Creating an effective action is often more art than science, but there are some best practices to keep in mind as you’re creating your next social action.
In this guide we will
- List the pieces of a effective action
- Dive deep into strategy
- Provide actionable tips
The pieces of an effective actions
The following list of attributes are found repeatedly in over performing actions from a wide range of pages:
1. Emotional – must evoke an immediate emotional response. I must feel compelled to get involved.
2. Solvable – must feel like my action can really make a difference. I feel like I might be able to save a wolf as opposed to stopping big oil.
3. Urgent – It must require an immediate response. I feel like it will be too late if I stop to think or come back later. I must take action now.
4. Directed – It helps if the action is directed at someone or something that I can identify. Feels like my action has a human connection to it. The action is almost tangible.
5. Identity – Must be something that I want my friends to identify me with. Something I want, no need them to see me do. It defines me.
6. Make a clear ask – Don’t confuse people or make them wonder how to get involved. Make the ask visible and obvious.
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:
- 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.
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.