Struggling with social media?
You're not alone.
On the surface, social media is a great place to reach out to potential customers. They're basically where your audience “hangs out” online.
Whether you're targeting upper middle class moms on Pinterest, or urban youth on Twitter and Instagram, social media marketing is capable of bringing you an impressive ROI.
If you're not getting the engagement you were hoping for, there's one simple little tweak that could make a world of difference. It doesn't take long, but it's always worthwhile.
What you need is simple: a better headline.
Headlines are vital to content marketing.
Your audience is seeing your content in a stream of endless content from tons of different sources that they follow. To stand out and get noticed, you have to grab their attention right off the bat.
That's the headline's job.
If your headlines have been a little lukewarm lately, check out this great advice from sprout Social about how to supercharge your post titles and start getting more clicks, more engagement, and ultimately, more leads.
Spend More Than 30 Seconds on Your Title
It doesn’t matter if you’re writing an article for a newspaper, magazine or in this case, a blog. Your headline needs to be extremely engaging and compelling. Otherwise you’re going to lose potential readers right out the gate.
Think of the articles you click when you scroll through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. More than likely, something in the headline caught your attention and made you click. Your readers need to do the same thing when they see one of your articles in their feed.
The text you write inside your Tweet or Facebook post is one thing. But social networks will also pull in meta data from your posts, along with a summary card. In this Facebook post from Greatist, the headline “8 Everyday Activities That Totally Count as Exercise” is being pulled directly from the article on their site.
Notice how much the headline stands out nearly as much as the featured image. Needless to say, you shouldn’t treat your headline as an afterthought. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what ends up happening and the result is blog posts with little to no social engagement at all.
The next question is, what makes a headline click-worthy? There’s actually a lot that goes into it, and the folks at Copyblogger have written several guides and tutorial on what works best. According to Copyblogger, a good headline should:
– Be useful to the reader.
– Create a sense of urgency.
– Mention a unique benefit the reader will get from the article.
– Ultra specific to the intended audience.
Here’s a quick test to show the effectiveness of these tips. If you saw these articles, which headline would you be more likely to click?
How to Make Your Dog Happier
7 Principles From the Dog Whisperer That Will Transform Your Dog's Life
While the first one is simple and straight to the point, the second one is intriguing, pokes at your curiosity and pulls you in to want to read the article.
Just be careful not to clickbait readers.
For one, it’s deceptive and will turn off readers. But on top of that, in 2016 Facebook made updates to its news feed algorithm that push clickbait headlines to the bottom of users’ feeds. If you’re curious about what Facebook considers to be clickbait, here are the two key points according to the company’s website:
(1) if the headline withholds information required to understand what the content of the article is; and
(2) if the headline exaggerates the article to create misleading expectations for the reader.
For example, we’re sure you’ve seen headlines such as “You Won’t Believe What This Actor Did After Losing His Oscar!” Headlines like this withhold information about what the article is actually about and force people to click through. What generally ends up happening is readers click your headline, then exit back to Facebook after they’ve been disappointed in what they see.
Facebook works that “bounce” into its algorithm. If that keeps happening with your site, your content could start getting buried at the bottom of users’ news feeds.
Follow the tips above and you’ll be able to create headlines that readers want to click without being deceptive and clickbaiting.
If you need some help coming up with good blog titles, here are a couple of tools to help:
Hubspot's Blog Topic Generator
Somome Headline Generator
You can read more about effective social media marketing strategies from our friends at Sprout Social.