Earlier this year, Facebook added a new feature to both ads and posts that changes the way you display your calls to action. Specifically, it allows you to customize their little call to action button.
Since then, Facebook rolled out a redesign that moved those buttons and the way posts are displayed in the news feed. They still exist, but they require the Facebook Power Editor to create, unlike the buttons we’re about to discuss.
To make it up to pages, Facebook has rolled out a similar feature over the last few days. In fact, the new feature is still rolling out, and will be for a few weeks. This feature is the custom call to action button for your individual page.
Page Call to Action Buttons
You can see examples of this new Facebook call to action button for pages on some of the profiles that already have it. The example Facebook uses in their developers news post is the Dollar Shave Club. If you click that link and visit their page, at the top, next to the “like” and “message” buttons, you see a button labeled “sign up” with a pen icon. This is one of the customized call to action buttons Facebook has debuted.
If you click that sign up button, you are taken to the Dollar Shave Club website. The URL takes you to their homepage, though it’s laced with tracking parameters. This tells you two things. First, you can use this call to action button to link to an external site, which is brilliant for semi-permanent links. Second, you can use tracking parameters, including Google’s UTM parameters, to track your referrals in detail.
The button is customizable in a limited fashion. You can choose from one of seven different objectives. These objectives are:
- Book Now
- Contact Us
- Use App
- Play Game
- Shop Now
- Sign Up
- Watch Video
Customizing the Call to Action Button
Right now, you might not have the call to action button on your page. You’ll know when you log in to your page and view it. If you don’t have the feature yet, your page will look as it always does. If you do, you will see the location of that call to action button occupied by a new button. This button is labeled “create call-to-action.”
Click this button, if it exists on your page. You will open up a menu that has three fields.
- Choose a Button. This is where you pick from among the seven available call to action buttons. These are all functionally identical; the only differences are the words and the icon. For example, the “shop now” button has a shopping cart icon, while the “sign up” button has a pencil icon.
- Website. This is where you put in your link. You can link to your homepage, to a subpage, to a landing page, a product page, a video page or any other page you choose to specify. It’s unknown whether there’s a character limit to the field at this time. You’re also free to use tracking parameters for this link.
- Mobile Website. This is an optional field, but it can be very beneficial to certain webmasters. This field allows you to link to a different URL for mobile users. This allows you to customize specific mobile landing pages, particularly if your site isn’t responsive.
- The next bits of customization, past the first window, include additional options to specify destinations for iOS devices and Android devices individually. You can choose between website – which pushes them to the website specified on the previous screen under mobile – or app. If you choose app, you specify an app URL, and a backup URL in case that app fails to load.
Once you have filled out at least the top two fields, and the third if you want a different mobile destination, click to create your call to action. Once that’s done, your button is live.
We all want to know how effective our buttons are, and you can track your data in a few different ways with these new call to action buttons. The first way is, as mentioned, adding tracking code to the URLs you use. This allows you to, for example, track your visitors through Google Analytics.
On Facebook natively, when you click the drop-down arrow on your live call to action button, you will be presented with three options. The first is to go to the destination link, as a test. The second is to edit the call to action, in case you want to change it. The third is to delete it entirely, which you might do if you want more real estate for your cover photo or if you find the button isn’t converting for you.
Additionally, in the sidebar, there will be a new field of information. This is information for the last week relating to your button. Specifically, it shows you the number of clicks. You don’t get much more information than that readily at hand, unfortunately.
Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t allow you to customize the copy, icon or color for your CTA buttons. You’re limited to specifying one of their seven options, as well as the destination URL.
On the landing page, of course, all bets are off. You’re free to do as you will.
Call to action buttons still work for ads, and in fact they work very well. As recently as October, studies showed that the presence of the button increased click rates by as much as 2.85 times. They work the same for promoted posts, as long as you use the Power Editor to create the post and the ad. There are some oddities with the way Facebook native links are displayed – it occasionally changes your CTA button choice – but otherwise they work the same way.
Armed with this new tools, it’s time for you to go out and create your custom call to action. Make a nice landing page, get people to click through and see how it affects your marketing.