CALL TO ACTION
So what do you do when you can’t seem to get the results you want for products you’ve spent a lot of time and money developing and promoting. Upon many tools and strategies you may already have in use, you want to employ (CTA) Call To Action Techniques. Now we all know what (CTA) is we just may not be aware of how much it influences our decisions.
In the digital age, applying (CTA) techniques to your social media marketing is vital. Without creating and implementing call to action techniques, what you have is possibly a tribe audience over just unknown and uninvolved fans, (which a tribe audience is always better) but if you’re not using CTA techniques then most likely your product and message is not being followed through. Without using CTA, what you have is an audience that doesn’t know what to do with the message or product being sold to them.
Below is a step by step guide on how to prepare and how to implement (CTA) Call To Action Techniques into your social media marketing plan.
Call To Action (CTA) – is an instruction to the audience to provoke an immediate response, usually using an imperative verb such as “call now”, “find out more” or “visit a store today”.
A CTA can be a simple non-demanding request like “choose a color” or “watch this video”, or a much more demanding request. An obvious CTA would be requesting the audience to purchase a product or provide personal details and contact information
1. First, It’s All Mental
Conversion consultant, Jeremy Smith, writing for Kissmetrics, says the modern web audience is accustomed to the call to action.
“This doesn’t mean they are going to convert,” he says. “It simply means their minds are prepared for the experience of being called to act. They know it’s coming. Their minds have already decided that there will be a CTA.”
But, when you’re creating calls to action on social, it’s important to keep Smith’s point at front of mind. Don’t bury your call to action because you feel guilty about prodding your audience with it. They expect it, so give them what they want.
2. Want Action? Ask for It.
Next, always remember you are asking for an action. As much as you might want to share information with your readers, that’s not the purpose of a call to action.
You may’ve noticed I keep mentioning the word, “action”. That’s intentional. Calls to action are called that for a reason.
For them to really work, the team from socialmediaweek.org says you need to build them with action words: Download my eBook. Click here to join my team. Contact me here with your questions. Secure your spot in my course here.
In addition to action, Zack Fagan from Sailthru.com says you also want to create urgency. “Don’t miss out! Secure your spot in my course here,” sounds more compelling than, “Secure your spot in my course here.”
“Anything that makes your users think that there is a limited amount of time to complete the action will make the CTA more effective,” says Fagan.
Alex Beadon creates this sense of urgency perfectly with her calls to action on Instagram. Notice how the phrase “Last Day” is in a different style font? The copy also alerts visitors that they will receive early bird pricing (the benefit) if they sign up quickly (urgency). This technique can motivate the doubters to pull the trigger.
3. Images are Crucial
Mike Parkinson from Billion Dollar Graphics suggests that we humans process images and numbers close to 60,000 times faster than we process words.
What does this mean for calls to action on social media? If you aren’t grabbing people’s attention with impactful graphics, you aren’t grabbing people’s attention.
Jenna Arak knows the importance of embedding attention-grabbing graphics into social media calls to action. Her Twitter cover is composed brilliantly, with the photo of her hard at work on the left, her logo in the center, and a simple but eye-catching call to action on the right side.
4. Make the Benefit Clear
What do people get for doing what you ask them to do with your call to action? If you don’t make the benefit clear to them, or the benefit isn’t worth their click, why would they bother?
In a similar vein, Melyssa Griffin at The Nectar Collective creates her call to action with a question. The benefit to the viewer is again quite clear, both from the question (earning $1,000 in 60 days) and additional image text (free webinars). The description accompanying the picture explains to the reader what the purpose of the webinars is, as well as how to sign up for them. This call to action in the image will convert viewers into wanting to sign up.
5. Test, Test, Test
Tim Ash, writing for ClickZ.com, highlighted how important it is to test your calls to action after he profiled the AB testing done by some designers working at Unbounce.
The designers decided to change the text in this call to action from second person (“Start YOUR free trial”) to first person (“Start MY free trial”), to see if that would increase conversions. Surprisingly, they saw a conversion increase of 90%.
