The 4 Most Effective Social Media Calls to Action

social media calls to action

Effective social media marketing must include calls to action. CTAs, as they are often referred to, are critical to the success of inbound marketing. The goal is to convert a user into a lead, and, later, into a customer, fan, client or reader by focusing them on a specific action or actions you want them to take. The call to action is your invitation for people to engage and respond.

Here are the 4 most effective social media calls to action:

Ask and Ye’ Shall Receive

According to an analysis conducted by Dan Zarrella (social media genius) the most effective social media calls to action are those that simply ask for something directly. Topping the list are “link”, “comment”, “share”, “like”, “retweet” and “follow”.




Paint a Pretty Picture

Calls to action icons or images that contain the action you want your audience to take are highly effective. Some of the most popular are images containing the words “download” (i.e. files, ebooks, etc.), “check out…” and “Join XXX”. Updates that include these words along with a separate image are also ideal as shown below:


Be Discreet

Sometimes it’s what you don’t say that generates that best engagement. If you’re not comfortable asking for something directly, try a more subtle approach. If you’ve ever noticed yourself nodding along or smiling or agreeing with something – and you’re about to take action – you just got persuaded through a subtle, indirect call to actionNike does an amazing job with indirect CTAs, such as this one posted on Twitter the other day:



Hurry! Quick! Act Now!

Motivate your audience by using a sense of urgency. Utilize limited time offers or promotional opportunities to give people the extra incentive to act quickly.


Tips for Creating Stellar Calls to Action

The last thing you want to do on your social media channels is promote or try to sell to people directly. This is a major turnoff for most people who follow or connect with businesses, blogs and brands online. Here are a few tips for creating stellar calls to action to get your community to do what you’d like them to:

  • Determine ahead of time what you want your followers or connections to do. Make sure it’s something that they want and ultimately answers the question, “What’s in it for me?”
  • Create an epic lead or hook! Get creative!
  • Keep it short and actionable. Trying to shove multiple CTAs into one piece of content can lower conversion rates, while long, wordy CTAs can confuse readers or simply get ignored.
  • Test, measure, refine. Repeat.

Have you used social media calls to action? If so, what were your results? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle

17 Responses to The 4 Most Effective Social Media Calls to Action

  1. Michelle

    These are definitely effective! So much better than the used car salesman approach! Love the Nike one!
    Michelle recently posted..Manage Your Twitter Accounts and Increase Followers Using Hootsuite

    • Crystal

      I run from used car salesmen! 🙂

  2. Allie

    This is my first time at your site and these are great tips for a newbie like me. Thank you!!!
    Allie recently posted..SEXISM? YOU BE THE JUDGE

    • Crystal

      You are welcome, Allie! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Janine Huldie

    I really do love these approaches and try so hard when I do tweet/share to remember these. Thank you for sharing !!
    Janine Huldie recently posted..Fridge Tales Old School Blogging Style

    • Crystal

      Definitely hard to remember – especially when you are managing multiple accounts.

  4. Dana

    I always try to have a good hook when I tweet someone else’s post. I know I’m more likely to click through if my curiousity is peaked!
    Dana recently posted..DIY Upholstered Headboard

    • Crystal

      Agreed! I try my best to craft a good hook.

  5. another jennifer

    These are great examples. I like to ask questions at the end of blog posts to encourage interaction. Questions work on FB as well.
    another jennifer recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Cruising Casco Bay

  6. Tamara

    These are so thoughtful and brilliant! I really do like to ask questions, and I think subtlety is key for me.
    Tamara recently posted..Tell Me Something Good.

    • Crystal

      I think you’re right and I think you do a great job with indirect CTAs. That’s kind of your thing. 😉

  7. AJ

    Love this post! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    AJ | TheAJMinute
    AJ recently posted..Lush Love

  8. Lisa @ The Golden Spoons

    These are great suggestions! I need to do a better job of this, so, hopefully, i can put these into action!
    Lisa @ The Golden Spoons recently posted..Ten Ways to Kill Time In Carpool Line

  9. Tess

    I love this. I need to think of this when posting.
    Tess recently posted..Chipotle Chicken Pizza

  10. TK

    Thanks for the tips! I especially agree about using good images that grab attention.
    TK recently posted..The six phases of sleep deprivation

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