An Impromptu Picnic, and a Lesson in Social Marketing (part 2)

Posted on Aug 13, 2013

Mother Father Son and Daughter (8-11) Having a Picnic and ChattingIf you recall, one day last week my two year old called me to lunch: “Papa, lunch ready. Eat outside.” And, having delivered his message, he tugged on my hand to prompt me out of my chair.

Reflecting on the exchange later, I noted that there were two lessons for the social marketer in my son’s actions. The first was clarity of message. The second lesson was the call to action.

I Want

In the call to action you are asking the audience to do something. “Stop in before the end of the month and save 20%.” “Concerned that you might not be maximizing your deductions? Call us.” “Please complete this form to download our ebook.”

An effective call to action statement must be:

  • Clear: If your reader has to struggle to understand what you want them to do, you’ve lost. A clear message coupled with a clear call to action has the highest conversion rate.
  • Concise: Don’t beat around the bush. If you want someone to do something, tell them. The more you obfuscate what you want, the less likely it is that you’ll get what you want.
  • Well Placed: Your call to action should appear at either the beginning or the end of your message. Or occasionally, both. The choice is dependent on the nature of the call. If it contains a hook – “stop in and save 20%” – placing the call to action at the beginning of your message can be highly effective since it draws the reader into to learn more. Without a compelling hook, the call to action should appear at the end of your message (giving you the opportunity first to explain the benefit of following the call).

When my son summoned me for an alfresco lunch, his message was clear: lunch was ready and he was eating outside. What he quickly realized, as I continued to sit in my chair, was that he hadn’t told me what he wanted me to do. The tug on my hand was his appended call to action – “Get up and have lunch with me!”

Are your social marketing messages as effective as you’d like? If not, look at your call to action. How will your audience know what you want them to do if you don’t tell them?

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An Impromptu Picnic, and a Lesson in Social Marketing (part 2)

by Scott A Livingston time to read: 2 min
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