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Keys To Effective Call to Actions on Social Media

Having lots of fans on social media is great, but getting your audience to take action is the real goal. The words you use can make a big difference. Creating call to actions (CTAs) is part science and part art. Understanding what phrases are effective and learning how to implement them will help you to increase conversions.


The Psychology of CTAs

This is the scientific portion of creating CTAs. Phrases are interpreted differently based on context. When creating a call to action, your goal is to influence an action. Using the right words, within the correct context can convince or persuade customers to follow through with the desired action.


Most marketers are focusing on their product or service when creating a call to action instead of the benefit the reader will receive from completing the action. People don’t drink Starbucks just because of the name. They consume the products because they are thirsty or enjoy the feeling they get after consuming coffee or tea.


When creating your call to action, focus on the action the user should take and the results they will receive.


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The top call to action immediately lets you know the benefit you will receive, making it more powerful and effective. Whether it is a landing page, blog or social media post, your CTA will have context surrounding it. Remember, you are driving the reader to take action and engage, not promoting your product or service.


The Art of CTAs

We’ve talked about the right call to action to use; now the question is when to use it. This will become second nature with practice and testing. For instance, when to use “free” versus “no cost” or “sign up” versus “join”. These may be subtle changes but they can make a big impact depending on your audience, offering and context.


CTA Phrases for Persuasion

If you are trying to persuade people to choose your product or service, try incorporating these words and phrases into your CTA:

  • You
  • Guarantee
  • Results
  • Free
  • New
  • Because


These are some of the most persuasive words in the English language. As a general rule for creating engaging content, write in the second person whenever possible. This makes your content more conversational and the reader feels as if you are speaking directly to them. The more personalized your CTA is, the better; personalized CTAs convert 42% better then generic ones (study done by Hubspot).


“Guarantee” and “results” eliminate uncertainty about whether the product or service is worth it. Guarantees are effective if you can provide proof to back up your claim. An example of this is Domino’s Pizza. Before it was discontinued, they guaranteed you’d get your pizza in 30 minutes or less, or your next one was free.


Who doesn’t love free stuff? The word free overcomes the price objections people may have. Price isn’t always an issue, but it does go through peoples’ minds when they are trying to decide to take action or not. Letting your audience know right away that what you are offering is free can give your CTA an instant boost. Don’t just hint that people don’t have to pay anything, actually use the word free.


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CTA Phrases to Create Sense of Urgency/Scarcity

I’ve been guilty of seeing an item and thinking, “I’ll get that later” and never end up purchasing it. This is common for buyers. Creating a sense of urgency gets customers to take immediate action rather than waiting.

  • Only x days left
  • Limited supply
  • Ending soon
  • While supplies last
  • Today only
  • Offer ends on “date”
  • Immediately
  • Now


You’ve probably seen most, if not all, of these before. Using urgency or scarcity causes people to take action because they fear they will miss out on a good deal. When scarcity is implied, you don’t have time to wait and think it over. Amazon does this well.




Scarcity is implied with the 81% claimed note. Urgency is also implied with the “Ends In” timer. Along with those two things, the discounted price gives customers yet another reason to purchase today instead of putting it off.


You can limit your offer to a certain number of people or a designated time period. You just have to let people know that the longer they wait, the less likely they are to receive the deal.


CTA Phrases to Imply Exclusivity

People want what they can’t have. By implying exclusivity, you are more likely to get the person to take action. People want to be a part of the special group. To make your offer look and feel more exclusive, try using these phrases:

  • Request an invitation
  • Members only/Subscribers only
  • Pre-register/Pre-order
  • Limited spots
  • Exclusive access


These phrases imply that if an action isn’t taken now, you will be left out of the special group. These types of CTAs work well with product launches, email lists and membership.


CTA Phrases to Gauge Interest

Sometimes your goal is to just gauge interest in a product or service. To see how interested and engaged your audience is try using these CTAs:

  • Reply
  • Share
  • Contact me


The amount of content online is unfathomable. So, when someone takes the time to give you feedback you know they’re engaged.


The reply CTA is very common on social media. Asking for users to reply to a Tweet or Facebook post will increase the likelihood of an interaction. Follower count doesn’t necessarily matter; it’s about how much your followers are engaging with you.


You should also ask users to share your content. This is used a lot in contests on social media.


The Contact Me CTA lets people know you are open to talking with them. Transparency and open communication are important in this world. Whatever medium you choose to communicate with, the more open you are to listening to and engaging with your audience, the more they’ll appreciate it.



There are thousands of options for CTAs. To find which works best for you and your audience, you should experiment and split test.


What CTAs have you seen lots of results from? Do you have any favorites? Let us know!

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