Having a ‘call to action’ is a popular marketing term, but what does it mean and how can you use it for your business on social media? In today’s article, we’re going to be tackling just that, so keep on reading for all the info and plenty of examples to get you started.
What is a call to action?
A call to action on social media is used when a business crafts copy that inspires an audience to do something i.e. take action. This usually comes at the end of a post. A call to action could include asking the audience to like, comment, follow, save or share a piece of content. It could also direct the audience to click a link, visit a website, send a direct message, book or buy now, email, telephone or WhatsApp your company. A call to action is anything that advises the viewer to take action immediately.
Call To Action Examples
Link in bio
A classic call to action we see regularly, particularly on Instagram but also on TikTok, is ‘link in bio’ which encourages the viewer to click on a link which is in some way related to the post or brand you are consuming. On TikTok, @smoothiest encourages viewers to click the link in bio to purchase products.
Direct to website
Another popular CTA, particularly on social media platforms Twitter, Facebook and Instagram stories, is adding a website link to your content and encouraging clicks on that link. This works well if you are promoting a product, a blog post, a recipe, a tutorial, an event etc. which is located elsewhere online. Check it out in action from music educator @realandyguitar on Instagram, using a link sticker on a stories post.
Promote a deal
Coupling a call to action with an offer, discount or incentive is especially enticing, which makes this strategy a formidable pairing. Here is this kind of CTA in action on Facebook from @Nintendo as part of its Black Friday promotional deals.
Ask or imply a question
Asking or implying a question and promising the answer as a result of people taking action, is like leaving a trail of crumbs with the promise of cake at the end. The tease of an unanswered question, or omitted information, can encourage people to take action in pursuit of the answer. It’s a good technique, but only if you deliver on it. No-one wants to be like the boy who cried wolf… we all know how that story ended.
We can see this kind of technique played out a few times on Twitter by the music blog and record store company @BrooklynVegan. While these examples don't ask a question outright, they do get the reader to need answers. You can almost hear the viewer saying, “What songs? Which shows?” There is a need for answers which clicking on the link resolves.
Writing your call to action
When it comes to adopting calls to action into your marketing strategy, there are a few things to consider:
- What do you want your audience to do?
Decide on an action you wish your audience to take. This will differ depending on the particular post, social media platform, your business goals, your business set up and your specific audience. It’s generally advisable to stick to one call to action per post. Too many options can weaken your focus and may result in fewer people taking action overall.
- Why do you want your audience to take that action?
Are you wanting website clicks to encourage online sales? Perhaps you want likes and comments to help boost your engagement and reach online. Knowing exactly why you want your audience to take action will shape the action itself and help you craft focused copy.
- What difference will it make to your business?
It can be so easy to chase vanity metrics online, but numbers only really help your business if they are tipping something in your favour. Will your call to action help you get closer to your business goals? If not, maybe there’s a different call to action that will.
- What is a compelling way to encourage your chosen action?
A call to action is only successful if it's compelling enough to encourage activity. Whether you couple your call to action with a discount, attach it to beautiful imagery or drizzle your words in pure temptation, find a way to craft your CTA to make it irresistible to your audience. A common strategy is to evoke a sense of urgency through language and phrases such as 'book now’, ‘do it today' or 'don't miss out’ along with punctuation such as an exclamation mark!
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