How-to Guide

How to Create Enticing Headlines for Your Social Media Content

We’ve all read them, and most of us probably click them more often than we’d like to admit. They reel us in with phrases like “what happened next will shock you” and “you won’t believe THIS.”

We’re hooked even though we know that the chance that our lives will change and our minds will be blown is zero. In the age of clickbait, how does a brand compete with sensationalized headlines that over-promise and misrepresent what the content can deliver?

How do you create enticing click-worthy copy when 80% of readers never make it past the headline?1 Keep in mind that creating social media content is not about getting all the clicks, it’s about getting the right clicks. It’s also about getting your target audience to engage with and share your content, since the headline is what users share, not the content.

Creating Enticing Content Meme

The most important tip is to that your headline delivers on its promise. No matter how great your content is, if it’s not what the reader expected, they’ll immediately leave and likely never come back. Second, keep track of which headlines perform well and which don’t for your audience on each social channel. Analyze not just click-through rate (CTR) and social shares, but also time on page and conversions.

If you’re looking for other tried and true tips, tricks, you’re in luck, these 10 Unbelievable Headline Hacks Will Change Your Life!

1. Do Your Research

Use keywords that are relevant to your brand, service or product. Larry Kim recommends you “do your keyword research and understand your audience and the topics you want to be found for.”2

2. It’s a Numbers Game

Create lists and include numbers in your headline with nouns like Tips, Ways, Steps, and Facts.3 Odd numbered lists do 20% better than even numbered lists and the number seven works well.

Creating social media content is not about getting all the clicks, it’s about getting the *right* clicks.

3. Keep it Brief

Headlines with eight words have been shown to do 21% better than average. 5Most readers scan the first three and the last three words of the title, so try to keep your headline between six and ten words. 6

4. It's Not Me, It's You

Address readers directly with You and Your and explain your post’s value.7

5. How to Write a Headline

Start with including the words “how to.” How-to posts dominated LinkedIn headlines for the most-shared content between 2012 and 2017.8 These headlines work well because the viewer instantly sees the benefit of reading your post.9

6. Give them the Feels

Use an emotional element, also known as a trigger word such as Surprising, Inspiring or Amazing. 10

7. Add Punctuation

Including a hyphen or a colon increases click-throughs by 9%.11

8. Accentuate the Negative

The average click-through rate on headlines with negative superlatives (Never, Worst or Stop) is 63% higher than that of their positive (Always or Best) counterparts.12

9. Frequently Asked Headlines

Answer a common question from customers, and the issues that keep them up at night, but don’t give away too much information.13

10. Optimize for Future Content

Post variations of your headline for the same article on different channels to determine which one performs best.

Bonus Headline Formula
NUMBER OR TRIGGER WORD + ADJECTIVE + KEYWORD + PROMISE14

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1 Moz - 5 Data Insights into the Headlines Readers Click
2 Search Engine Land - 5 Brilliant Headline Hacks for Crazy High Organic Click-Through Rates
3 John Morrow's Headline Hacks
4 Convince & Convert Blog - How to Write an Irresistible Headline
5 Convince & Convert Blog - How to Write an Irresistible Headline
6 Content Writers - The Ultimate Headline Writing Cheat Sheet
7 Social Media Examiner - How to Craft Headlines That Draw People to Your Content
8 Content Marketing Institute - LinkedIn Publishing Trends Every Marketer Must Know
9 Social Media Examiner - 6 Tips for Writing Headlines That Drive Traffic
10 Search Engine Land - 5 Brilliant Headline Hacks for Crazy High Organic Click-Through Rates
11 Outbrain - Headlines: When the Best Brings the Worst and the Worst Brings the Best
12 Outbrain - Headlines: When the Best Brings the Worst and the Worst Brings the Best
13 Social Media Examiner - How to Craft Headlines That Draw People to Your Content
14 Koozai - The Anatomy Of A Perfect Blog Post That Gets Results

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