Social Media Call-to-Action: 7 Tactics To Improve Your Results

3 Social Media Call-to-Action Pitfalls To Avoid

A social media call-to-action is an image or text that grabs your readers’ attention at a trigger point on a social media platform and focuses it on the next step you want the participant to take.

It enables you to associate your social media marketing with measurable business results by leading prospects through your conversion process. The inclusion of a tailored, contextually relevant call-to-action is often the key difference in being able to attribute social media activity with achieving business objectives.

In addition to creating a sense of urgency that pushes participants to respond, the benefit of using social media calls-to-action is that your content gets the added boost of being endorsed by family, friends, colleagues and other social media contacts. (Here’s Wildfire’s research regarding Facebook shares.) This results in more earned media impressions you receive as a result of being shared by your readers who trust and support you.

3 Pitfalls to avoid with social media calls-to-action

To ensure your social media calls-to-action yield the optimal results, it’s critical to avoid these three potential pitfalls. Otherwise, prospects will abandon your process without ever entering your sales or lead generation pipeline.

  1. You don’t let prospects know “What’s in it for me?” (aka WIIFM) Understand that participants view your request for them to share their attention, personal information and credit card data with you as an exchange. You must be clear about what they will receive in return. Further, expect that only a very small proportion of those who accept your offer will ever purchase.
  2. You don’t take people who click-through your call-to-action to the appropriate page. This requires checking that every call-to-action leads to a suitable landing page that makes sense to the participant. Further, the link must work and the page must render quickly.
  3. You don’t ensure your social media call-to-action and related landing page are aligned. This means using consistent language, branding and other content to present a seamless user experience.

7 Tactics To Improve Your Social Media Call-to-Action Results

As with any conversion activity, improving your social media calls-to-action is an iterative process based on your experience. Here are seven tactics to enhance your social media results with more effective calls-to-action.

1. Consider the type of offer to make your prospects. Are you asking them to make a low commitment such as sharing a few pieces of information or a high commitment by including their credit card details? This can have a big impact on your results. Your offer must be aligned with your audience’s expectations.

2. Assess the type and amount traffic on various locations where you’re placing calls-to-action. The goal is to maximize different types of traffic versus various offers. Readership on your homepage is larger but may be less qualified than those people who are searching deeper within your website or blog content. Don’t forget to include your product and About pages.

3. Make readers an offer they can’t refuse. Remember you must reduce the risk for your target audience in order to get them to act. Give participants a reason to register to receive your promotion or ebook. On social media, they’re more likely to share or vote than they are to comment.

4. Show them proof. Don’t expect participants to just take your word for it. Consumers often need to see what their family, friends and public think.

  • Explain the benefits of your offering in plain English, not corporate gibberish.
  • Display customer testimonials since customers trust other customers.

5. Give them a bonus. Prioritize calls to action. Use calls-to-action sequentially. Once a reader has taken an action, get them to take the next step in the process by making them a higher level offer.

6. Test your social media calls-to-action to maximize results. Don’t assume that your call-to-action is yielding the best results it can without performing tests to see how your target audience reacts, not just what they say they’ll do. Among the call-to-action elements to test are (Check out Smashing Magazine’s array of examples. Also, Which Test Won focuses on an array of different tests including calls-to-action.)

  • Text including the buttons as well as surrounding information.
  • Color of the text and the background as well as white space to make the call-to-action stand out.
  • Typeface used in the call-to-action’s text.
  • Graphics including photographs and other images.
  • Size relative to the rest of the content.
  • Placement meaning where the call-to-action appears on the page.

7. Measure the effectiveness of your social media calls-to-action. Social media calls-to-action are easy to evaluate. Use the following metrics to monitor your results and to adjust and test your social media calls-to-action.

  • Impressions (#). This is the total number of people exposed to your call-to-action.
  • Click-throughs (#). This is the number of people who clicked through on your call-to-action.
  • Click-through rate (%). This is the percentage of people who checked out your offer. Specifically, it’s the number of people who clicked-through divided by the number of people who saw it, times 100.
  • Completions (#). This is the number of people who completed your form and submitted it. It can also be referred to as Actions or Submissions.
  • Completion rate (%). This is the percentage of people who finished filling out your form divided by the number of people who clicked-through, times 100.

Social media calls-to-action lead participants to take the next step in your sales process. To improve your results, you must continually test and track which elements resonate best with your target audience.

What has your experience been using social media calls-to-action?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo Credit: via  Luke McKernan


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5 Responses to Social Media Call-to-Action: 7 Tactics To Improve Your Results

  1. Bill Nadraszky says:

    Amazing bunch of tips here. I can see why my CTA sucks on social

  2. Lead generation on social media should be done very carefully. There are some examples where direct selling can work e.g. Dell Outlet’s Twitter profile but in most cases, you need to first add value and build relationships before you can generate sales or leads.

  3. @twitter-15781092:disqus, thanks for this great article. I’ve seen way too often blogs and websites in general that are using these calls-to-action improperly. Usually, it just doesn’t take you where it should (or where do you expect it should) and also they are often making unappealing offers, which doesn’t drive much traffic – they are just trying to use calls-to-action for the sake of having a call-to-action on their website and hoping it will bring results. It’s really much more complicated than that and you have to give it a fair amount of thought. Thus, thank you very much for this article – I hope it will help many people with their CTAs.

  4. What tips do you have for simple calls to action… Action such as LIKE this or Comment if you… ? I’ve tried this a few times for my blogz fanpage with not much success.

    • HeidiCohen says:

      Dwayne–With social media calls-to-action, you need to be more specific and show participants what’s in it for them (aka WIIFM). On this blog, I use questions to engage readers and draw them into the conversation rather than just say “Please comment” Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen