social action

Social Action Cheat Sheet

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Creating effective social actions is equally part art and part science. There is certainly no replacement for great writing with emotion and urgency, but data-driven practices can also make a big difference in moving your supporters to action. Try to use as many of these tips as you can in each action to see the best results.

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Here is the social action cheat sheet to effective actions:

1. Picking the Right Action

Selecting a meaningful action that resonates with your unique community is the most important part of creating an action.

Fortunately, there are some tried and true ways to find the right action for your audience. First, go back and look at your past actions—online and offline. What patterns do you see? Look at things like:

  • Issues
  • Type of asks (pledges, petitions, etc.)
  • Content (tone, timeliness, image, meme, pithy, etc.)

*Also make sure to note what didn’t work, because you’ll want to create fewer posts like that in the future.

For more ideas, you can also look at what kinds of issues are performing well on your Facebook Page and on similar pages. A few tools that will help you do this are Timeline, Inspire and the Page Analyzer. And don’t forget to experiment—you’ll find the secret sauce if you keep at it!

2. Problem, Solution, Action Format

If you use our formula in writing your action on your ActionSprout landing page and your post, you’ll have the best chance to inspire your audience to take action. There are three main parts:

Problem or challenge: Why should they care? Your problem should be simple and explained in just a few lines. Any problem more complicated than that has an increased risk of failing on Facebook. For better or for worse, you have a limited amount of time and attention to hook your reader.

Solution: How do you propose we fix the problem? Pass a bill? A day of service? A change in behavior? This should be a realistic solution that your supporters can believe in.

Call to action: What can your supporters do to make this solution a reality—make a pledge? Donate? Sign a petition? Again, they need to believe that their action will lead to change.

One thing to note: When writing your Facebook post, bump the call to action to the top. This will capture supporters’ attention in the busy News Feed. Example: “SIGN THE PETITION XXX”. And you might not be able to fit everything into a few sentences in the post—that’s okay, just put in your most compelling content.

3. Clear Target or Goal

There should only be one target or goal to your action. Your action is directed at one decision-maker or has one desired outcome. Remember, your audience could be on their phone on a train; anything more complicated could lose them.

4. Clear Call to Action

Your call to action should be clear and straightforward. There should be no question about what you are asking folks to do. To this end, make sure that your action only contains one call to action that you repeat again and again. Any further calls to action can wait until the post-action message or your follow-up email. Your number one goal right now is for your supporters to complete the action.

5. Compelling Image

Facebook is a very visual platform, therefore your action should have a compelling image to accompany it and make it stand out. When choosing or creating an image, there are a few things to keep in mind.

When applicable, images with text overlay tend to perform better than those without. Pixlr and Pablo are both easy-to-use tools that allow you to add text to any image.

Another important piece is the size of your image. The best dimensions for News Feed and action images are 1200 x 627. Pixlr can help you resize your images.

Don’t forget to download your own PDF check list.