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How to Write a Compelling CTA for Social Media

This article comes from Hootsuite.

How to Write a Compelling CTA for Social Media

If there’s an action you want your audience to take, you can’t just hope and wish and hint. You need a CTA that shouts it out loud and clear.

Read on for tips, tricks, and plenty of examples to prompt your audience to make your dreams (popcorn-massage-related or otherwise) come true.

What is a call to action (CTA)?

A call to action is a prompt to get your audience to do something specific.

This is the part of your content, ad, or website that invites a reader to, well, take action. On a website, a Call to Action is typically a button, a clickable image, or a link.

Usually, a CTA will be found at the end of a blog post or webpage, but they can appear anywhere on a website, or even within a social media message.

That action could be:

  • Creating an account
  • Requesting a quote
  • Entering a contest
  • Signing a petition
  • Registering for a course
  • And more

A clear CTA makes it easy for the reader to do what you want them to do. No friction, no hunting around or googling for the right form or PDF.

How to write a call to action for social media

Before you actually sit down with your keyboard (or quill and ink, you do you) to craft the perfect message, it’s important to consider your ultimate social media goals and how your CTA might serve them.

How will you measure success for your post? Visitors to your landing page? Newsletter sign-ups? A number of saucy photographs submitted?

There’s no wrong answer, but it’s a helpful question to have in mind as you’re composing your CTA.

Not sure about your brand goals yet? Take our social media strategy guide for a spin.

Pick strong action words

Whatever action you’re hoping your readers take, you want to compel them to go for it.

Powerful, clear, instructive verbs (a.k.a command words) are great here.

Try phrases like:

  • “Sign up for your free trial.”
  • “Download my guide.”
  • “Get your free instant quote.”
  • “Shop dog hammocks.”
  • “Post jobs for free.”

Consider urgency… before it’s too late!

Limiting time usually entices users to respond more to CTAs.

“Call us today” implies immediacy and urgency much more than just “Call us.”

“Register for your spot in our naked skydiving workshop—before it fills up!” instantly makes the experience feel exclusive.

Make the benefit clear

Does your CTA pass the “so what” test? Readers care what’s in it for them, so tell them.

Choose language that can inspire enthusiasm or emotion. Go beyond just stating what your business does, and tell them exactly what it can do for them.

Basically: what’s your unique selling point? Will your audience improve their career? Fix their love life?

One example: “Sign up for my course to earn $1,000 a day on your blog!” is an intriguingly specific proposition. Of course I want $1,000! Today and every day! Sign me up!

Stay true to your brand voice

If you’re cool and chill (like me, obviously), your CTAs should feel the same.

If you’re upscale and professional, stay on tone.

“Shop the fall collection” versus “Head to my website to snatch one up!” both push your audience to the same action, but with a different vibe.

Everything you do—including CTAs—are part of your brand DNA. Make sure it fits the flow.

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