What Are Variations? How To Vary Images & Text For Evergreen Posts

Use Variations to test image and copy options as well as keep your Evergreen content fresh and unique!

πŸ’‘Try using Variations to A/B test your copy and media to learn which content gets the highest engagement!

In This Article

What Are Variations?

Variations let you easily post different text captions or media each time your Evergreen post is recycled. 

This can be helpful to:

  • Keep your Evergreen content fresh
  • Prevent duplication of posts
  • A/B test different text and media

Please see this video walkthrough for an overview of Variations and how they work:

How To Add Text Variations To Your Post

You can set up Variations when creating or editing a post, within the Post Editor

1. Select Add Content > Add A Post in the top menu of your SmarterQueue account to open the Post Editor

2. Select a Category and Social Profile for your new post then add your text

3. To start adding multiple text options, click 'Add Text Variation'

Here you will be able to add a second caption for your post. 

The newly-added caption will be pre-filled with the text in Variation 1 ready for you to edit.

You can see in the example above, we've quickly changed #1 to #2!

4. Repeat step 3 until you have added all of the text variations you'd like 

Note: Each caption is labelled with the order in which it will be published: 'Variation 1,' 'Variation 2'. The green text label shows which text Variation will be used the next time the post is published.

5. To change the posting order of your text Variations, use the 'move' icon to drag your Variation into the desired positions

6. To delete a Variation, click the trash can icon to remove the specific Variation 

How To Add Media Variations

There are two related, but different ways that you can add multiple images to your posts. You can add images by either:

  1. Creating A Multi-Image Post With Several Text Variations
  2. Varying The Text And Media Each Evergreen Cycle

Creating A Multi-Image Post With Several Text Variations

To create a multi-image post with several text Variations that will cycle with every time the Evergreen content is posted, please follow these steps. 
Note: Facebook and Twitter allow you to attach up to 4 images in one post. 

πŸ’‘ You don't have to add text Variations in order to have a multi-image post. 

1. After creating your post inside the Post Editor and adding your text Variations, select 'Multi-image post'

2. Scroll down and click the camera icon to 'Add Media' 

3. Select up to 4 images

4. You'll see the post preview updated on the right side of your screen. 

Here you can tab through your Variations to see each preview

Note: The layout and crop of the images may look slightly different when published.

5. To reorder your media variations, drag and drop your media into the desired position  

The changes in the preview pane on the right reflect the new order of the images. This is an estimate of how the multi-image post may appear.

Note: Social platforms tend to feature the first image and the style of the grid cannot be adjusted.  

Varying The Text And Media Each Evergreen Cycle

Vary the text and media each Evergreen cycle for more unique posts. 

Only one image/video will be shown per post, but a different image/video will be shown on each cycle. For example, your first image will be used for the first Variation post. SmarterQueue will then work its way through the other images in order (image 2 for cycle 2, image 3 for cycle 3 etc.)

After the last image Variation has been posted, it will go back to the first image variation, and cycle through them all again until the post expires or is removed from your Queue. 

Note: You can add multiple images/GIFs, or multiple videos, but you cannot mix images or GIFs with videos. You can, however, mix images with GIFs.

Please follow these steps to vary the media: 

1. After creating your post inside the Post Editor and adding your text Variations, select 'Vary media'

2. Scroll down and click the camera icon to 'Add Media' and select as many images as you'd like

3. Use the preview pane on the right to flip through all the different Variations 

A different image/video will be paired with a different text caption each cycle!

4. To reorder your media variations, drag and drop your media into the desired position  

Note: The changes in the preview pane on the right reflect the new order of the images.

When adding a link to your post, the same link will be used across all Variations. Think of the link as a core part of the post.

The purpose of using Variations with links is to test different captions/images when sharing the same link.

Once you've added your link, it will be shown as the placeholder:  [[link]]

Please do not attempt to change the link between Variations, or add different links to each text Variation.

It's easiest to add your link before adding any text Variations. This is because when you click 'Add text Variation' the link will automatically be copied to each new text Variation.

Note: For Twitter posts, you should ensure that the placeholder word [[link]] is present in every text Variation. Otherwise, the Tweet will be published without a link.

If you use Bitly for click-tracking, a unique bitlink will be used in each cycle, so that you can tell exactly how many clicks each Variation got.

πŸ’‘ If you forget to add the link (URL) before you create text Variations,  copy the placeholder '[[link]]' into any Variations without the link. Do not copy and paste your original link (URL).

πŸ’‘ If you'd like to test different links, you should create a separate post for each link.

How To Remove A Link

Once a link has been "attached" to a post, it's not sufficient to remove the link from the Post Text - the link will still be attached to the post. Instead, use the 'Remove' button to completely detach the link from the post:

1. Click on 'Link Settings' inside the Post Editor on the right-hand pane 

2. Under 'Original Link' click the red 'Remove' button

This will remove the link from the post, which will apply to each Variation

3. You can then add a new link if desired!

How To Use Custom Variations For Each Social Profile

While Variations are most useful for Twitter posts (to prevent duplicate posts from being published as retweets), you can use Variations on any social media platform!

