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How to Create Effective Calls to Action on Instagram

by Arianne Foulks

June 27, 2017
How to create effective calls to action on Instagram.

Do you spend a lot of time on Instagram or another social media platform, but no one will buy? You need a way to get your perfect customer to move from admiring to desiring to buying. Let’s take a look at how to create effective calls to action on Instagram that will help your customers get past their resistance and all the way through checkout.

Does giving a person a reason to buy make you feel pushy and unpleasant? It doesn’t have to be that way. First, decide you only want to convince your perfect customer. It’s the people who are trying to convince everyone to buy that come off like used car salesmen. Your perfect customer is close to being very happy to buy from you, and you need to help her get all the way there.

Are you giving your potential customers a good reason to buy?

When you propose an action to a customer (click here! buy now!), their first reaction will be, “why should I?”

Make sure that your writing answers this silent question before it’s asked.

Every time you ask someone to do something (and you should be asking), think, “why should she?” to yourself. Then put the answer in your request.

Examples of bad and good calls to action

When you ask someone to do something, that’s called a “call to action.” Here are four small business photo captions I found on Instagram. Which do you find more compelling?

1) Bad:

“Fresh out of my kiln today!”

Okay, great! You made it. Will it be for sale? What is it, what do I do with it and why do I want it? Perhaps this post wasn’t meant to sell anything, but even if I find the work interesting, nothing here sparks me to action.

2) Okay:

“This old rack is pretty perfect. 4 metal hooks, 35″ long. $55”

At least the price tells me it’s for sale! But this is all info, no call to action. I need to know what makes it perfect (what’s the benefit?), and I need to know what the seller wants me to do (“head to our website to grab it before it’s gone!”).

3) Better:

“Our cube chair is a beautiful and functional piece of furniture that promotes independence (starting at about 5-6 months). It comes in Birch or Walnut and is fully assembled.”

This is so close. This tells me a bit about why I want it (independent baby — but what’s so great about an independent baby?), but how do I get it? Remember I’m on Instagram. What do I do next? Is there a website I go to?

4) Great!

“Entertaining in style is kinda what I live for. It’s what’s behind the brand @suiteonestudio in the simplest sense. I wanted to bring a new freshness to the table, because I believe that sharing meals together isn’t something that needs to remain in the past. Sure gathering around the table is a bit more challenging these days (life is busy busy!) but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t carve out time to do this, and to do it well, and beautifully. Visit the link in my profile to enter for your chance to win this platter and gorgeous @rebecca_atwood napkins so you too can make mealtimes beautiful.”

Ding ding ding! Oh yes. I can relate to this, I understand it, I know where to go and what I’m getting there, and “so you too can make mealtimes beautiful” answers the question I’m asking in the same sentence as it asks me to visit the link. This is how to do it with grace and effectiveness.

Do you always have to include calls to action on Instagram?

It’s true that a picture is often worth a thousand words. Some people go far on the strength of their photos alone. People figure it out, love it, and buy it, with a sales process that is more like friendly chit-chat.

If demand for your products beats the supply, do whatever you enjoy on Instagram. But if you wish more people would follow through after you post, use your words wisely. Not only on Instagram, but across social media and on your own website or Etsy shop (think product descriptions!).

I’m not saying that you should sell every time you post. People will appreciate your just-for-fun posts–the ones that show your personality. It’s fine to use social media to be social! When you do want to sell, though, make sure you know how best to bring people along with you.

If you’re interested in psychology, like I am, this research study on the answer to “why” is fascinating (it turns out that almost any dumb reason after the “because” causes people to help you!):

The Power of the Word ‘Because’ to Get People to Do Stuff

Here’s my call to action

One thing you may not know about hiring the Aeolidia team to design your website is that we don’t let you get away with flimsy calls to action on your home page! We’ll include our copywriter on your team, and make sure that every bit of content gives your customers a reason to buy, counters their objections, and helps them sail smoothly to checkout.

Our website redesigns consistently increase conversion rates for established businesses and provide a killer start for new businesses. That means that you can see many more sales with the same amount of traffic you get right now. Same marketing effort, bigger results! Get in touch with me today so we can chat about making your website really work.

Once they get to your website, will they trust what they see?

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5 thoughts on “How to Create Effective Calls to Action on Instagram”

  1. I really appreciated this article because I’m in the position of having to define a social media campaign that will promote and drive traffic for CEO’s, Directors, Managers, etc. and I’ve not really a clue where to start! My passion is for creating aesthetically appealing designs (ease of use, flow and how the eye moves across the page), not so much when it comes to defining an entire marketing strategy. Your article is sparking some ideas because I do have some marketing sense, it’s just not my strongest area. 😉 Thank you!


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