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Facebook calls to action

Are you using honey or vinegar?

September 18, 2017

By Rita Zamora

Mad to Happy Meter illustration
It takes a matter of seconds to realize that someone is selling to you. In person, you may get that vibe from someone and instantly know. The same applies in social media. In fact, Facebook goes to great lengths to prevent businesses from placing ads in users’ news feeds that are overtly “salesy.” That old saying, “You’ll attract more bees with honey than with vinegar,” applies to social media, too. Think of content or posts that social media users find naturally engaging as the honey and the use of inappropriate calls to action as the vinegar.

Selling on social media
Those of you who use social media often likely understand the nuances of engaging content and when it’s right to use calls to action and when it’s not. In situations where calls to action are used in too many or (gasp) every post, consider that a lot of vinegar!

Of course, there is a time and place for advertisements and calls to action on social media. Think Facebook ads. The right amount of vinegar is delicious in certain foods and beverages and can make your offers more appetizing in social media when used at the right time and place. In fact advertising, or boosting posts, is essential for most practices today.

Facebook calls to action
Facebook is a pay-to-play tool and without payment, your posts, page and practice may fall flat. There are many excellent advertising options to choose from on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms. Depending on the ad options you choose, a website link or call to action will automatically be generated for you. Using the Facebook Creative Hub, you can choose from several calls to action, including Apply Now, Book Now, Contact Us, Donate Now, Download, Learn More, Request Time, See Menu, Shop Now, Sign Up or Watch More.

The cost of negative feedback
Facebook is skilled at determining what people like and dislike in their news feeds. Did you know they even track Facebook “thumbs down” negative feedback that your page gets? That’s right. Negative actions against a post or page can include Post Hides, Hides of All Posts, Reports of Spam and Unlikes.

You can find feedback stats in your Facebook Page Insights. Just go to your Business Page and tap the “Insights” tab at the top, then click on “Posts” on the left. Click the drop-down arrow beside “Reactions, Comments & Shares” and select “Post Hides, Hides of All Posts, Reports of Spam, Unlikes.” From there you can see what, if any, negative feedback you’ve received.

The inevitable result of high negative feedback is that Facebook figures out that people don’t want to see what you have to share. Ouch. This will result in challenges with organic visibility and will likely make your paid advertising more expensive as well.

So, when it comes to calls to action and advertising on social media, what is considered honey versus vinegar? If you are only on social media to sell, it’s possible to do nothing but advertise. However, you will pay for it, and you must have an excellent strategy in place. Nonstop ads will turn off page followers and make it difficult, if not impossible, to build a quality community. A strategy full of ads is designed to simply sell. Saturate the market and be done with it. Imagine drinking pure straight vinegar . . .

However, if you’d like to acquire page likes and followers and grow a quality community of people who like you (pun intended) and are interested in what you have to offer, then you’ll need a strategy that focuses on engaging people with great content and using ads as appropriate. Think delicious honey by the spoonful.

Ms. Zamora is a social media marketing specialist. Learn more at Read the rest of this article at