In a recent seminar I discussed the importance of your social media headlines. We discussed the three main categories of a powerful headline – Proof/Piggy-backing, Pain, and Gain.
Here are three ways to improve your ability to drive action from your headlines on top of what we discussed. Keep in mind that these tips work across all social media platforms you use.
1 – Add the words “how to”
Neglecting to do this is a common mistake and it’s easy to correct. Often I see tweets and other headlines that are simply statements.
Remember that a good headline or tweet contains a promise that, if you click, the promise will be fulfilled.
Adding the words HOW TO to an existing ‘gain’ headline will be a dramatic improvement turning a statement into a promise.
For example, here is a fantastic how-to tweet from a start-up software company called Bidsketch:
Remove the HOW TO from the tweet and it reads, “Apply the 80/20 Principle to Your Freelance Business”
This headline doesn’t make a promise, it makes a statement. Add the words HOW TO and you’ve got a promise, and a good headline.
2 – Communicate time
One of the questions people will have when they read your headline
is — how long will it take to fulfill the promise in the headline?
One way to improve your click through rate is to communicate some aspect of time in your headlines. Take a look at this tweet from Hiten Shah:
I don’t think this is going to be a quick read.
If I don’t have the time, I’m unlikely to click on this link. On the other
hand, if I’m looking for a thorough exploration of this subject, I’m
going to click and get settled in for a lengthy piece of content.
Notice how different this tweet would communicate the aspect of
“A Single, Simple Trend That Will Dominate America’s Future”
This tweet gives the sense that this will be a short, concise piece of content that I can consume in a few minutes.
3 – Add fascination
Adding a layer of fascination to your tweets and other headlines can lead to huge increases in engagement. (Which is ultimately what we are all looking for.)
The key is to tie a gain or threat to something that is seemingly
unrelated. These headlines make a promise but also tease the
reader with curiosity.
Here’s a great example from Jon Morrow, Here’s a great example Jon Morrow: