It is a real art to write attention-grabbing headlines, tweets and Facebook posts. You want to motivate readers to read, share or tweet directly. There’s also a bit of science behind this. Several social media experts have researched thousands of tweets, Facebook status updates and blog posts and saw a pattern in the titles and posts being shared.
Effective title for a blog post
There are many books written about writing an effective title. Most shared blog posts contain words like surprise, science, and criticism. What also works well is starting with a number. This way the reader knows immediately that he or she will see a numbered list.
Think of ’10 films on Netflix that you absolutely must see’ or ‘The 10 most authentic sights in Paris’.
People generally look for information in a blog post. When someone is looking for how to do something, you grab attention with a ‘This is how you’ title.
Suppose your washing machine is broken and you don’t know how to get it working again. Then you should definitely click on a blog titled ‘This is how to easily and quickly make your own washing machine’.
Finally, there are titles that promise exclusivity, which impresses the reader that he is going to learn something that few people know. For this reason you regularly see titles that start with ‘Some tips that hardly anyone knows about…’ or ‘The secret of…’.
More retweets on Twitter
Nowadays a lot of research has been done on formulas to increase the number of retweets on your Twitter account. For example, the relationship between the words that trigger action, the call-to-action, and an actual retweet and the number of retweets has been researched.
Based on the research of more than 2.7 million tweets by Dan Zarrella, it appears that there are seven words (and sentences) that lead to more retweets in particular.
The surprising result of the research was that the simple call ‘please help’ turned out to be the most effective.
The research was carried out on English-language tweets but you can also translate these into Dutch to test whether it leads to a growth in retweets. The top three most effective words/phrases are: please help, please retweet and please RT. So on Twitter it pays to ask the reader directly for help.
Use these words in your Facebook posts
There is a huge amount of information available about writing the ideal Facebook post. The general consensus is that you get the most interaction by addressing the reader directly. Think of a ‘would you’ post, where you post a picture and write something like: ‘Would you try this?’ ‘Would you eat that?’ ‘Would you ever?’.
One of the most effective ways to get people to do something is a simple one: check this out. Whether you want the user to read a new blog post you’ve created, visit a website, or click on a link to a destination page, this phrase is amazingly effective at encouraging people to dig a little deeper.