Tailor your content to each social media platform by customising the text and number of Variations you create for each post! 

1. After adding your text variations to a new post inside the Post Editor, select more Profiles using the icons above 

2. Click on the tabs for each Social Profile to edit the text for each individual platform

3. View your Variations by platform inside the right preview pane 

How Many Different Posts Will I End Up With?

The number of unique posts that you end up with depends on: 

  • How many text Variations you have
  • How many media Variations you have.
  • Whether you have selected 'Multi-image post' or 'Vary media’
  • Whether the number of text and media captions matches up

As a rule of thumb, if the number of text and media Variations line up (3 captions x 3 images), you'll get fewer unique posts than if they don't line up (e.g. 3 captions with 4 images).

Here's how many Variations you'll get when you add different numbers of text and media (image, video, GIF) Variations to your post...

  • 1 media with multiple text Variations = The same image will be used for each cycle, but a different caption will be used for each cycle.
  • Multiple media Variations with 1 text Variation = The same caption will be used for each cycle, but a different image/video will be used for each cycle.
  • 3 media Variations with 3 text Variations =  Creates 3 unique posts, this is because they will cycle at the same rate, so the text and media will always be in sync. The first text will always be shared with the first media, the second text with the second media, and the third text with the third media.
  • 4 media Variations with 3 text Variations (or vice versa) = Creates 12 unique posts, this is because the text and media cycles are out of sync.
πŸ’‘ Tip: If you want a specific media with a specific caption, make sure you have the same number of media Variations as Text Variations. (You can add the same media more than once, to be used in multiple media Variations!)
πŸ’‘ Tip: If you want to maximise the number of unique (non-duplicate) posts, create a mis-matched number of text and media Variations.

To maximise the number of variations in a post, here are the basic calculations!

We recommend 5 x 6 as getting the most benefit! πŸ‡πŸ½

  • By creating 11 different pieces of content (5  text + 6 media, or 6  text + 5 media), you end up with 30 unique posts!

How Can I Tell When I'm About To Run Out Of Variations?

Let's say you create 10 variations of your Evergreen post. The next Variation from your 10 available Variations will be posted each time the Queue completes a cycle, and the post comes back to the top of the Queue.

When the Queue reaches the last Variation for a post, the Variation label will be shown in orange. You can look for this orange label in your Queue List view to easily find posts that you may wish to retire.

A better option is to set the Evergreen expiry options, so that the post will automatically expire after the last Variation has been published. If you have already created your Variations, simply click on the option to Expire the post after it is published a set number of times. We will automatically fill the value to match the number of Variations you have, so that each Variation will only be published once.

If you've set a post to expire after a set number of cycles, the hourglass icon indicates that the post has expiry options set. On the last cycle we'll show the Evergreen label in orange, to indicate that the post will be expired after this cycle.

If you don't set any Evergreen expiry options, the 1st Variation will be published again after the 10th Variation. 

Note: For Twitter, this will result in a duplicate Tweet, so it will not be published as fresh content.

How To See Analytics For Each Variation

Want to discover how your Variations performed? Follow these simple steps...

1. Navigate to 'Queue' in the top navigation bar

2. Find the post (by using search or scrolling in list view)

3. Click on the three dots (top right of the post, see the green arrows below)

4. Click on 'View Stats per Cycle'

6. You'll see the Variations Analytics displayed (similar to below)

Now you can easily see how to best engage your audience!

Common Questions

Which SmarterQueue Plans include Variations? 

All SmarterQueue Plans have access to the Variations Feature! πŸ˜†

Do Variations count towards my Plan limits?
No, they don't! You can create as many text or media Variations for a post as you like, and it will still only count as one post per platform.
This is because there's only ever one copy of the post in your Queue at a time. The post gets recycled back into your Queue only after it has been posted. Though the post will then use a different Variation in the next cycle, it still counts as just one post.
When will my Variations be posted? 
Your Variations will be recycled as Evergreen content according to your Posting Plan. 
So, your first Variation will be posted at the first available Timeslot for the Category you select. Your next Variation will be posted at the second available Time Slot for the same Category, so on and so forth.  
Note: Since Variations are posted as Evergreen content, you will not see all of your Variations in your Queue at the same time. Rather, once your Variation #1 posts, only then will you see your Variation #2 added to the bottom of your Queue. 

How many Variations can I add?

You can add as many text and media Variations as you like! See below for more details about adding media Variations.

Can I Import Variations? 

Currently, Variations would appear as new posts if you're importing from RSS. You would still need to use the Post Editor to create those variations with a  single post. 

How can I reorder Variations?

We've written a thorough article on how to reorder variations here!

How can I make sure specific images are paired with specific text variations so they are synced?

You can learn more about how to ensure specific text options are paired with images in our useful article here:

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