Guest post from our Junior Developer: Jordan Barhorst
Hello, I’m Jordan Barhorst, designer/developer at Thrive. By now, everyone knows about Facebook and Twitter. These internet giants are more than just a platform to post cute pictures of your kitten or tweet about what you had for lunch. More and more every day, these social networks are being used by individuals and businesses alike to promote themselves. We’ve spoken at length in previous blogs and whitepapers about how important social media is to any business. But how can you drive your audience to check out your company’s Facebook and Twitter feeds?
The answer is an effective Call to Action. Here at Thrive, we believe that having effective Calls to Action on your website can help boost traffic to just about any resource you want to feature. One of the most popular uses of a Call to Action is to feature company whitepapers or e-books. In fact, Thrive uses a Call to Action to generate more views of our own whitepapers for businesses.
CAPTION: This Call to Action, found on the sidebar of Thrive’s website, drives page viewers to download our free social media whitepaper.
But who’s to say these Calls to Action can’t be used for other things as well? One of the most important elements of any business is connecting with your customers, and by far the easiest way to do that today is through social media. If your company doesn’t have a Facebook page or a Twitter account (hopefully you have both!), you are missing out on a great way to show your customers that you care. But why have Twitter or Facebook to promote your business if you can’t get people to visit your page? A successful Call to Action driving page viewers to check out your social media pages can really inflate the number of followers, ‘Like’s and Re-Tweets.
Recently, Thrive has been working on a new feature on our Toledo Arts and Entertainment website Toledo.com in an attempt to gain more email newsletter subscribers. When a user fills out our email subscription form, they are taken to a Thank You page. We felt this was a great way not only to show our gratitiude for them joining our mailing list, but to also try to drive them to ‘Like’ the Toledo.com Facebook page and Follow Toledo.com on Twitter.
Luckily, both Facebook and Twitter provide great tools for helping your company with this process. Both social media networks provide buttons that can be used by viewers of your site to quickly ‘Like’ or Follow your company if they are logged into Facebook and Twitter. Here is a snapshot of what Toledo.com’s thank you page looked after implementing these buttons:
These buttons will do exactly what you want them to do: provide page viewers with a way to easily connect with you on your social media pages without having to leave your site. However, notice how bland and small these buttons are. They almost blend right in with the page. If a user can’t see these buttons, more than likely they won’t click them. This is where we implement our Call to Action.
Although these buttons are official Facebook and Twitter buttons, they are not the only official options available to you. Both Facebook and Twitter offer multiple solutions that are much more eye-catching than these buttons. Facebook offers the ‘Like Box’ (https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like/), which provides this same button, but also shows actual people who like the page. If any of the user’s Facebook friends also like the page, their image will be featured in the Like box.
CAPTION: This is the Toledo.com Like Box. Other people who like Toledo.com include my friends Ian Hartten, Gwen Betts, Dan Mattina and John Eikost!
Twitter also provides a more visual solution than their plain button, although it can be harder to find. Fortunately, Thrive has found it for you! The Twitter Feed widget (https://twitter.com/settings/widgets) will place a real-time Twitter feed anywhere on your website. This is a great opportunity to show your viewers what content you’ve been Tweeting. It also includes a button that will let viewers follow your page, as well as an input box that will allow them to tweet at your company!
One of the most popular ways to implement a Call to Action is an arrow. The arrow is used to catch the viewer’s attention and drive them to a specific point on a page. In this case, we’ll implement an arrow to point to our newly created Facebook Like Box and Twitter Feed widget. Now when a viewer loads our thank you page, their eyes work down the page to the arrow, and they are directed to Toledo.com’s social media pages.
Calls to Action can be implemented just about anywhere on your site. Depending on how much space you have to work with, you can accomplish many things with a great Call to Action. For more information on how to effectively drive traffic on your site using a Call to Action, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 419.776.7000!