Improve your social media calls to action

If your social media audience is not responding to your content or updates, it’s time to analyse what’s going wrong. Many companies focus on the content they’re posting, but fail to tell the customer what they should do next.

They key to a successful call to action is very simple: tell your user what you want them to do, for example,  ‘Click here’, ‘Download this PDF’ or ‘Join today’.

Here are 7 tips for creating the perfect calls to action to encourage your social media audience:

1. Decide what your followers should do

Before placing a CTA on your social site, you need to decide what path the user should be taking. Your calls to action should be stepping stones to an end goal. Keep the path clear and simple in order to keep users engaged, as you will probably lose some along the way.

Give users an offer they can’t refuse. Offer something that will encourage users to commit there and then, for example, ‘Enter your email address to access the latest whitepaper’. You’re giving something back in return for their efforts.

Of course, your CTA will depend on where your users are in the sale cycle. Consider offering ebooks, downloads, newsletters or discount coupons.

2. What’s in it for them?

Your users want to know what they will gain in return for a click through, or a sale.  Your CTA must answer that question and must be relevant. This means not forcing CTA on inappropriate users, for example, those users who are simply gathering information and are not in a position to buy.

On average, 90% of social media users will simply watch, 9% will contribute and 1% will create content. You need to find a way to encourage those members who fall into the 90%, to jump on over and join the rest of us.

3. Give them motivation

Give your users a reason to act – immediately. Providing a sense of urgency is proven to increase response (Marketing Experiments). Don’t let your user click off your page and onto your competitors. Consider using a onetime offer or a timed CTA that encourages the user to take action NOW.

4. Maintain your brand

Lack of consistency is one of the main reasons that calls to action don’t work. Send your users to the correct place (and not just a generic homepage) and remember to keep your branding consistent.

Many companies don’t use the same graphics and wording on the landing page, which can lead the user to think they’ve landed on the wrong page, and will bounce straight off.

Consider personalising your landing pages, to reassure the user, and to drive sales.

5. Test

Testing is the best way to ensure your CTA is working effectively. Every part of your call to action can be tested:

- Text – Check the text on the CTA as well as the surrounding text

- Colour – Look at your CTA and consider the colours of the text, the button, and the background

- Graphics – Test the size of different photographs and different images

- Size – Test the size of the call to action compared to the rest of the content

- Placement – Test where the CTA will be placed. Think about how users read social media sites, and where they are likely to click first.

6. Measure your results

You want to track the effectiveness of your CTA, but you need to agree HOW you will measure it. Consider these different metrics:

- Impressions – The number of people who have seen the CTA

- Click throughs – The number of people who click through

- Click through rate – The % of users who clicked on the CTA, out of the total number of impressions.

- Completions – The number of people who used the CTA and did what you wanted, whether that is submitting a form, or purchasing a product.

- Completion rates – The % of users who used the CTA and went on to complete, out of the total number of users who clicked through.

7. Optimise your call to action

Here is some general call to action tips and tricks to consider:

- Make it contextually relevant – Your offer should make sense based on the social media platform you are using. Remember that every social media presence represents your brand.

- Your CTA should stand out Use colours and text that enhance your CTA.

- Qualify your offerUsers love to know how many products are remaining. Consider using CTA such as ‘Only 100 tickets left!’

- Limit selection choicesRestrict how many options users will have. Don’t give them too much information, or they’ll be overwhelmed.

- Use CTA in different locations – Online users don’t like to think. Place multiple CTA where a user would expect to see them, to make their life a little bit easier.

- Keep your CTA above the fold – Again, online users are lazy (no offence) and won’t want to scroll to see your CTA. Place it somewhere prominent.

- Organise your CTA based on importance – If you’re placing multiple CTA on your page, place the most important in the most prominent place or make it larger.

- Include social sharing – Encourage your users to share the offer by placing social sharing links.


Your social media calls to action are an important part of your overall social media strategy. They will encourage users in a totally different way than your website or other types of marketing.


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