In an article for the Optimizely blog, Anne Murphy (Senior Managing Editor atKapost) reported that 66% of the highest performing calls to action on their site included the word “get” and 60% included the word “your”.
“Given this information, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that “Get your” was our most effective word combination,” she said.
Creating Calls to Action That Convert on Social: Examples and Best Practices to Follow
1. Use the Main Image Header
Peg Fitzpatrick employs this technique to promote her book, The Art of Social Media, on her own Facebook page.
She includes the title of the book on one side of the image, with an arrow pointing directly to the “Shop Now” button, then invites visitors to “Click here for more info”, both of which have a clear and direct purpose.
2. Emphasize with Design
Louise Myers uses the design of her Facebook cover photo to draw visitors’ attention to her call to action.
She emphasizes the word “Free Report” by positioning it in a styled banner, which tells visitors they are getting a special deal. Myers also has an arrow pointing to the sign up button, which is accompanied by the phrase, “Get it here”.
Myers skillfully uses the design and layout of her cover to clearly identify the benefit to her visitors (free report) and what action she wants them to take, which can easily be replicated on your own social page.
3. Be Impactful With Design
ShortStack, a software program company, was looking to generate likes on their Facebook page. The use of two simple words, a combination of eye-catching colors, and an image literally pointing to the “Like” button, was all it took to create an impactful cover photo call to action. And given their Facebook page has over 75,000 likes, it’s probably a technique worth paying close attention to.
4. Use Calls to Action Within Posts to Spark Conversation
Using your Facebook cover photo is one method to get visitors to take action, another is to use posts that create buzz.
Food delivery service, Munchery, created this Facebook post in an effort to get people commenting on their dinner plans, but it’s coupled with a friendly call to action.
5. Go Full Graphic for Instagram
Instagram is tailor-made for image-based calls to action and Allyn Lewis makes the most of it for her PR company, which focuses on blogging, social media, and press outreach.
What we can learn from Lewis’ approach is the need to go graphic with Instagram-based calls to action. This example uses contrasting colors for the text, which creates visual interest, and uses arrow images to show you where to join.
6. Use a Question
Melyssa Griffin nails the call to action again with her post on joining her #Blog Full Time program. As mentioned previously, using a question draws readers in, since they will see it and want to respond. Her question is followed with the call to action: Read This. Melyssa then details the program and how to sign up in her photo description. The entire process begins with her compelling call to action that commands viewers to read and learn.
7. Employ Layout Techniques for Visual Guides
The layout of this call to action by graphic designer, Emily Cummings, guides the viewer down, dripping important pieces of information as it goes. The trigger of the call to action is made most prominent, thanks to the largest text in the image, and the rest is positioned skillfully to draw visitors in.
8. Make Prominent the Word, “Free”
Everyone loves to see the word “free” when they find something that looks amazing, don’t they? The call to action in the cover of the Marketing Solved Twitter page seems to think so.
Their call to action (“Join our free community”) stands out front and center and sits above the company website urging visitors viewers to join them.
9. Build Exclusivity
Like urgency, exclusivity can act as a psychological driver to get people to act. Caitlin Bacher deploys this method in her Twitter header. She introduces her “private community”, and outlines the benefit people will get from joining (“profitable social media strategies”). Her use of bright colors and contrasting black text also contribute to its success.
10. Be Concise
Christine Schwall knows how to create bold, concise calls to action. Using just seven words, displayed prominently, her call to action is big impact.
11. Show Your Personality
The sassy text used in the call to action on Miranda Merten’s Twitter cover — “I love followers, and I know you want to” — tells the world exactly who she is, which can bring down the invisible barrier that often stands between the public and a social media marketer.
The contrasting colors of the text and images also make them aesthetically powerful, and this call to action definitely serves its purpose of getting followers to join Merten on Twitter.
Social media calls to action are important and they aren’t always easy to create. But by using the five tips from the beginning and gathering inspiration from the case studies we’ve included throughout, you should now be able to create calls to action that actually convert on your social media platforms.