6 Tips for Writing a Facebook Post with the Perfect Call to Action

Posted on August 3rd 2012

6 Tips for Writing a Facebook Post with the Perfect Call to Action

The phrasing and structure of a Facebook status update correlates strongly to how users will engage with a post. For the best post engagement, use a call to action (CTA).

CTAs help inform and encourage users what to do next. For example, if the aim is to get users to watch a video your business posted on Youtube, an effective CTA will not only give information on how that can be done, it will inspire users to follow through with the action as well.

When constructing a Facebook post with a call to action, here are six things to keep in mind:

1. Ask a question: The question you ask should speak directly to your target users’ needs, wants or interests. The more specific and detailed the question is, the better. You want the question to grab the attention of Facebook users. So whether it’s asking users if they’ve heard of an interesting statistic or if they prefer pancakes over waffles, the question should be quirky or bold enough to get users to pay attention.

2. Provide some information: Once you’ve asked a question, follow it up with some information. The most appealing of status updates are ones that offer the users something– it could be information or entertainment. Keep in mind though, if the objective is to direct users elsewhere (like your blog or website) don’t fully disclose everything valuable that you have to offer. You want to be informative, but just enough so that the user is motivated to seek out more information– aka click on your link.

3. Always provide a link: While we’re on the topic of links, be sure to provide one. Not all Facebook posts need a link, but the ones with CTAs often do–that is unless the purpose of your CTA is simply get users to Like or comment on a post. Use links in status updates when you want to direct Facebook users to other content.

4. Keep it positive: This is good rule of thumb for all Facebook posts. When a user reads a Facebook post with a CTA, s/he should feel inspired and excited. These positive feeling bread engagement and sharing.

5. Don’t bother yourself with a word limit: It’s good to be to-the-point in Facebook posts, but limiting yourself to a certain character limit doesn’t always mean you’re being direct or effective. Just posting “Click here!” or “Take our survey!” with a link is not a strong enough call to action– nor is it a strong Facebook post.

6.  Provide an image: Visuals always help. With CTAs especially, images can really complement and spearhead the success of a CTA. For instance, you can ask a question that relates to the image or provide a graphic that provides some knowledge to the user.

Now that you know the six rules for writing a Facebook post with a perfect call to action, here are two examples of how to rework a status update with a CTA. Hopefully these will spark some ideas for your next Facebook post. Enjoy!

Examples

Before: Great article with some good tips on Facebook fan-gating! Click her to read: (link)

A stronger post would be: Looking for ways to increase your Facebook Page’s Likes? Fan-gating apps works. Read here for some great fan-gating tips! (link)

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Before: We just created a Pinterest account, click her to follow us! (link)

A stronger post would be: Are you a DIYer? If yes, follow us on Pinterest! We just posted some great tutorials for some weekend DIY projects! (link)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Belosic

Jim Belosic

CEO, ShortStack.com

Jim Belosic is the CEO of ShortStack, a do-it-yourself custom app design tool used to create apps for Facebook Pages, websites and mobile web browsing. ShortStack provides the tools for small businesses, graphic designers, agencies and corporations to create apps with contests and forms, fan gates, product lines and more.  

See Full Profile >

Comments

RayDennis
Posted on August 3rd 2012 at 7:52PM

Excellent post. 

Jim Belosic
Posted on August 3rd 2012 at 9:05PM

Thanks for reading!

Marc Jeffrey
Posted on August 4th 2012 at 3:56AM

Jim...we find that we get less Likes, Comments and Shares when we add a link.  What is your opinion on this?

eric@digitaldenizensllc.com
Posted on August 5th 2012 at 1:41PM

Marc Jeffrey, if I may add an opinion... One of my clients is a local HVAC company, but I have a friend who does engagement for foreign automotive company. What works for him would NEVER work for the heating and cooling company. If you find a particular recommendation isn't working, don't blame yourself. Sometimes, it's just the nature of the crowd you're working on. Find what works and do more of it and rule out what doesn't. I hope that helps.

Jim Belosic
Posted on August 5th 2012 at 3:04PM

Hi Marc, that's interesting, we don't usually see that result. If you add a link and the link preview is distracting, try removing it before publishing the post. Sometimes the link previews get more attention than your other text, so removing them could push the emphasis back to where you want it.

Another variable could be what you're linking to. People may be more likely to comment or share a cool recipe or a great how-to tip than "here's a link to download a Maytag Dishwasher repair manual." That's a little extreme, but the point is that links about things that your audience is passionate about will get more like and comments. That being said, you just have to be creative and think of a fun way to get them to download that repair manual :)

Kent Ong
Posted on August 4th 2012 at 4:12AM

Hi Jim, asking question is a great way for call to action. But what if we need them to buy something on Facebook, the same 6 steps as well?

Jim Belosic
Posted on August 5th 2012 at 3:12PM

Sales Calls to Action can follow the same principles. One of the worst things to say would be "50% off Product X! Click here to buy now!" As consumers, we are trained from an early age to ignore messages like that. Way too "Shout-y."

When creating a call to action for a sale or product, remember that you are on Facebook, not a billboard on a freeway. The conversation goes 2 ways in social media, so be sure to use a CTA that allows for a response from your audience.

I'd prefer to see something like "Shhh...we've reduced the price of Product X by 20%...but only for our awesome Facebook Fans. What would you like to see a sale on next? (link)" as opposed to "20% off sale! Click here now!"

Astrageeks
Posted on August 4th 2012 at 11:41AM

Asking a question is a great way to interact with them.Content should be quality one as visitors expect fresh content.Thanks for your excellent points.

eric@digitaldenizensllc.com
Posted on August 4th 2012 at 1:55PM

Some great ideas here, Jim. Thanks for sharing!

mtninc
Posted on August 9th 2012 at 8:25PM

Great info, Jim!  

Is there any established "magic number" for Facebook communities having successful discussions and engagement?

We have a client page with 139 Likes. We're following all of the 6 tips above and still not seeing many comments, post likes or shares. We're even running a like-building promotion giving away cash every week.

We average about 40-50 people seeing each post.  

I have a sense that there is some breaking-point where discussions start to get in gear.

What do you think?

 

Jim Belosic
Posted on August 10th 2012 at 7:08PM

There's not really a "magic number", even though we have seen things start to snowball for pages when they are closer to 1,000-2,000 likes. However, if you're a small business in a small town you might not ever get up past 300 likes and it might just be more about engaging those 300 instead of going for a large number of likes.


If you're company has a large audience, national or global, you might want to try buying some ads to establish an initial base. You could also look into some PR to help spread the word of your company.

Social media takes patience and time, keep posting consistently and test different posts to see which gets a better response. You might want to focus more on the 139 fans you currently have and encouraging them to ask their friends to like your page versus always targeting new fans.

Hope this helped! Thanks for reading!

thestartupmeme
Posted on August 10th 2012 at 12:34PM

Great insight...

Sasha Zinevych
Posted on April 10th 2013 at 9:34AM

Great article, Jim! What if I want my posts on Facebook to be liked, commented or shared? What would be the best way to encourage people to do it?

 

Jim Belosic
Posted on April 10th 2013 at 3:50PM

Hi Oleksandra,


Sometimes it's best to just ask what you're looking for. Don't overdo it but if you post something maybe suggest your fans share it with their friends. Or oftentimes we see people post images and say something like "like this post if you agree" or something alonge those lines. So you definitely want to use the "asking" sparingly but if you have a great post that is shareable go ahead and ask them to share the post, like the post and comment below. The key is to posting valuable content so that people actually want to share, comment and like your information.

Thanks for reading!