It’s time to talk about calls-to-action. We see the ‘Like me’ prompt so often these days, we think it should mean something. But to a marketing professional, it means absolutely nothing.
Still, you see this call-to-action (CTA) thrown into every ad copy you see on a daily basis - which is exactly why it fails. There’s nothing to support it!
So how can you use CTAs effectively to get social media followers? First, let’s look at the basic role a call-to-action button fills:
If you learned the old A-I-D-A acronym in Marketing 101 you’ll know that after Attention, Interest, and Desire, comes Action.
The important takeaway here is that Action comes at the end, AFTER the other three stages. It’s the final step in a basic email marketing process. If Action worked all by itself, you wouldn’t need to waste time on the first three critical steps. But it doesn’t - customers need to be wooed into making a decision.
Adding a ‘Like’ button anywhere and everywhere is kind of like running around yelling ACTION at every opportunity and expecting results. The reality is, without a strong enough reason customers aren’t going to give you the validation of a “Like”. It’s not easy getting fans!
Here’s an alternate strategy that works way better:
1. Set a campaign goal for your email (e.g. to gain more Facebook fans).
2. Set your CTA before you write your email (e.g. Click here to like us on Facebook).
3. Create a stand-alone email presenting a strong benefit statement for why your reader should respond to your CTA.
4. Only include one CTA in the message (Don’t fall prey to the temptation to slip in a link to Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest).
5. Measure your results, and see how it compares to other strategies.
6. Repeat this strategy for other social media platforms - but be sure to space these campaigns out.
You’ll soon discover that one email with a clear compelling argument will get you way more fans that a hastily placed “Like Me” button.
Shorten your learning curve, make the most of your resources, and maximize your impact both online and off.
Mitch Tarr is the author of Email Marketing Mastery: Accelerate Your Business Using Email Marketing.