Freelance writers have a lot to gain by understanding how to execute a successful “call to action” on social media. A CTA is an advertising and marketing concept where you ask your audience to do something. That something could involve following a Twitter account, clicking a link to a contest page, or sharing an opinion on a subject.
If you’re running a site, these are important skills to know in order to build a successful following. Businesses may hire a freelance writer to handle some of their social media work in lieu of a social media specialist. In addition to creating content, you may also have to sell it.
Building a Base
Ultimately, building a base falls on the people who operate a website. If you create a Facebook page or a Pinterest account and only rely on people searching for it and following it, you’re not going to build a large following. You can speed up the process by installing CTA widgets on your site for your supported social platforms. Don’t bury your membership-growing CTAs, put them near the top. For example, place “follow” widgets in the header or following article content and place “sharing” near the top of article content. Also, only include links to your most active social platforms.
Engaging Your Base
Social media doesn’t end with building a huge fan count, you need to engage your base to be successful. An easy way to get started is to get into a daily routine where you post links to popular site content like news, products, and services. Including a link is a type of CTA in itself which can be enhanced by saying something like “more information at the link” or “please check out the link.” You can also engage your audience with the available social network tools. For example, Facebook added a CTA button for fan pages where the admin can specify an action like “contact us,” “sign up,” “watch video,” or “shop now” next to the familiar “like/message” buttons.
Build Through Engagement
Work smarter by building your base through creating engaging content that people want to discuss and share. The grassroots approach works well and helps build an active following that participates in the social media experience. This way you can reach a larger audience and build a following through your fans’ friends. For example, asking “what do you think” about your posts is a CTA approach that boosts engagement and interest in your content.
Additionally, posts that use CTA words like comment, link, like, share, follow tend to get higher engagement. Politeness, like asking “please” can also be well received. However, when asking your audience to like or share content it’s wise to avoid coming off like you’re begging for attention or pandering. Both of these extremes can backfire and disenfranchise your fan base. If the content doesn’t present itself in a way that you can comfortably spin with CTA, don’t do it. You’ll get more opportunities in the future.
Dan S is a former news journalist turned web developer and freelance writer. He has a penchant for all things tech and believes the person using the machine is the most important element.