Sure, people looking at your social posts is great. But you want your audience to do more than just look. You want them to do something. These tips can help inspire action.
When you want to encourage your audience to do something specific after reading your social media posts, you need a call-to-action. Without one of these prompts, your social media posts might miss out on a major opportunity.
Find out why these short statements are so critical, and get tips for writing effective calls-to-action designed move your audience.
What Is a Social Call-to-Action?
Social calls-to-action—or CTAs for short—are brief prompts that encourage followers to complete a certain achievement. For example, you can write calls-to-action that invite your audience to learn more about a topic, buy an item, or subscribe to your brand’s newsletter.
Although there’s no one way social CTAs have to look, most include just one or two sentences. They typically appear at the end of the post, where they can inspire your audience to take the next step after reading.
Calls-to-action drive your followers to act and give your social media content a purpose, but they can also do much more.
By motivating your audience to act, social CTAs can transform casual fans into active followers. When you use the right calls-to-action, you can boost your conversion rates and increase your return on investment (ROI). That means social CTAs can be essential for helping your brand reach its social media goals efficiently.
10 Tips for Writing Effective Social CTAs
Whether you’re new to writing calls-to-action or you need to spruce up your brand’s tired old CTAs, follow these 10 tips to make your prompts more effective.
Know your end goal
For social media managers, every post serves a purpose.
So, before writing a post for any platform, make note of the social media goal that you want to accomplish.
You might want to:
- Introduce your brand to a wider audience
- Drive more sales of your newest product
- Invite followers to watch your company’s latest video.
Use those objectives to shape your social CTAs. Edible cookie dough brand Edoughble knocks it out of the park with “Take a bite out of National Cookie Day” to increase brand awareness on a foodie holiday.
What to write: To drive sales, consider “Buy now” or “Shop here,” and use “Press play” to encourage followers to consume more content.
Include action words
Passive verbs are fine when you’re describing a product or sharing general information with your audience. But when you write social CTAs, always prioritize active verbs over passive verbs.
The passive voice comes across as casual suggestions, but active verbs like “buy,” “shop,” and “learn” are much more effective for urging your audience to act.
For example, this post from fast food brand Wendy’s starts with urgent statements and pushes followers to act with “Get your $2 hookup.”
What to write: To switch your statements from passive to active, use “Shop our sale now!” rather than “The sale is now live on our website!” When you want your audience to consume content, write “Watch the video now!” instead of “There are more tips in this video!”
Consider your offer
Every time you write a call-to-action, you provide your audience with something in exchange for performing an action.
Before publishing your next post, take a moment to think about what you’re offering and how you’re presenting it. Is the offer compelling enough for your audience to act?
If it’s lacking, think about how you can make it more attractive by providing more context, better motivation, or improved content.
For example, cookie brand Goodie Girl states an irresistible offer in the call-to-action, “Comment if you want a BOGO coupon!”
What to Write: A CTA like “Want our secret hacks for getting more done? Press play to get five tips for improving productivity!” starts with a hook and provides essential context so readers know exactly what they’ll get when they watch.
Whether your brand has a small audience on social media or over a million followers, there’s a 100% chance that your followers are busy people. That means they don’t have time to waste on pondering your offer.
Instead of leaving your offer open-ended, imply urgency or provide a deadline to encourage your followers to act. For example, vegan food brand Daiya launches right into its Black Friday offer by stating when it ends: “Enjoy 30% off from now until midnight Monday.”
What to write: To imply urgency, write “Use this 50% off coupon before we run out” or state a deadline like “Get this deal before it expires at midnight tonight.”
Make the call-to-action clear and concise
If you have a love for language or a way with words, it’s tempting to try to make your social media posts sound as clever as possible. But for your CTA, keep it as clear and concise as possible. After all, that you can’t expect your audience to read through a lengthy description or tons of context just to find a simple prompt.
Vegan food brand Earth Balance keeps it simple with “Tag us for a chance to be featured here!” to invite user-generated content submissions.
What to write: Get right to the point with short and sweet statements like “Read more in our new blog post” or “Get your coupon here.”
When your followers scroll through their newsfeeds, they’re likely to miss out on some of your best offers.
Fortunately, you can make them stand out with minimal effort.
Rather than including your call-to-action at the end of a long string of text, leave white space before stating your CTA. This tactic can give more attention to your CTAs, which can help you improve conversion rates. For example, vegetarian brand Amy’s Kitchen separates its CTA, “Get our candy on Amazon,” for maximum impact.
What to write: Keep the context and details in the main part of the post, and include a single-sentence CTA like “Shop here” after the white space.
Order multiple calls-to-action
When you have something really exciting to share with your followers, you might need to include two or three calls-to-action in a single post.
To make your prompts as effective as possible, order your CTAs in terms of importance, leaving the most critical and compelling CTA for last.
For example, plant-based meat brand Beyond Meat encourages followers to “Grab the shopping cart” and then ends the post with “Learn more here” and a link to locate the product at select stores.
What to write: To make the most of multiple CTAs, use white space to separate the final call-to-action. Think about adding an emoji or two to draw even more attention to the most important CTA.
When you really want to make your social calls-to-action stand out, get visual.
Add text to your brand’s images to make your CTA clear. For example, ice cream brand NadaMoo makes it clear that followers can “Buy a 5 pack and get 2 extra pints for free!” in the image and caption of this Instagram post.
What to write: Rather than copying and pasting the same CTA in both spots, mix it up. Use the image and the caption to reiterate your offer and urge your audience to act in two different ways.
Customize prompts for each platform
As a social media manager, you already know that different kinds of posts perform better on various platforms. So why use the same call-to-action on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram?
Instead of repeating your CTAs across all posts, customize them for each platform to get better results.
What to write: To invite followers to take advantage of Instagram Shopping, write “Add to my shopping bag.” When posting about the same sale on Twitter, use “Shop our online store!” followed by a link to your brand’s website.
Optimize your calls-to-action
Not every call-to-action will resonate with your social media followers. Rather than using the same CTAs repeatedly, optimize by experimenting with new versions of successful social CTAs.
For example, you can increase the urgency or experiment with different action words. You can also test out longer and shorter CTAs or design clearer graphics to accompany your posts. Then review your social media reports to make sure you’re getting the best possible results for your brand.
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