📹 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!

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

In This Article

Video Walkthrough

What Are Variations?

When creating your posts in the Post Editor, SmarterQueue allows you to provide alternative text captions and/or media. This way, you will end up with multiple different Variations to be used each time your Evergreen post is recycled. 

This can be helpful to:

  • Keep your Evergreen content fresh, by posting varied content while still recycling your best work for your ever-growing audience to see. 
  • Prevent duplication of posts and reusing the exact same content too many times. 
  • A/B test different text and media to see what your audience is reacting to and how you should tailor your content moving forward. 

Where Can I Add Variations To My Posts?

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

1. Navigate to 'Create a Post' in the top menu of your SmarterQueue account to open the Post Editor.

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

3. You will now be able to add Variations to your post, for your text captions, media, or both.

How To Add Text Variations

Once you're in the Post Editor and have selected the Category and Social Profile(s), you can start adding multiple text options.

1. Click 'Add Text Variation'.

2. A second 'Text Box' will come up and 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!

3. You can repeat step 2 until you have added all of the text Variations you want. 

Note: Each caption is labeled 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. As the post is recycled, the following Variations will be used. 

4. To change the posting order of your text Variations, use the cross-arrows icon to drag and drop each Variation into the desired position.

Note: You can use the arrows in the Preview pane to cycle through the Variations and see what the final posts will look like. They will be displayed and published in the order you settled on.

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

6. You can also add media to your posts. 📷 Don't worry, whether you add video, an image, or more, only the text captions will change from one Variation to another. 

As the 'Multi-image post' option is selected under 'Media Options', text Variations will cycle with every time the post is recycled, while the 3 images added will be used for all posts. 

Note: You can use the arrows in the Preview pane to cycle through the Variations and see what the final posts will look like. They will be displayed and published in the order shown.

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

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

How To Add Media Variations

Once you're in the Post Editor and have selected the Category and Social Profile(s), and added your Text Caption (if the post requires one), you can start adding multiple options.

1. Click 'Vary Media'.

2. Add your media Variations to your post. 

Note: Each image is labeled with the order in which it will be published: 'Image 1,' 'Image 2', etc. The green text label shows which image (in this case 'Image 1') will be used the next time the post is published. As the post is recycled, the following Variations will be used. 

3. To  change the posting order of your Media Variations, simply drag and drop each one into the desired position.

Note: You can use the arrows in the Preview pane to cycle through the Variations and see what the final posts will look like. They will be displayed and published in the order you settled on.

4. To  delete a Variation, click the 'X' icon that appears in the upper-right corner of the image.

How To Combine Text And Media Variations For The Same Post

Vary both your text captions and media each Evergreen cycle, for more unique posts, more fresh content and to keep your Queue going even longer. 

Only one image/video and one text caption will be shown on each cycle. 

Once you're in the Post Editor and have selected the Category and Social Profile(s), you can start adding multiple text options.

1. Use the 'Add Text Variation' button to add all the caption Variations you want. 

2. Scroll down and click the camera icon to 'Add Media' and select all the media Variations you want.

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

4. Both text and media Variations can be rearranged or deleted, and the preview pane will reflect the new order and available options. 

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.

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 the number of text and media captions matches up.

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 text caption with multiple media Variations The  number of final post Variations will be determined by the number of media Variations. 
The same caption will be used for each cycle, along with a different image from the provided Variations. 

1 media component with multiple text Variations The  number of final post Variations will be determined by the number of text Variations
The same image will be used for each cycle, along with a different caption from the provided Variations.  

3 text Variations with 3 media Variations You will end up with  3 unique posts.  
This is because the number of media and text Variations matches up, so it will be used 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.

3 text Variations with 4 media Variations (or vice versa) You will end up with  12 unique posts.  
This is because the number of media and text Variations doesn't match up, so the cycles will be out of sync.  
Each media Variation will be used with each text variation. 

As a rule of thumb, if the numbers 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).

Please read further How To Successfully Pair Images And Captions Using Variations.

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.

💡 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).

💡 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 customizing 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 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! 😆

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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