In the past decade, social media has had a significant impact on how brands are able to communicate with their consumers. It has opened and continues to open doors for marketers and advertisers to allow more direct and intimate conversations with their target audiences. Not only can marketers now reach out to consumers on a personal level, they can also do so now in a timely manner. Because of this, many marketers have taken advantage of call-to-action marketing. A CTA’s, or call-to-action’s main goal is to provoke an immediate response from the reader. Marketers and advertisers commonly use CTA’s as a ways of meeting objectives such as raising awareness, growing sales, or increasing traffic.
However, with social media platforms such as Twitter, marketers are forced to be more creative than ever when looking to successfully communicate what exactly it is they want their target audience to do, and effectively persuade them to do so in 140 characters or less.
Listed below are 10 key strategies to follow when creating effective CTA messaging on Twitter:
1. Create a sense of urgency
By setting a time restraint, your target audience will feel more inclined and eager to take immediate action. The key is to not give your audience any reason to pause. For example, “Buy now!” lacks a sense of urgency, while, “Buy before midnight!” successfully creates it.
2. Be clear and direct
Do not beat around the bush. Tell the reader exactly what you want them to do. If you want them to visit your website, tell them. Do you have a new product that’s available for a download? Ask them to download it. With thousands of tweets coming in everyday, being explicit can often win over clever copy that entails the reader to read it over multiple times to actually comprehend the message.
3. Highlight the benefit
Tell the reader what is in it for them if they take action. It is important that the CTA clearly states what the value is behind taking such actions like clicking on a link or following a profile.
4. Foster confidence by reducing perceived risk
If the goal is to have the audience take action that involves a higher level of risk, suggest a low-risk option first. For example, ask the reader to sign up for a free trial, rather than asking them to sign up for a year’s subscription right away.
5. Keep it short and sweet
If possible, try to keep a CTA under 5 or 6 words. With only 140 characters to effectively communicate your message, it is vital to make your CTA as concise as possible, especially when additional content like a URL, username, image or other multimedia is involved that can quickly cut down on available space.
6. Use action words and phrases
Make a CTA as direct and action-oriented as possible by starting it with verb. For example, “Click here,” “Download now,” and “Retweet to win” all tell the reader exactly what action they are being asked to take.
7. Personalize it
The more intimate and tailored a CTA is to a particular audience, the more likely it will resonate with that audience. Knowing your audience is key to understand what kind of message to create and promote to best fit their wants and needs. Research market segmentation factors including your target’s geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioral characteristics.
8. Be persistent
Being persistent in your messaging is key to staying at the top of your audience’s mind. If you are running a campaign with a time restriction, make sure to continuously drive your CTA home rather than tweeting about it once and leaving it alone. However, it is important to exercise caution as tweeting too much can be overwhelming to the reader. Spacing out tweets and switching up the writing can be ways to get the message going while still keeping it fresh.
9. Do your research
Before sending out a tweet with a CTA, research and analyze data in order to decide which types of CTAs will be most effective. Factors to look at can include the timing, audience and past engagement with previous CTAs. See which ones resonated with your audience and which ones did not. A/B testing – send out multiple CTAs that have slight variations and see which ones your audience reacts to best and which ones fell short.
10. Practice forward thinking
The most successful CTAs should not come alive and fade away on Twitter. They should go beyond Twitter and as part of a larger sales and marketing cycle or campaign. Although Twitter can be beneficial in creating leads, it is vital for the customer to continue to have a positive user experience with a brand across multiple devices, networks and locations.
Source: 10 Characteristics of Killer Twitter CTAs You Can Use Today, Adweek Blog Network: Social Times, July 2014