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How to Write a Great Social Media Headline

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 2/16/15 10:00 PM
Topics: social media

Do you manage the social media profiles for your store? If you do, you know that writing an eye-catching headline is crucial for drawing your followers in for whatever event you're promoting. With that in mind, we've re-posted an excerpt from Kevan Lee's article on Buffer's blog, which will walk you through the steps required to create a perfect headline. Check it out:

Outside the realm of social, Copyblogger has found that the ratio for headline-reading to article-reading falls closer in line with Ogilvy’s famous statement.Per Copyblogger, eight out of 10 people will read your headline. Two out of 10 will read the rest of what you wrote.

Further, KISSmetrics has reported that readers tend to absorb the first three words of a headline and the last three words, making a six-word headline ideal. But how often do we write six-word headlines? Whenever we write longer, it’s important to remember exactly which words will carry the most weight—those at the start and those at the end.

[Tweet "Readers absorb the first 3 and last 3 words of a headline. Start strong, finish with a flourish."]

One final thought about headlines (and then I’ll get to the formulas, I promise!) is a bit of a Buffer M.O.: action steps based on psychology. We enjoy pairing the work of headline writing with the science of human psychology. With that in mind, here are eight headline strategies that are backed by psychology.

  1. Surprise – “This Is Not a Perfect Blog Post (But It Could’ve Been)”
  2. Questions – “Do You Know How to Create the Perfect Blog Post?”
  3. Curiosity gap – “10 Ingredients in a Perfect Blog Post. Number 9 Is Impossible!”
  4. Negatives – “Never Write a Boring Blog Post Again”
  5. How to – “How to Create a Perfect Blog Post”
  6. Numbers – “10 Tips to Creating a Perfect Blog Post”
  7. Audience referencing – “For People on the Verge of Writing the Perfect Blog Post”
  8. Specificity – “The 6-Part Process to Getting Twice the Traffic to Your Blog Post”

I’ve said before that 90 percent of good headline-writing is obsessing over the perfect headline.

The other 10 percent might be picking the appropriate headline formula.

About Joe Clarkin

Joe Clarkin is a former copywriter at MBS. When he’s not working or studying, you’re most likely to find him reading a book or watching a game.

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