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Social Media Call to Actions (CTA's): What Are They, Why You Need Them, How to Write Them

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

Your social media platforms are capable of so much more than just connecting you with your followers and customers. These platforms can increase your number of email sign-ups, gain engagement and more followers, boost sales of a specific product, and so much more!

These are all attainable through Call to Actions, or CTAs.

You spend a lot of time creating, drafting, and editing posts for your social media, don’t let all this time and effort go to waste! Make sure you’re getting what you want from your audience by driving them to action.

What is a Call to Action (CTA)?

A CTA is a statement or phrase that communicates what action you want your audience to take next. Okay, so your followers saw your photo and read your caption… Now what?

It’s your job to now call on them to do something!

  • Download our file

  • Register here

  • Call us today

  • Learn more

Why use a CTA?

Give your content purpose! There’s a reason you’re posting on these social media platforms, make it known.

You should be using CTAs in your social media posts to drive action and funnel more prospective customers to get more business.

Don’t let your posts go to waste without a compelling CTA.

How to write an effective CTA

1. Verbiage

Clearly state what you want your audience to do, don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. Use simple verbiage that gets your point across to your readers so they have clear instructions.

  • Buy now

  • Read more here

  • Start your free trial

  • Sign up

2. Repeat yourself

Don’t be afraid to repeat your CTA multiple times in your post! The attention span of social media users can be short during their scrolling process, so if you’ve caught their attention, make sure you’re getting your point across by repeating yourself and reiterating your CTA.

3. Different messaging for different platforms

Your messaging should differ across social media platforms. It is likely that you’re not sharing the same exact content on Instagram as you are on LinkedIn for example. Same goes for CTAs, customize your CTA for each platform.

Here are some generic examples:

  • Instagram: comment below

  • Facebook: share this post

  • Twitter: retweet for a chance to be featured

  • LinkedIn: apply today

4. Urgency

Create a sense of urgency with your CTA in order to encourage your audience to act quickly. Usually, if you limit the amount of time your users have, the more responses you will receive on your CTA.

  • Register today, spots are limited

  • Only one day left to sign up

  • Last day for early-bird pricing

5. Stay on brand

Everything you put on social media is part of your brand: your photos, captions, comments, even your CTAs. Make sure you stick with the same digital voice across all of your messaging.

6. A/B Testing

Try out different CTAs to see which ones resonate most with your audience by measuring click-throughs. A simple tweak in the phrasing of your CTA can increase your response rate immensely!

Facebook Sponsored Ad CTA Examples:

In this ad, the Voter Participation Center cuts right to the chase. They use clear verbiage to state their point clearly and repeat their CTA a total of three times in one ad space. When creating a post, especially a sponsored one, it should be very clear what you're asking your audience to do. Here, we can easily tell the Voter Participation Center wants viewers to Sign Up to register to vote.

Shopify doesn't waste any space with this sponsored Facebook post. Some audiences don't want to read a bunch of fluff on every post, so analyze your target audience and what suits them best. When creating an ad, you'll be prompted to choose a button that states your Call to Action. In this post, that button is "Learn More". Shopify takes their CTA even further by stating "Sell Your Crafts on FB!" in the caption as well.

Instagram Sponsored Ad CTA Examples:

In this sponsored Instagram post, NuMe utilizes the "Shop Now" button as their CTA. If you are including a sale or an offer in your post, you want to make that a centerpiece. NuMe does that very well by making it the first thing that their audience will see. They take their Call to Action even further by creating a sense of urgency by stating their offer only lasts 48 hours. This will likely encourage those viewers who are on the fence, to click the Shop Now button an investigate the offer further.

Images play a big role in grabbing your audience's attention. If you want your CTA to be read, first you must give your viewers a reason to stop scrolling. Make sure your image is eye-catching, yet relevant to the information at hand. Cute photo of a pup getting groomed? Check. Call to Action? Check.

Bonus: Additional offer added in the caption? Check.

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