If social media is bread, a call-to-action is its butter. CTAs, as they’re often referred to, are the action or engagement that your content is meant to inspire, and when implemented effectively into your social media marketing campaigns, CTAs have a delightfully sweet and smooth impact on your marketing goals.

Heidi Cohen of Social Media Examiner defines a call-to-action as, “a way for you to entice your social media audience to focus their attention on the next action you want them to take.” Cohen recently wrote about ways to improve your social media calls-to-action; her tips include:

  • Clearly determine what action you want readers to take – CTAs aren’t just about closing sales, other common actions include signing up for email newsletters, downloading a whitepaper, watching a product demo or scheduling a consultation.
  • Hook ‘em – Answer the reader’s question “what’s in it for me?”
  • Don’t promote, persuade – Social media marketing is about context and engagement, not merely posting direct sale opportunities. Cohen gave Target’s Tumblr page as an excellent example as they, “show customers the fashion back story and how to style their clothes. There’s no ‘Buy, Buy, Buy’ in their content. They use social media sharing and notes to build customer excitement and engagement pre-purchase.”

Target’s Tumblr

  • Motivate with urgency – Utilize limited time offers or promotional opportunities to give your audience the extra incentive to act quickly.
  • Tailor landing pages – Cohen writes that recent research has “found that using more landing pages yielded better results. This makes sense because it translates to more targeted offers.”
  • Test what works best – As you monitor a CTA’s effectiveness, try changing individual aspects to find the best result. This can include changing prompt placement, text size, color or the message. Best results are found by changing only one aspect at a time, so you can tell what works.
  • Measure all results – Don’t just guess what works, measure what works. Look at click through rates, conversions, completions and abandonments.

Social media marketing can be a really fun, creative way to express your company’s culture and set innovate marketing goals. It’s important to always keep an eye on your calls-to-action to get the best return on your investment. What techniques do you use to for engaging CTAs? Share away!

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