13 Point Checklist to Optimize Social Media Call-To-Action

Why Social Media Requires A Call-To-Action [HINT: Proves Results!]

Act NowTo break through and efficiently maximize response on social media platforms, a contextually relevant, optimized call-to-action is needed. At its core, a social media call-to-action is a hook to entice prospects and reel them in to take the next step in your process.

3 Reasons You Need A Social Media Call-To-Action 

A Social media call-to-action is an integral and often overlooked element of an effective social media strategy. Social media gets prospects, customers and the public primed to want to find out more about your offering or to engage with you further but you must lead them to the next step in your sales or other conversion process. Here are three reasons to use a social media call-to-action.

  1. A Social media call-to-action ties social media activity to your business or marketing objectives. Generally, this refers to your social media goals such as building your brand, expanding your reach and generating sales leads. (Here are seven social media goals.)
  2. A Social media call-to-action drives participants into your conversion process. Consider what’s needed to move participants to the next phase of your sales funnel. Ensure that you have processes and systems in place to meet their needs.
  3. A Social media call-to-action enables you to measure social media effectiveness. This is crucial to prove that social media supports your business goals because social media tends to be most effective early in the purchase cycle and difficult to track. (Here’s how ten experts define the best social media metric.)

13 Point Checklist to Optimize Social Media Calls-To-Action

To maximize social media’s effectiveness, use a call-to-action to encourage participants to take the next step in your process, whether it’s signing up for an emailing, sharing your content or purchasing. Here are thirteen tips to optimize your social media calls-to-action.

  1. Make your request clear and unambiguous. If participants are confused about your offer or what you want them to do, they’ll put your offer aside to think about it when they have time. For many marketers, this is the virtual equivalent of the circular file.
  2. Show your offer’s value. Participants always think “What’s in it for me?” and you must make them an offer they can’t pass up.
  3. Create a sense of urgency. You must provide potential buyers with a reason to act now because once they leave your social media venue, they may not return.
  4. Customize your call-to-action to be contextually relevant. Don’t just say “Buy Now” or “Click Here”. Let your audience know what they’re going to get. Be specific in the context of your offer.
  5. Remove the risk for participants. Reduce participants’ anxiety with a money back guarantee or equivalent offer for non-purchases.
  6. Include social proof. Show that other people have taken advantage of this offer.
  7. Keep your call-to-action visible continuously. If readers need to scroll down on your content or landing page, you’ve reduced the chance that they’ll respond to your offer. Remember out-of-sight is out-of-mind. Place another call-to-action at the end of your content.
  8. Use color to make your offer stand out. Employ a bright or contrasting color to draw attention to your call-to-action.
  9. Utilize graphics including photographs to catch participants’ interest. Attract attention with visual elements that pop from the rest of your content. Photographs, especially of people, are useful. (Here’s an explanation of why images are eye candy.)
  10. Incorporate visual cues. Integrate arrows and other symbols to draw attention to your call-to-action. This can be done subtly.
  11. Place your call-to-action content spatially to convey your message. Don’t crowd the text of your social media call-to-action since it can get lost. Make effective use of white space.
  12. Prioritize your calls-to-action. Given the choice, you should limit your use to a single social media call-to-action. There are times when it’s necessary to add more than one (of course, more than two is discouraged.) If you use more than one social media call-to-action, then make sure that readers can tell which one is the important one through the use of size, color and type.
  13. Continue your social media “scent” onto your landing pages. This means continue the wording from your social media outpost. The Eisenberg brothers refer to this as scent. Make it easy for visitors to see the connection between your initial content and the landing page.

The bottom line is that a social media call-to-action provides the connection that enables you to track social media results. Used effectively, a social media call-to-action can help improve your social media effectiveness to achieve your goals.

What else would you add to this list of social media calls-to-action and why?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/planetfish/4188385467/

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