Calls to actions are the backbone of your content marketing strategy on social media.

So what is a call to action? A call to action (or CTA) is text or a graphic that prompts the user to click or otherwise engage with the brand and continue along the conversion funnel.

Types of Calls to Action

The two most common CTAs are click CTAs and engagement CTAs.

Click CTAs do just that – invite the user to click. This click can be directed toward a variety of tasks. You might invite the user to purchase a product, fill out a form, download a white paper, view your webpage, visit your crowdfunding campaign page, watch a video or read a recent blog post.

Engagement CTAs, on the other hand, call users to engage right on the page, rather than funneling them to a different location. These are especially important on social media platforms, because engagement typically leads to higher organic reach. An engagement CTA might ask a user to answer a question, “like” a post, or “retweet” a tweet.

Crafting a Social Media Call to Action

How do you create an effective CTA? As you write your content and craft your CTAs, ask yourself the following:

What do you want your user to do? Determine the goal of your social media post. What are the next steps you want the user to take? What action are you calling them to do?

How will you hook them? Ask yourself what is in it for the user. As a general rule, people don’t do things “just because.” You need to create value for the user in order to hook them. This value doesn’t necessarily have to be spelled out – it can be implicit – but put yourself in the user’s shoes as you write your copy.

How will you call them to act? Create your verbiage. As your write your CTA copy, keep the following tips and pointers in mind:

  • Be specific. For example, instead of asking users to “tell your friends,” invite them to “share” on Facebook and “retweet” on Twitter.
  • Use verbs to actively tell your audience what you want them to do.
  • Use your audience’s language. In some cases this may mean staying away from jargon and industry-specific language, while other cases may be the opposite. Either way, understand who you’re speaking to, and use the correct voice.
  • Give your users a reason to act. Create a sense of urgency, or make them an offer they can’t refuse. Consider qualifying your offer by making it only available for a limited time.

What should I change? As you’re creating and posting content, don’t forget to analyze your efforts and measure results. Look at your metrics, and find places in your CTA that may need to be tweaked or fine-tuned. Ultimately, your CTAs should support your marketing goals and help your likelihood of success.