Ever wonder what your competitors are doing to get their followers to comment on their photos or click their links?

At the end of most Instagram posts related to business, you’ll often see a sentence or question prompting people to take action. This is called a Call To Action, or a CTA. CTAs are the holy grail of social media marketing and getting engagement. They tell people what to do next. You can ask your followers to click a link, make a comment, tag a friend in the comments, etc.

They key to using the Call To Action effectively is to be as creative as possible. What works for one business may not work for another. Test a few different ones and see what engages your customers the most.

In today’s post, we’re going to outline the types of Calls To Action and 8 creative CTA ideas that you can test out on your next post.

Types of Calls to Action

There are essentially two kinds of Call To Action statements for Instagram. Both are important but they each serve a different purpose for your business.

The first type of CTA encourages engagement on your posts. Engagement is crucial on Instagram because it’s generally the first little “yes” you get. Every like or comment is a little yes that can eventually add up to a bigger yes — the sale! Asking followers to comment, tag a friend, or vote in the comments are examples of CTAs that encourage engagement.

The second type of CTA is where you direct people to the link in your Instagram bio. Ultimately, your goal for social media is to turn followers into customers. Instagram is a great place to meet potential customers, engage with them, and drive them to your website.

1) Ask a Question

This is one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to create conversation and action on your post. At the end of your caption, ask your followers to answer a question that relates to the content of your post.

It’s really that easy! Posting a picture with a cup of coffee? Ask your followers what their typical coffee order is. Sharing a photo of a beautiful destination? Ask your followers if they’ve ever visited. People love to share their opinions and experiences, they just sometimes need a little bit of prompting.

@seedphytonutrients uses this post to create a conversation about ways to reuse their containers. Their picture shows one example and their caption encourages followers to engage with their post and start a conversation in the comment section.

2) Tell Followers to Tag a Friend

@bestvacations regularly asks their followers to tag a friend they’d want to take with them to a beautiful destination.

@dropps encourages people to tag a friend with sensitive skin who would enjoy their product. They know that the person viewing the post may not directly benefit from this aspect of their product but they can tag someone else who does.

3) Have followers vote in comments

One great feature on Instagram is the ability to share multiple photos at the same time in a carousel format. If you have multiple products or services, create a carousel of images and ask your followers to vote for their favorite one in the comments below.

This not only encourages people to comment, but also encourages the to look through all of the pictures in the carousel. The more time people spend on your posts, the more likely Instagram is to show your posts to them in the future. Win-win!

@greendoorinteriors creates design boards to help their clients make interior design decisions. They shared a few of these boards and asked their followers to vote which one is their favorite.

4) Direct Followers to Your Bio Link

Unfortunately, Instagram does not let allow you to create clickable links in your posts or captions. However, you can direct people to your bio link to lead them to the next step — whatever that may be.

Ideally, you want to convert your Instagram followers to leads and then to customers. It’s a good idea to encourage followers to subscribe to your blog or email list. Ultimately, you don’t own your Instagram audience. If Instagram ever shuts down you need to have another way to reach your audience. So it’s a smart move to direct people to where you actually do business — your website!

5) Tag Products in Your Posts

Instagram now allows stores to tag their products directly on the Instagram app. Users can click these tags, make their selection, and check out without even leaving the platform. This is far easier for your followers than clicking a link, leaving Instagram, and purchasing on your website.

Therefore, posts with product tags are far more likely to take people from follower to customer. And why wouldn’t you want to make it easier for people to give you their money?

@Nordstrom makes it easy for people to purchase their products by tagging them directly in each of their posts.

6) Create a Sense of Urgency

“Available to the first 50 customers,” “Limited time only,” “24-hour flash sale.” Phrases like these create a sense of urgency for your followers and encourage them to take action quickly and purchase your product or service. If people are afraid of missing out on an incredible deal or a product with limited inventory, they’ll be more likely to grab their wallets and complete their purchase on the spot.

Be careful not to overuse this one. If your followers see that you have a 50% off sale every other week, they’re not going to be purchasing anything at full price. They’ll also feel that your products are only worth as much as the sale price and this may tarnish your brand image.

@zaful creates a sense of urgency for their worldwide free shipping promo by using CTAs like “Only in 72 hours” and “hurry up!!.”

7) Encourage Followers to Watch Your Stories

One of the best ways to use Instagram stories is to provide a behind-the-scenes look at what you post on your regular Instagram feed. However, not everyone who sees your Instagram posts are watching your stories. Let them know in your caption that you’re providing something different on stories!

Posting a particularly interesting picture on your profile? Take a video of you getting the shot and share that on your stories! Your followers love getting an insider look at how you capture those beautiful images.

You also need to be doing the reverse of this. Because of the Instagram algorithm, not everyone who watches your Instagram stories are being shown your posts. Post that behind-the-scenes look and then direct your stories viewers to the post to see the finished product!

8) Tease Your Followers

@everlane teases their followers by posting a sneak peak of their latest denim launch. They don’t give away the whole picture but they post an extreme close-up video to generate excitement about the new product.

Quick Tips to Writing Great CTAs

Now that we’ve outlined some awesome Call To Action examples, here is a quick guide for you to write your own CTA for your next Instagram post.

1) Start With Action Words

Don’t beat around the bush. Tell your audience exactly what you want them to do and how to do it. Effective CTAs persuade people to comment or take some other action by using action words. “Buy now”, “click on”, “comment below”, and “tag a friend” are some examples of action words you can use on your next Instagram caption.

2) Have a “Why”

If you’re asking your audience to do something, they need to know what’s in it for them. Give your followers an incentive that motivates them. Don’t just tell them to buy something. Make sure you’re first telling them why your product will provide value to their lives.

If you’re asking them to leave a comment, make sure you respond to them. You wouldn’t ask someone a question and then walk away when they answer you. Have a conversation and make a connection with each person who comments.

3) Test Different CTAs

It’s important to keep your CTAs fresh and relevant to your target audience. You should be constantly testing to identify which CTAs get your followers excited and engaged and which don’t.

Final Thoughts

Looking to get more sales? More comments? More conversions? No matter what you’d like to accomplish with your Instagram profile, you won’t do it without the right Call To Action. A CTA not only tells your followers what they should do next, but also gives them the motivation to do so.

Instagram is all about engagement. Engage your followers by getting them to comment on your posts, sign up for your email list, purchase your product, or take some other action. A lot of businesses still don’t know how to use CTAs effectively, so take a look at your content and see where you can be incorporating them more often.