How to write effective social media CTAs

When you use social media to market your business or blog, it’s easy to obsess about how many followers you have or how many impressions your posts get.

But although follower counts and reach are important, they aren’t the be-all and end-all of social media. After all, if you use social media to promote something that makes you $$$, you probably want more than just additional followers or higher reach on your posts. Ultimately, you probably want to build an engaged community, drive traffic to your website or blog, grow your email list, and boost your revenue or income.

How do you turn your Instagram post or your tweet into a powerful piece of social content that helps you grow your business or blog? By including powerful calls to action (CTAs) in it.

Confused about how to do this? Keep reading below to learn how to write social media CTAs that convert.



Need more help writing powerful social media CTAs your audience can’t resist?
Download my 80 free call-to-action templates.


First things first: What’s a CTA?

Don’t know what a CTA is but feel too embarrassed to ask? Don’t sweat it–we were all there once!

A CTA is a prompt that tells people what you want them to do next. For example, you may use a CTA in your Instagram post to encourage people to share their thoughts, check out a new post on your blog, or browse your online store.

Social media CTAs usually appear as regular text in a post or as text that’s laid on top of an image. And depending on the features of the social media platform, it may also be able to include a link.

Related: The 62 best words to use in your call to action

How to write effective social media CTAs

Okay, so now that you know what a CTA is, you’re probably wondering how to create a good one. Here are 10 tips for writing effective social media CTAs that convert:


1. Identify your social media marketing goal

Social media CTAs tell the people who see your posts what you want them to do. So to write an effective social media CTA, you need to know what action you want your audience to take. Here are just some actions you may want people to take when they see your posts on social media:

  • follow your social media account
  • like, comment, or share your post
  • click a link in your post or account bio

The way you write your social media CTA will differ depending on the action you want your audience to take. For example, if you want people to click a link that will take them to your website, you’ll need to include a link to your website and use compelling copy to convince them to click on it. If, on the other hand, you want them to share your content with their friends, you’ll want to include copy that tells them to do this.

Related: How to write compelling social media posts + 7 free social media copy templates

Example: To encourage its audience to check out the Project CAT website, The Food Network included the website’s URL and a message to click on it in this CTA.



example of a tweet


2. Be explicit

It may seem obvious to you that you want people to comment on your Instagram post or click the link in your Facebook post to check out your landing page. But it may not be clear to your audience. That’s why it’s important to use your CTA to tell people exactly what you want them to do.

You may think you’re being too salesy if you encourage your audience to “download my cheat sheet” or “save a seat in the webinar.” But in reality, people like clear instructions. And CTAs work better when they spell out the exact action you want people to take.

Related: What to include in your posts on 5 social media platforms + 7 free social media copy templates

Example: In the text on this image, Amy Porterfield tells her audience exactly what she wants them to do: listen to the featured podcast episode.



example of a tweet



3. Highlight the benefits

Your audience isn’t going to share your tweet or click through to your landing page to help you achieve your marketing goal. Instead, they’ll respond to your social media CTA only if it’s going to benefit them. For this reason, it’s important to highlight the benefit they’ll experience by taking action.

Tell them about all the value they’ll find inside the freebie they can download on your website. Or convince them that they’ll get a serious case of FOMO if they don’t follow your account so they see your content in their feed on the regular.

Related: How to write social media copy for 5 different platforms + 7 free social media copy templates

Example: In this social media CTA, Jenna Kutcher highlights the benefits of the products featured in this post to persuade her audience to check them out.



Example of a Facebook post


4. Make it feel relevant

It’s important to highlight benefits in your social media CTAs. But it’s also critical to show your audience that these benefits are relevant to them. What’s an easy way to make your social media CTAs feel more relevant to your audience? Use pronouns like “you” and “your” to talk directly to your audience. This will make your copy sound more like a conversation than a pitch.

Example: The Home Depot uses “your” in this social media CTA to make it more personally relevant to its audience.



Example of a Facebook post



Need more help writing powerful social media CTAs your audience can’t resist?
Download my 80 free call-to-action templates.

