By Alfredo Ramos

On December 11th, Facebook announced that it was making seven new CTA, or call-to-action, buttons available for business Facebook pages. While this might not seem like a huge or exciting development, it’s one that could really help boost incremental interest and customers for those small businesses that leverage them properly.

CTA buttons are very common in emails, online forms and online display ads for a reason: they spur action. If you receive an email, are intrigued by the content, and want to learn more, then you’re likely to click on a button within the ad that drives you to a website or landing page. If the email doesn’t have a clear path of action, you may just make a mental note to visit the company’s website later (which may only actually happen a small fraction of the time).

Facebook has been lacking a similar CTA mechanism for its business pages until now. While you might have been adding links or call-outs in individual posts, your business page visitors who wanted to know more about your products or services might have to hunt around to get more information about your company or product, or to move on to the next step in the sales funnel. The CTA buttons solve this, providing a clear pathway to external sources of information.

facebook cta buttons

Facebook CTA buttons currently come in seven different flavors that are aligned with key business activities:

  • Book Now: ideal for setting up appointments, like for a spa
  • Contact Us: general CTA, appropriate for most small businesses
  • Use App: relevant for businesses with apps tied to their business goals
  • Play Game: perfect for gaming companies or companies with games to promote
  • Shop Now: ideal for online retailers, large or small
  • Sign Up: can drive users to subscribe to your business or email list
  • Watch Video: great to get prospects to learn more about your products or services via rich media

If you’re already using Facebook for your business, this is a great way to drive additional traffic to your homepage, garner more video views or get additional email subscribers. Don’t stop at Facebook either – this is the perfect opportunity to consider the CTAs (or lack thereof) in all of your other forms of advertising as well, and add or align them to help meet your business goals. If you are sending emails to your customers or prospects, are you giving them an easy “do this now” option via a button or link? Adding CTAs to marketing communication spurs action and provides clarity to customers that are ready to take the next step with your business. Other places you should look to add strong CTAs:

  • Your website: Don’t leave them hanging! If a prospect has made it to your website, you are in top contention for their business. Be sure that they know how to contact you by prominently including your phone number, email address, and location (when relevant), as well as social profiles where you are active.
  • Your emails: You send emails for a reason, so make that clear via CTAs. Be sure that you provide top-notch content for your customers, and then if you’ve hooked them, be sure that they know how to reach you.
  • Your blog: A blog is great for creating thought leadership, but once you’ve established that, you need to funnel potential customers to a place that they can truly engage with your business. Consider adding a CTA button to subscribe to your emails, or at the very least, include a contact form.
  • Other social media platforms: The ability to directly call your customers to action in various platforms varies and is always changing depending on the venue, but it is important to at least include links to your website or Facebook page when relevant.
  • Printed marketing materials: Printed marketing materials like postcards, flyers and banners are great for generating awareness, but you need to be sure that customers can contact you if you’ve caught their attention. Minimum CTA in printed marketing materials would be a phone number or email address.

Facebook’s surfacing of the CTA buttons may be just what your business needs to kickstart your small business marketing across all channels, leading to a much more prosperous 2015.

Alfredo Ramos is the general manager of Pagemodo (part of the Webs suite of products). Follow him at @Pagemodo.