Great news! Our Toronto social media marketing manager created a “cheat sheet” for producing the best ever Calls to Action (CTA)

How do I get my audience to respond and engage with my social media activities? That’s a common question I get asked in my role as social media marketing manager in our Toronto office.

I am the first to admit that creating a good call to action takes time and creativity. But what if I told you that it was easy to come up with an engaging call to action within second and here’s how? Would you be intrigued to read this article from start to finish? If you answered yes, my Call to Action (CTA) was definitely effective in engaging your interests. You should be doing the same with your audience – by highlighting solutions to their painpoints.

Before you pick up the pen and paper and start brainstorming and writing, it is important to determine your end goal. What are you hoping to achieve?

Boost likes, follows, retweets, repins etc. on your social networks? Drive traffic to your website? Get consumers to call you and book an appointment? Convert readers to buyers? Determining your end goals first will help you create precise and engaging CTAs that convert.

To help you save some time in this endeavor, I’ve created a so-called “cheat sheet” for creating the most compelling CTAs yet:

1. Identify Your Audience’s Painpoints

Before you can begin writing your call to action, it is important to understand what you can offer your audience, and more importantly, why they need it. The most effective way to accomplish this is to identify a problem your audience can relate to and position your brand as a solution to it. This makes the call to action more enticing to the audience because it gives them a reason to click, follow, like etc.

2. Create Concise Content

Social Media is not the place to ramble and tell life stories. Save all those juicy little details for your website. Think of it as a quick snippet that highlights the topic and the key takeaway for your audience. Use TV and YouTube commercials as two excellent examples. Have you ever seen a commercial or ad that provides its consumers with full details and long, drawn out explanations? No – they just give you a quick highlight that whets your appetite. Your Social Media CTAs should be the same – concise and simple enough to entice your audience to explore more.

My advice: keep all CTAs between 90 and 150 characters long (including spaces).

3. Make the Message Clear

By explicitly spelling out what you want your audience to do, you can increase engagement considerably. This makes sense since not all of your audience members will understand your abbreviations and complicated verbatim or read between the lines.

4. Use Less Technical Jargon

Stay away from technical jargon in your social media CTA. The following are words that attract the fewest views on social media: “franchise,” “investment,” “virtualization,” and “conferencing.” These terms mean forced complexity and are least compelling to your audience. Instead opt to use words like “insight”, “analysis”, “answers”, “questions”, “advice”, “review”, “why”, “how”, “top” and “best” because they suggest that your content is trying to improve something.

5. Highlight the Verb

Do not hide the VERB. Highlight it and make it the center of attention. Almost every call to action includes a verb–but some verbs are stronger than others. Action words and phrases compel the reader to perform a task, which is the entire point of a call to action to begin with. The following are a few examples of actionable verbs that convert audiences faster.
• Click Here
• Download Now
• Money Back Guaranteed
• I Invite You
• Talk to An Expert
• Start Your Free Trial
• I Urge You To…
• Offer Expires….
• Call to Set Up a Free Consultation
• Save Now

6. Invoke Emotions

The 2015 Super Bowl ad #LikeAGirl is a good example of an advertising that used CTA to invoke emotions in men watching the Super Bowl. The ad was for Always and it had plenty of men in tears because they felt guilty for using “Like a Girl” as a negative connotation. It then used that shame to motivate men to join the movement and follow their hashtag on social media.

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7. Ask Questions Creatively

Take a look at the advertisement below created by British Airways. What’s so special about it? One, it caught its audience’ attention with a thought-provoking question. All travelers have waited in line at least once in their life and hated it. Two, by recognizing the problem they have compelled their audience to click on their website and learn how they can skip the dreaded line up. This advertisement is a great example of a situational ad with a relatable action. Why not do the same?

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8. Create a Sense of Urgency

A time limitation makes your calls to action a bit stronger because it adds a sense of urgency. However this doesn’t have to be a strict measurement of time, just a general feeling of importance. Here are few examples:
• Call us today
• Buy while quantities last
• Coupon expires…

9. Sell the Savings

For people who just want to save money on a product in a marketplace, simply telling them what those savings are will often be enough to get a response. Use numbers and comparisons to help you drive your message across. The following advertisement by Sunglass Warehouse is a perfect example. Their “Do It” CTA makes doubting the sign up a bit harder for the audience still unsure whether or not to join the club.

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10. Be Prepared!

Timing is everything! If you’ve invested in moving a prospect to respond to your social media CTA, you must be ready to nurture and convert them. You must have the products and services you are advertising

Practice makes perfect, and your best call to action ideas will likely come to you after you’ve become more familiar with the process. Take the time to think creatively about your CTA and come up with different ways to instruct your audience and drive them towards your brand’s end goal.

Give our Toronto social media marketing team a call and we’ll even provide you with a free consultation on writing the best call to actions.

Okay I will stop it with the CTA! However, you now know where to find me if you want me to provide you with a CTA that grabs your audience’s attention just like my CTA did with you.