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5. Communicate urgency

Are you using your social media CTA to promote an offer that has a deadline or limit? Use urgency to make your social media CTA even more compelling. For example, if you have a limited number of seats in a webinar, spots in a course, or units of a product, tell your audience this. Similarly, if your audience has only a certain amount of time left to join your membership program or take advantage of a sale, make it clear that the clock’s ticking.

It’s easy for people to put off an action if they think they can just do it later. But if you tell people that they may miss out if they don’t act now, it can give them the extra nudge they need to take action immediately.

Related: The 62 best words to use in your call to action

Example: Banana Republic makes it clear that its Friends & Family sale is on for just a few days.



6. Create consistency and continuity with landing pages

Are your using your social media CTAs to direct people to a page or blog post? Make sure the page or post has the same look and feel as your social media posts. This will make it easier to continue nudging your audience toward that email sign-up, webinar registration, or product sale. It’ll also build trust by assuring people that they’ve landed in the right place and haven’t been directed somewhere unexpected by a spammy link.

Related: 9 landing page design mistakes that reduce your conversions + free template and example

Example: To create consistency, Sephora uses similar visuals in this social media post and on its corresponding landing page.



example of a tweet


Example of social media post and landing page consistency



7. Stay on brand

What’s another way to use consistency to build or maintain trust? Stick to your brand voice when you write social media CTAs. When you craft CTAs on social media that sound like you, you’ll seem more authentic to your audience. And people will be less likely to write your post off as just another salesy pitch.

So if your brand voice includes humour or slang, feel free to keep the party going in your CTA.

Related: How to choose the right voice & tone for your blog or biz + free brand voice worksheet

Example: Tony Robbins maintains his signature motivational tone in this post’s CTA.




Example of a LinkedIn post


8. Prioritize clarity over creativity

It’s great to incorporate a fun brand voice into your social media CTAs. But you never want your audience to be confused about what you want them to do or uncertain about how they would benefit from it. So always be sure to prioritize clarity over creativity when writing your CTAs.

You’ve put a lot of work into your social content, the freebie you’re using to build your email list, or the service you’re trying to sell. The last thing you want is to fall short of your marketing goals just because your social media CTAs aren’t clear.

Related: How to write clear, concise web copy that converts + free copy planning worksheet

Example: Moz makes the CTA in this post easy to understand.



example of a tweet


9. A/B test

Want to discover what the very best social media CTAs will be for your Instagram followers or your Twitter audience? You’ve got to A/B test. With A/B testing, you change one element of a social media CTA and see how it affects the results you get.

When testing your social media CTAs, don’t be afraid to switch up the structure, wording, and length. Unbounce found that even something as small as using “start my free trial” instead of “start your free trial” boosted clicks by 90%.


10. Measure your results

To get the full value out of A/B testing and your social media marketing in general, it’s important to monitor your results.

The metrics you want to keep an eye on will depend on your social media marketing goals (remember those from Tip #1?). For example, if you want to direct traffic to your website or blog, look at how many clicks your post generated. If, however, you want to boost engagement, check out how many times people liked, shared, or commented on your post.

In addition, if your goal is to direct people to an external post or page, you can use your website analytics to see how effective a post was at directing traffic to it. You can also use this information to gain insight into other important conversion metrics, like email sign-ups and product sales.


Supercharge your social media CTAs

When you’re scrambling to put together social content for the week or month, it’s easy to make your social media CTAs an afterthought. In fact, in some cases, you might forget to include them altogether.

But if you want to get results from your social media efforts, those social media CTAs are too important to ignore. Because they tell your audience exactly what you want them to do after they consume your post, CTAs are key to using your social media posts to boost engagement, grow your list, and sell your products.

You don’t need to spend hours crafting the perfect social media CTA each and every time. But if you follow the best practices I’ve outlined here, you’ll make all the blood, sweat, and tears that you put into social media oh so worth it.


Need more help writing powerful social media CTAs your audience can’t resist?
Download my 80 free call-to-action templates.

Send me the templates







How to write effective social media CTAs

How to write social media CTAs that boost traffic, leads, and sales + 80 CTA templates

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