Twitter Headlines – Why It’s Important to Get them Right
Why do we write Twitter headlines? Why don’t we just Tweet the link and leave it?
Because we want to influence the reader. We want them to take some sort of action.
These actions include:
- Clicking through to our articles
A Twitter headline that doesn’t aim to do these three things isn’t doing the article justice. So we must try our best to persuade readers that their best course of action is favoriting, retweeting, and/or clicking through.
The following headlines communicate subtle psychological cues that are tough to ignore. Play around with them until you find the ones that resonate with your audience.
Making a Simple Request
Dan Zarrella, from HubSpot, did a study on 2.7 million Tweets. It analyzed the seven most powerful calls-to-action. The top four included the word “please.”
This word plays into our sympathetic notions. It communicates that someone is in need of our help. And when the request is two simple clicks to retweet, the act doesn’t seem that daunting.
The top four calls-to-action, from Dan’s study:
1) “Please Help”
2) “Please Retweet”
3) “Please RT
Now kids, remember your “please and thank you’s!”
But mostly your “pleases.”
The Pure Call to Action
The Pure Call to Action is just like any other. You don’t want to assume the reader will do what you want them to. You should tell them exactly what you want them to do, so there’s no ambiguity.
“Check it out right here >>>” with a link to the article.
“Click to find out!”
“Copytactics’ new proven Twitter headline formula: Read about it here.”
The Question that Cannot Go Unanswered
Asking a question automatically sparks curiosity. We’re hardwired to find answers. It’s uncontrollable.
The key with this headline is the “Cannot Go Unanswered” part. If people can answer the question without reading your article, guess what?
They won’t read the article.
Some of the classics are:
“Are you making this crucial mistake in your Twitter headlines?” (I don’t know. Am I? Let’s read on to find out.)
“Do you know why most bloggers should forget about SEO?”
Make the question “you”-oriented. Focus it on the reader. Their curiosity will be off the charts if it concerns a pressing issue with them.
An Irresistible Quote from the Article
Quotation marks make text more noticeable. Wrap them around the most powerful sentence in your article to help it hook the attention of people scanning through their feeds.
A Compelling Description
This works best with newsy articles.
The description should be clear and concise, telling the reader just enough to spark their curiosity.
The Top Benefit for Reading (or watching, viewing,etc)
This should be a staple in any headline, not just Twitter headlines.
State the number one benefit the reader will gain from clicking through and reading your article. If it’s a study, state the findings.
Often, these types of Tweets will get shared without people even reading them, simply because they contain value in the headline. People retweet it because they think it’s something their followers will get something out of.
Tips for Making the Most of These Headlines
- Try each of them with your next six Tweets.
- Do a test by sharing each of them again with a different type headline.
- Observe which ones did best, and focus on those for the remainder of your Tweets.
- Read my article on powerful writing skills that will supercharge your copy, to make sure those epic tweets are followed by epic writing.
What Twitter headlines have worked best for you?