Time For Action!

Time For Action!

Big Ideas

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September 1 2015
Big Ideas
Author: Elizabeth White

An effective Call to Action (CTA) is one way for companies to encourage involved, immediate and returning action from their social media following. It’s one thing to post content on social media aimlessly (a.k.a throwing spaghetti at the wall), it’s another thing to actively engage with your audience using compelling call-to-actions that drive results.  The effectiveness of your content hinges on properly wording your CTAs to encourage a high level of engagement for each of your social media posts.

Sherpa is working with our clients to find the best possible solutions for CTA implementation into existing social media strategies. Here is a helpful step-by-step guide to create the most effective CTA’s for your business. Take a look at these steps we’ve outlined and let us know how they work for you! 

Top 3 To Do’s when Implementing CTAs into Daily Content:

1.       Be Involved

Implementing CTAs into your daily content marketing strategy involves more than just creating the odd engaging post. You need to be involved in conversations with your social media following and know what they want to see and how they’ll respond to your content.

Millennials are taking over today’s work force and marketers must meet their demands. Social media has developed right in front of their eyes. Millennials will not buy into your promotional messages if they don’t trust and relate to your brand. It’s important that your content has an overall brand identity and familiar message to your consumers or else CTAs – regardless of how you include them in your content – may go unnoticed. 

Determine your CTA Goal What are you trying to encourage with a CTA? Determine if your goal is to: increase current follower engagement, reach a new audience, grow your social media following, promote your brand image, etc. – this way, your communication can be as effective as possible.

Define your target Market – Who do you want to target and how will this shape your CTA strategy? In this step, it’s important to specify exactly who you are targeting. The content and tone of your messaging should be aligned with the interests of your target audience.

Follow up - Are you involved? Your social media following should know their input is being heard and that their actions are being considered/rewarded . This will strengthen your customer-brand relationship, which will nurture brand loyalty!


2.       Be Seen

Grab everyone’s attention with eye-popping visuals! Not only are the design aspects of the visuals important, but the CTAs you are trying to push need to be visual and easily accessible. If you post an image on Instagram, don’t put a link that’s difficult to find in the account’s description, just post it as the location instead! This is a neat Instagram trick that is rarely seen. The easier your CTA is to access, the greater the chance people will respond to it.

Service based industries can benefit from CTA’s as well. Here are a few suggestions for service based industries that can be ?altered to match your content marketing strategy.   

o   An example of an effective CTA strategy is when someone needs to like a photo to learn more about it. For example, you can post a photo with an eye popping statement like ‘Click here to learn what could save your marketing strategy’ or ‘Click here to see the behind the scenes work done to create your company’s dream website!’ Once an individual has liked your image or post, your company can personally message them to outline the information behind the visual. This is a great way to take a visual social media platform like Instagram and attract those that are content oriented as well!


o   Mix in technical, industry-specific content – like the example indicated above - with interactive content that makes you stand out from other competitors. It helps your company further develop a brand identity, and shows your following and prospects the creative side of your business. Here’s a quick example: on a Friday afternoon, post a collage of weekend activities and caption the photo something like “It’s almost the weekend - Double click on what you’re looking forward to doing!” The ‘double click’ tactic is a creative way at getting around asking for an Instagram ‘like’ and may have people clicking without even thinking that their initial excitement and engagement is actually leading to more likes on your post.


Create something that’s eye catching and easily visible - What is going to make your CTA catch someone’s eye? Include large text, attractive buttons and straight forward directions to encourage engagement.

Select the best social media platform for your CTA - Are you wanting to put a CTA on all social media platforms or are you just looking to focus on one? If the goal of the CTA is to promote your brand image instead of focusing on increasing your social media following, you may need to structure your content differently. 


3.       Be Specific

Use specific wording to describe the exact action that you want your social media followers to take. If you ensure that your action options are obvious, clear, and specific, your CTAs will have a higher chance of being engaged with. For example, according to Hubspot’s blog, including the term ‘Please ReTweet’ in a post is more effective than ‘Please RT’.[i] Other action words such as ‘like, comment and share’ when included in a CTA, have a higher chance at receiving the actions requested, than those CTA comments made without specific action words.


When choosing how to word CTAs within your content on different social media platforms, there are different internet language tips you need to be aware of. For example, the use of hashtags has proven to be more favoured on Twitter and Instagram compared to Facebook. Even though it’s favoured on Twitter and Instagram there are differences between these two platforms. Within your tweets, hashtags should be limited to a maximum of two, whereas on Instagram, the more the merrier! Knowing information like this is a crucial step in your content development. For example, if you posted more than two hashtags on a Facebook post (like you would with your Instagram), you could actually drop your engagement by 17%.[ii]


Implement specific posts focused on urgency, uniqueness and time sensitivity.  Crazy Egg’s blog recommends creating a risk free action statement like, ‘Try our free trial now’ or ‘Subscribe to our blog to keep updated on the newest marketing trends… it’s free!’[iii] These statements have people asking themselves, ‘why not?’ and going ahead with the CTA request in a timely matter. There is more value attached to unique and limited offers to consumers, and it’s important that CTA’s reflect this. For time sensitive posts, structure your wording in a way that encourages a prompt response from your social media following. A common way to accomplish this is by giving your CTA a time frame such as “The countdown is on, don’t miss out on this limited time offer” or “This week only, post a photo of you with our product and you’ll enter our draw to win!”

Do your research on appropriate platform internet language - Do you know how many hashtags your post should have? Remember that not all internet language works on each social media platform and that one post that does really well on Instagram cannot simply be duplicated on Twitter, in hopes of seeing the same action results.

1)      Facebook – No hashtags

2)      Instagram – No limit

3)      Twitter – Only two

Accompany social media post with a time sensitive action suggestion - Are you encouraging a prompt reply? Make sure that your CTAs are time sensitive because this makes your offer unique and wanted. Your post will most likely be forgotten if it lasts 2 weeks with no push for a response. Comparatively, if you give people 2 days, the offer is limited and will encourage people to act now.




[i] Zarrella, D. “New Data Proves ‘Please ReTweet’ Generates 4x More Retweets.” Hubspot Blog, May 31, 2011. Web. July 15, 2015.

[ii] Lee, K. “A Scientific Guide to Hashtags: How Many, Which Ones, and Where to Use Them.” Buffer Social Blog, July 7, 2015. Web. July 15, 2015.

[iii] Aragon, K. “21 Call to Action Examples and 3 Rules for Effective CTAs.”  Crazy Egg Blog, July 24, 2013. Web. July 15, 2015.




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