Creating great calls to action in your social content

call to actionGreat calls to actions in your posts and articles are easy to create, but their importance and context is often overlooked and all too often, the valuable time spent on creating great social content goes to waste. Whether someone follows your call to action is often the difference between a ‘bounce’ on your site and some form of conversation or engagement, so its importance cannot be overstated.

So what are the rules for creating great calls to action? Luckily they are simple and straightforward and I have listed them below.

But first, let me state the golden rule which explains why they are so important:

If you do not ask your readers to do anything…  they will not do anything.

In other words, once your readers have finished your article, they will simply go back to what they were looking at before. They may well think ‘that was a useful article’, but they will not do anything about it.

1.     Make them varied.

Having a stock sentence to include may seem like a great way to save some time, but it’ll soon give your posts an impersonal feel: make the effort to change things around.

2.     Provide a link to related content.

If one of your objectives is to keep readers on your site (it should be!) then the way to do that is to make sure they are presented with other articles they will find interesting. As well as displaying ‘Related posts’ on each article page, explicitly providing a link to a particular related article will stand a good chance of keeping them around.

3.     Suggest they share it with their networks.

This is a simple thing for the reader to do, and is the way to spread your social content widely, but  make sure you have appropriate share buttons – if you are in the B2B space, LinkedIn is essential, and in the B2C sector, Facebook is a must. Remember, these are ways of using your readers’ social networks – you do not need to have a Facebook page yourself for others to share your article to their Facebook friends.

4.     Make sure it is realistic

On the basis of reading an interesting article, the next step is NOT going to be to buy your multi-million pound scientific equipment, no matter how great the article is! If your article addresses a question they are likely to have at the start of their research, then you might want to give them a link to other similar articles, or invite them to a webinar.

5.     Don’t be afraid to have more than one

but don’t make them too complicated or confusing. Suggesting a social share or a newsletter signup, or alternatively, a webinar signup or a document download can a be a good mix.

And finally, whatever you do…

Monitor your success

This is often overlooked but is alarmingly simple with a quick look at Google Analytics, to see how many times your article page was an ‘exit page’, and of not, where they clicked most. Use this information to help you decide your future calls to action.

So, (you knew this was coming, didn’t you?) if you’ve found this article interesting, you’d be doing me a great favour by sharing it with your LinkedIn contact by clicking on the LinkedIn share button below – many thanks!