most likely to qualify for your beta.
Choose the Right Platform
Research the right social media platform(s) for your beta test recruitment. For example, if your target tester is between the ages of 30 and 49, went to college, and lives in an urban or suburban setting, then Facebook is your best bet, based on demographics research. However, if your ideal tester is age 18-29, then Twitter’s user demographics would be most compatible. Research the demographics of key social media networking platforms and cross-reference that data to your target market to choose the right social platform for your recruiting.
Create Engaging Copy
Every product has a story. When recruiting potential testers, craft messaging that excites and intrigues potential candidates. Use proper grammar, high-resolution visuals, and a call-to-action (i.e. Apply now!) in your social outreach. For social platforms with limited word count (i.e. Twitter), use resources like TinyURL or bitly to shorten the link to your beta application landing page.
Also, on hashtag-friendly social sites like Twitter and Facebook, remember to incorporate 1-2 hashtags like #betatester or #newbetatest to attract potential testers. Individuals who actively search for these hashtags probably have previous beta testing experience, and would (in most cases) make great beta candidates. Ultimately, you want to create a post your targeted tester would want to click on.
Share It Strategically
Once your copy is finalized, share it to your company’s social media platforms, but don’t stop there. You’ll also want to research groups or users that are active on social media and attract followers that fit your target market. For example, if you’re testing a home automation product, there are tons of feeds, groups, and taste-makers on social media that are talking about home automation. Find those accounts and send your messaging directly to them. If your post is engaging, they will likely share it with their followers.
Also be sure to monitor your posts so you can quickly respond to users that share or comment on your post. This will increase engagement and show potential candidates that you’re as enthusiastic as they are about your beta test.
Any time you run a social media campaign, it’s important to analyze its performance both during and after your campaign. If you notice your Facebook post has only reached a handful of people then boost it to proactively manage your recruitment. Social media advertising has come a long way in recent years and often allows you to display your message to very targeted segments of users, which can help you get your message out if you’re struggling or need to reach a niche market.
At the end of your campaign (once you’ve recruited enough testers), note the platform, messaging, reach, comments, new followers, likes, etc. that your social media efforts garnered. Most social media sites have these analytics tools built-in for free, but it’s important to actively measure and compare different recruitment campaigns. By doing so, your beta team can learn from its social media successes and mistakes, which can help ensure that you hit future beta recruitments out of the park.
Always Be Recruiting
If you’ve found an approach or platform that attracted a lot of good beta candidates then continue to use it to recruit fresh faces into your beta community. Create a general landing page for your beta community that you can promote year round. This will make it a lot easier to ramp up future projects, because you’ll have a base of enthusiastic candidates ready and waiting for your next test.
Have a question about using social media for beta test recruitment? Let us know in the comments below, and download our Beta Tester Recruitment Kit for further tips and tricks on recruiting for your beta test.