August 06, 2016

Posted By: Scotty Spielman

In today’s quick-paced world, you may only have one chance to grab the attention of your customers or potential customers: your headline.

Only 20 percent of the people who see your posts will read beyond the headline. And remember, your organic reach is already dropping, so even fewer people will see your post to begin with.

It’s important, then, to make them as catchy as possible, to promise a return on the investment of time. Here are a few tips for writing interesting headlines:

Use numbers. Putting a number in a headline is a hint to the reader about how much time he or she will have to spend reading your post or blog. The smaller the number, the more likely someone is to click on it. If you start a sentence with a number, you’d normally spell it out, but headlines don’t follow that rule. Use the numeral: it stands out more and takes up less space. 7 ways to get more mileage. 5 ways to stretch your advertising budget, etc.

Smaller numbers tend to work better, but if you’re trying to show your expertise or explain something comprehensively, it’s okay to use a larger number. As long as your reader expects something that lengthy he or she will read it—if they have the time and interest.

Make a promise. “How to” is a great way to start a headline. Most people type it in when they’re searching for a topic on Google or another search engine. It also explains exactly what the article or post will be about. “Why” is another good way to start one. For example: Why you should never pay attention to blogs from social media experts.

Be realistic. Don’t write a headline that people will see as blatant click-bait or impossible to follow up on. For example: How to solve every problem with one simple trick.

Use adjectives. Adjectives can help pique the curiosity of your readers, if you use them correctly—and you use the proper type.  Words like “effortless,” “essential,” “absolute,” “incredible,” and, best of all, “fun.” Concentrate on what people are looking for when they’re perusing social media: easy and fun. Here are a couple examples: 5 fun and easy ways to promote your seasonal event. 7 essential steps for easy social media campaigns. 3 incredible ways your blogs help your bottom line.

The length of an optimum headline varies, but Buffer.com suggests about 80 characters for most platforms, and about 60 for Google+. Concentrate, instead, on the content. Jeff Goins, a writer who helps other writers, has a simple formula for it:Number or Trigger word + Adjective + Keyword + Promise. For example: 5 effortless ways to court new customers.

You need to pull out as many tricks as you can to attract attention in the fast-paced social media market today. Do you have any other tips? Let us know in the comments.

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