How to Write Social Media CTAs That People Actually Respond To
What is a call-to-action (CTA)?
Frankly, a call-to-action tells people what you want them to do.
It isn’t. Or maybe it kind of is, but people want to be told what to do, especially when they’re going to benefit from taking that action.
Worried about being too sales-y?
Focus on creating high-quality content that offers people value. And then direct people to it.
How to know you’re bringing value
Before you create any content, whether it’s a podcast, blog, or infographic, create it with the purpose of solving your clients’ internal issues (i.e. pain points). The bottom line is that people don’t buy services — they buy outcomes.
To pinpoint your clients’ internal issues, consider how they feel before enlisting your services. They might be anxious, overwhelmed, or bored.
How do they feel after receiving your service? They are confident, relieved, and reinvigorated.
To learn how to articulate what your clients HAVE and FEEL before and after working with you, I strongly recommend that you go through an exercise called “The 8-Question ‘Before/After’ Grid” in this article.
Keeping your clients’ before-and-after experiences at the forefront of your mind is not only important in your approach to content creation. It’s essential for writing social media posts that people actually act on.
What does a CTA look like?
No one wants to write a blog that doesn’t get read or record a podcast that people don’t listen to. I reiterate that nobody wants that! So don’t let your efforts drop after creating high caliber content that solves your clients’ internal issues.
Go all the way. Lead people to your content with a compelling CTA.
When you start using CTAs, you will be in good company.
CTAs are everywhere, prompting us to act. They’re on website landing pages, email newsletters, and social media posts. They often appear at the end of webinars, seminars, and podcasts when the host encourages their audience to contact them and tells them exactly how to do it.
Here’s a little roundup of CTAs you’ve likely seen before…
Most of these examples hail from social media posts, which is what I’ll focus on in this blog. The first and last examples are from our friends at Twenty Over Ten who know their way around a good CTA. Check out their website and any of their social media channels for CTA inspiration.
Did you catch that CTA I just gave you?
(Ten points for me if you click on the links.!)
Your CTA vocabulary
Can you spot the CTAs that appear in the images above?
A few of them are Get started, Join now, and Get Tickets.
Here are CTAs that financial advisors and their marketers are probably familiar with…
Call our office today
Book your appointment today
See how we plan
Discover our planning process
Find a financial advisor
You may have included some of these CTAs in your digital communications, especially on your website. And I bet if you’re an advisor, you’ve sent an email or LinkedIn message that said something like, “Let’s set up a time to meet.”
That’s definitely a CTA.
Now let’s expand your CTA vocabulary. These are keywords that you can use in your social media posts, but don’t feel limited! There are hundreds of CTAs out there, but I think these ones are most relevant to advisors.
Click for more
Download for free
Find out more
Get exclusive access
Get your copy today
Immediate download here
Reserve your spot now
Tune in today
Visit us at
State the benefits of following your CTA
Write social media posts that pass what conversion copywriter Todd Clarke calls the
Your audience only cares about how they can benefit from your content. What’s in it for me?
So don’t waste valuable space by using jargon or talking about what your business does.
Tell people what they will get out of whatever it is you want them to do — read your blog, listen to your podcast, download your new white paper. So again, focus on how people will FEEL, plus what they will HAVE after they follow your CTA.
In other words, highlight the incentives for people and then give them a clear direction to click on your link.
In this example, business coach Kelly Roach piques her audience’s attention by asking a question that addresses what people will get out of joining her Facebook group: They will learn how to write a book, which will enable them to generate passive income and attract high-end clients.
And then Kelly tells her audience how she’s going to deliver that information: “I’m opening a popup Facebook group to help you…Check it out!” ←CTA
Nice one, Kelly!
Spark a sense of urgency
Plug in power words that inspire people to act NOW.
For example, instead of saying Call us, say Call now.
If you’re promoting your webinar, seminar, or e-course, create a sense of urgency in your audience by saying, Register now and save your spot.
After all, no one wants to miss out!
Here’s a post that urges people to act quickly and brings into play some of our favorite tech concepts — emoji .
Writing CTAs for your podcast
Now I want to talk specifically about writing CTAs for your podcasts. It is not enough to post your episode on social media and then just use a quote from the podcast as your copy (in other words, no CTA).
I know, a lot of people do it.
But would you click on that link?
Maybe if the podcaster is a celebrity you like (or love to hate) or someone you know.
Otherwise, you probably wouldn’t.
Instead, tell your audience what they will learn from listening to your podcast. How will they benefit? Remember, your post must pass the “So what?” test.
Do you write outlines for your podcasts before you record them? These could be in the form of mind maps (perhaps by using an online tool like Mindmeister) or in a series of bullet points in a Google document.
Or if you’re the type to wing it, we can make that work too.
Just jot down your key points after the recording. If you have a mind map or transcript, highlight them.
At the end of the day, all you’re looking for is a collection of deliverables (i.e. How will listeners benefit? What will they learn?), which you will incorporate into your social media posts.
Keep in mind that you will write multiple posts to promote each podcast episode. So mix things up with your copy; experiment with listing ALL of the benefits a listener will receive in one post and emphasize ONE big takeaway in another.
Let’s try a couple of posts…
Example #1: Your podcast is about allowance and at one point in your recording, you give guidelines for how much allowance to give children based on age.
Listener’s point-of-view: “I feel stressed because I don’t know if I’m giving my teenagers a realistic amount of money for their allowance. One of them is 14 years old and the other is 17. Is $10/week reasonable? Agh!”
Social media copy: Put your hand up if you’re a parent who’s trying to figure out how much allowance to give your kids. As parents, we wonder if we’re giving them too little or WAY too much. Solve your dilemma once and for all. Tune in now and learn how to set your kids’ allowance: [add your podcast link here]
Example #2: Your podcast is about options for employees who’ve maxed out their 401(k)s. You emphasize that people can continue saving money for retirement and then discuss pros and cons for each option.
Listener’s point-of-view: “I maxed out my 401(k) for the year, but I want to keep saving for retirement. I don’t know what to do now. Help!”
Social media copy: Have you maxed out your 401k for the year? Congratulations! Now it’s time to explore other retirement-saving options. Click the link to discover your next strategy: [add your podcast link here]
Be a problem solver for your listeners. They will appreciate it and keep coming back for more!
Dive in and start adding CTAs to your social media posts! Remember to clearly express how people will benefit from your content and what they should do next. You’ve got this!
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.