July 22, 2016

Every Post of Yours Should Have an Effective Call To Action

Do your tweets go unnoticed? Do your social profiles look lonely?  Does no one comment on your posts?

Maybe it’s because you didn’t ask. It could be that simple.

Businesses that are new to social media often forget this simple practice, or don’t think it applies to social media. Just as in email marketing, when you “ask for the sale”, you learn what works and gets people to take action.

Calls to action are important for two critical reasons. An effective call to action:

  • Makes it possible to measure your social media effectiveness – followers, comments, likes, retweets, and link clicks
  • Drives people to move to the next phase of your sales funnel – sharing, signing up, buying, etc.

In traditional direct marketing and web site design, the call to action is considered a best practice.  “Try it FREE”, “Sign up NOW”, “Donate NOW” and similar copy is effective and proven to drive prospects to act.

You may be thinking, “For our business, we’re developing relationships on social media, not sales. We worry that we could drive prospects away with annoyingly assertive calls to action.”

Step back and reflect about how you relate to your customers in person. You try to engage them in a conversation that will lead to loyalty and business. You actually use soft calls to action all the time to move that conversation along:

“What do you think of this new service?”

“Are you interested in our training class next week?”

“We only have one left, shall I save it for you?”

By doing this you’re using classic sales techniques like asking open-ended questions, creating urgency, implying scarcity, offering value, and then asking for a response. Use these same techniques in every post to get your readers to engage with you.

“Please retweet”

“Share with your friends and spread the news before we run out.”

“What do you think of this new trend? Share your comments.”

Here are a few tips for writing posts with calls to action:

  • What is your goal? Ask yourself as you write, “What do I want my reader to do?”
  • Who are you writing for? It helps to imagine real people or “personas” so you write targeted messages that your readers will find interesting and respond to.
  • Make sure your call to action is explicit. If you tell a great joke that you want your followers to enjoy and share, don’t just assume they’ll take that next step and share it.
  • Watch your metrics and learn what works, and what doesn’t.

Here’s an excellent article about optimizing your calls-to-action by Heidi Cohen, a social marketing expert.

Without a call to action that prompts your readers to respond or share, you’re letting them off the hook, and leaving yourself in the dark.  Try asking them, nicely.

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About the Author
Sam Social

Sam loves helping our users get the most out of Rignite and their social media. She blogs about ways to use Rignite to maximize your results from social media.