Everyone on Twitter is so caught up in driving their followers numbers, getting retweets, having conversations, and trying to go viral that they forget something: Somewhere in all this you’re trying to market something and drive traffic to it!
Calls to action (CTA) are an essential aspect of Twitter marketing. Being able to get your followers to do the right thing, right when you want them to, is the most powerful tool in your Twitter tool belt. Take the time to learn about effective CTA components, and see a few examples from real brands, by reading more right now.
5 parts to a good call to action
1: Give your followers a clear action
What is it you want your followers to actually do for you? Buy a product? Sorry, that’s not specific enough. On Twitter the general calls to action are:
- Click the link for more.
- Please retweet.
- Like if you enjoyed this.
- Reply if you have questions.
- @Tag a friend so that can learn more.
Those are the five basic actions that people can take on Twitter. You can sell a product via a call to action on a link click, but you have to be clear and tell your followers that the link is where they’ll find the product. This tweet gets it right:
— HTAFC Ticket Office (@htafctickets) August 1, 2016
To show a tweet that almost gets it right, let’s look at this one:
— Bishop McNamara HS (@BMHSMustangs) August 4, 2016
They have the clear call to action to click the link, but they muddle it up a bit with the @mention and the #hashtag. When it’s time to try to make a sale on Twitter you need to cut out other clickable things in the tweet.
2: Keep it brief
You already have to keep your tweets short with the 140 character limit. But your tweets still need to have an extra focus beyond ‘well, it’s less than 140 characters…’ Your goal should always be to convey one idea at a time. Don’t cram so much into one tweet that both messages get lost. Relax, you can tweet the second idea later!
A brand which has understood brevity for decades, and has been just doing it that whole time, is Nike. Look at how they handle this tweet:
— Nike Basketball (@nikebasketball) August 13, 2016
They don’t add commentary about the player wearing them. They don’t go on about the tech. They don’t even mention the price. They simply want people to know when this historical shoe is releasing.
3: Show that you’re a knowledgable professional
Twitter is informal, but it isn’t like talking to your mates at the pub. You’re still expected to have some level of professionalism. Swearing shouldn’t be in your vocabulary …unless it’s an integral aspect of your marketing message!
The other part of professionalism on Twitter is showing your expertise while using your calls to action. Simply saying ‘click here’ can get some results, but wrapping your knowledge around a call to action will work even better. Twitter loves experts, and you need to be one about your industry.
The example from Nike above was good as they talked about their decades of history with that shoe. Another one would be this from the NIH ODS who want to warn people about the labels on ‘natural’ products:
"Natural" on an herbal product label doesn't always mean safe. Learn more about botanical supplement safety: https://t.co/4KqjLDaFxe
— NIH ODS (@NIH_ODS) August 22, 2016
Being an expert is an important part of what compels people to take action on Twitter.
4: Give them an incentive
Your Twitter followers are seeing dozens of other tweets per hour, or even more. Why should they care about your 1 tweet? What’s in it for them? Offering them a reward for an action on Twitter makes your calls to action more impactful.
Here’s a good example for a call to action to retweet:
— Orioles on MASN (@masnOrioles) August 22, 2016
Retweet it, have a chance to win a free baseball bat. I’d retweet that! You can also look at actions like this one:
— Cream Tea Society (@CreamTeaSociety) August 23, 2016
It’s a bit sneaky, but a message like this gets the retweets you’re asking for. Your follower gets some sort of reward, the act of agreeing and ‘voting’ in the latter case, and you get what you want.
Try to make your rewards and contests easier with a tool for social contests. When you succeed on Twitter, truly connecting with a huge audience, it can be difficult to keep up with a good tool!
5: Keeping the CTA flow going
You did it: You used a CTA on Twitter and it got someone to click a link to your website. Hurrah! Now is the page they’re landing on appropriate for the CTA you used? Does it have any sort of continuation from Twitter? Those who click your Twitter links may be people who have never gone to your website before. Don’t expect that they’ll know how to navigate your website, send them to the exact right page.
Here’s a tweet from Les Miserable:
— Les Misérables (@lesmisofficial) August 23, 2016
When you click the link you’re sent directly to the Production Photos page. They don’t send you to the homepage in hopes that their visitors will click on the photos tab, and then the production photos tab. They don’t even send them to a general photo section. They send their visitors right to what interests them, even featuring the image in the top right corner first, so their CTA flows from Twitter to their website.
Here’s a tweet which ruins the flow:
— Jennifer Williams (@Fertziegirl) August 14, 2016
You click the link and it does not send you to the new collection. It sends you to a general homepage, ruining the experience of the CTA. Many Twitter users who click on that will immediately close it if they feel that they haven’t been given what they were looking for.
Calls to action on social media
The above examples all used Twitter for ease of demonstration, but the language you use to talk to your followers on all social media platforms will vary only slightly. Your calls to action on every platform need to use at least 1 of the 5 CTA components we discussed:
- Clear for your followers to take action on.
- Brief and focused on one idea.
- Containing knowledge which shows you’re a professional.
- Having an incentive to take action.
- Keeping a ‘flow’ to your CTA.
You won’t be able to do all 5 every time you send a message, that would be exhausting. Work on using them all over the course of your social media marketing. Variety on Twitter, and on all social media, is important as it keeps your followers from getting tired of hearing the same thing over and over.
Use all 5 of these call to action components, and you’ll have your followers doing what you want when you want it. Now, share this with your followers on Twitter so that they too can learn a little bit about how to use the platform better!
See what I did there?