Don't wait! This is a call to action.

The best part of social media is the “social” part of it. When you post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. many people say where they are or what they are doing.

They might tweet a link to a web page because they think their friends might find it interesting. Those types of messages are not a call to action. They are just links sent to friends.

One type of call to action is the limited-time offer. Have you ever heard about those TV commercials that say, “Call before midnight tomorrow…?” There might be a special that is valid for one day only or one week only. Posting information about that creates a sense of urgency for the reader. They might think, “I was going to go to that store, but now I’d better make sure I go today.”

On a website, there might be a big, bold graphic that says, “Download me now!” That call to action is something we see all of the time on web pages. This tactic is a win-win. It attracts people to some offer and then the site owner collects the name and email of the person for their own mailing list.

You can also ask people to subscribe to a newsletter, blog or ezine. A similar call to action would be to sign up for a webinar or conference call. The consumer is becoming an active participant in your business. You want to keep them engaged with the information you give them.

In a call to action, you connect with the people reading your post and they may respond. Instead of writing, “Went to the football game today. Let’s go Ravens!” You might say, “Watched the Ravens win today! Marlon Humphrey was awesome. Who’s your favorite?”

In the second example, you pose a question. That may cause people to comment about who their favorite player is. Now you are being “social.” You have started a conversation.

Take another step and relate it to your business. Let’s say you own a bakery. A post might say, “The aroma is incredible. Fresh Danish just came out of the oven.” You might try instead, “Our Danish, fresh out of the oven, smells incredible. If you were on a deserted island, what pastry would you crave?”

In your blog posts, you should encourage people to make comments. That is another way to keep people interested. If at all possible, respond to all of the comments. By answering, you demonstrate to readers that you too are engaged and involved. Ask them to spread the word – share it on Facebook or tweet the information.

It sounds like shameless promotion and maybe it is. But, if you do not remind people that the option to share the information is there, they might not forward your content to others. In summary, to be effective in your social media, you want to reach as many people as possible.

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