Facebook quietly announced it will be rolling out a new call-to-action feature that could help businesses and brands drive business objectives such as customer acquisition. Page administrators will soon see an option to select one of seven call-to-action buttons, linking on or off Facebook, to add to a fixed position at the top of their Page.
Currently those button options will include:
- Book Now
- Contact Us
- Use App
- Play Game
- Shop Now
- Sign Up
- Watch Video
According to the official Facebook announcement, these buttons were designed to help “bring a business’s most important objective to the forefront of its Facebook presence.” What can you expect? Read on.
Using Facebook Pages as a Destination Hub
This feature is one example of Facebook’s new effort to make brand Pages a destination hub for businesses rather than just a platform to publish content. In November — to the dismay of most social marketers — Facebook announced that it would once again be updating the News Feed algorithm to reduce the number of posts it deems “too promotional.”
It’s no secret that the portion of organic Page posts seen by a brand’s Facebook fans has rapidly declined since 2013. Research by Social@Ogilvy proves that average organic reach of content published on brand Facebook Pages has decreased more than 50% in a five-month period.
This News Feed update is slated to take effect sometime in January 2014 and will undoubtedly be one step closer to making organic reach nearly zero.
The new CTA button is a big win for brands that are publishing unique, relevant and engaging content as a way to drive audiences to their brand Page, particularly in an era of vanishing organic reach of content. Essentially, the increased competition for a limited News Feed space, as well as competition from other social media platforms without ads, has made Facebook shift to a social strategy in which brand Pages aren’t publishing platforms, but destination landing-pages for ad supported posts.
Why is it Important?
Dollar Shave Club, a social online retailer heavyweight, was selected for a three-week beta test of the CTA feature. Brain Kim, Director of Acquisition, reported that the “Sign Up call-to-action button delivered a 2.5x higher conversion rate versus other comparable social placements aimed to drive new user acquisition.” These results are encouraging and they make sense.
Every post on your Page is an opportunity to drive audiences to your Facebook Page. By taking a peak at your Facebook Insights “Visits” tab you can begin to see the opportunity for converting timeline visitors into customers.
In the example above, one of my client’s Pages averaged 51 Page views per day over the past month. That equates to over 18,000 customer acquisition opportunities every year. My client can expect to see an increase in conversions from Facebook referral traffic with a prominent CTA button at the top of their page.
How many conversions you ask? Well, that depends on how you use them.
Ways to Use Call-to-Action Buttons
The button you choose — Book Now, Contact Us, Use App, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up and Watch Video – should be your business’s highest priority. This will be a great opportunity to encourage visitor actions like:
- Selling products
- Offering limited time promotions
- Increasing newsletter and webinar registrations
- Driving landing page and blog post traffic
- Pushing eBook and whitepaper downloads
- Encouraging App downloads
- Brand positioning and new product launches with video plays
It’s also worth noting that you should split test the effectiveness of each button. There could be large discrepancies in engagement rates between buttons that could work interchangeably like “Book Now” and “Contact Us.”
How to Get an Edge
The location of the button gives you an opportunity to re-design your Page’s cover photo guide visitors’ eyes towards the button. The button is in a fixed location, so you can adjust the color and design of your current cover photo to make the CTA pop. Unlike Dollar Shave Club’s cover photo, I recommend making sure the background area behind the button is clear of clutter and dark enough to provide ample contrast.
Here are a couple of advanced cover photo design tips based on visual perception that will help you direct a viewer’s eye to the CTA:
- People have selective attention and will look at what they believe is most important
- The eye instinctively moves from the most to least prominent elements
- Guide the viewer’s eye along a clear intended path
- Clear space around the call-to-action to stress the importance of the element
- Use contrast with negative space to give the button visual weight
- Viewers’ eyes tend to scan information horizontally or vertically, not diagonally
- Because we read left to right, most viewers will start in the upper left corner
- Use the profile image to direct eyes to the right
Keep in mind that Facebook already adds a drop shadow to the bottom of your cover photo, but adding an additional drop shadow on your own could help make the button pop even further.
Using Visual Perception to Increase CTR
Here is a before and after example that may help your creative juices when generating your own cover photo.
In the image above, the sticky note “Don’t forget” blends in with the theme of a cluttered desk and also instinctively guides viewers’ eyes to the CTA button. It’s not overbearing and it creates a clear space around the button to give it more prominence.
The Mobile Effect
In the comment section beneath the official announcement, Facebook mentioned, “The button is visible on mobile devices in context rows. It’s not yet available on hover cards but we’re always exploring ways to make new features more discoverable.”
This image shows how the CTA will appear on mobile devices. Because it will appear in a row and not as a hover card, be careful not to use overly dramatic design elements on your cover photo or risk confusing mobile Page visitors.
Now it’s time to tell your clients about this customer acquisition opportunity. You’ll be able to give them tangible tips for utilizing this new feature and they’ll be thrilled to be one step ahead of their competitors. Also, don’t forget to split test cover photo options to optimize conversions!