Marketers of most stripes know how important and powerful calls-to-action are.
If you want someone to take a specific action, you have to actually ask them to take that specific action.
But, it seems like social media marketers have either forgotten CTAs, or rejected them altogether.
A researcher by the name of Irving Kirsch at the University of Connecticut did an interesting experiment with hypnotically suggestable people.
Half of the subjects were put under full hypnotic trance and given a stack of 30 post cards.
They were given the hypnotic command to mail one card back to the lab each day for 30 days.
The other half of the subjects were simply asked nicely, given social requests without hypnosis to do the same.
Can you guess which group mailed more postcards back?
The second group ended up mailing more cards back. Social requests can be just as powerful as full-out hypnotic suggestions.
So why are social media marketers afraid of them?
The power words of blog commenting
When I studied blogging, I found that blog posts that included the word “comments” typically got more comments than blog posts that did not.
Take a look at this graph displaying the most commented-on words:
This is very simple, very powerful stuff.
If you want readers to comment on your blog, you have to ask them.
The power of the call to action
The most powerful evidence of the power of social calls-to-action is how effective “please retweet” is.
I studied a a statistically significant sample set of more than 10,000 tweets and found that those that used the phrases “please retweet” or “please rt” were much more likely to be retweeted.
In the case of the longer “please retweet” the tweets were four times more likely to be shared by followers.
I’m not exactly sure why there is so much resistance in social media marketing circles to calls to action, but now you know the truth.
Calls to action work!
And here’s one for you: Get more social media data and mythbusting information by registering for the Science of Social Media webinar coming on August 23rd. Register today!
About the Author: Dan Zarrella is HubSpot’s Social Media Scientist. This post contains data from his upcoming webinar The Science of Social Media, taking place this Tuesday, August 23rd. Sign up now!