Creating a must-click social post is on a par with excellent headline writing and there are certainly some elements of this art that carry across well to social media. But there’s more to great social content creation than just great headlines. More often than not it’s how a social post is written and presented that determines whether or not your followers will click through to your blog or website. And, for a content marketer, there’s nothing worse than creating great articles but having no one actually read them.
There are many schools of thought about what constitutes super-shareable content, and certain trends tend to come and go as users become overly familiar with seeing the same thing everywhere they go. Nevertheless, doing some research on how to thread a killer hook into your social posts is an extremely valuable skill for content marketers.
We’ll mainly concentrate on Twitter, as it only allows 140 characters, which means you have to get creative with how you use that space. But these tips easily translate to Facebook, Instagram and more. You can also combine some of the tricks below to make your social posts simply irresistible.
So, without further ado, here are nine time-honoured formulas for writing a must-click social post that will help get eyeballs on your articles.
1. The list
We used this one above. And it’s still one of the most clickable forms of headlines to use on social media because numbers help posts go viral. People just love lists. What’s more, it’s wise to use odd numbers whenever you can. Numbers that are not easily divisible tend to jar us – odd numbers are harder for our pattern-loving brains to comprehend, and therefore seeing them causes us to pause. Ultimately, however, a list-style post suggests that it won’t take the reader too long to digest.
2. Make a promise (and keep it)
Sharing insider knowledge, particularly mysterious, little known or ‘secret’ knowledge, about a particular topic is a surefire way to earn social click-throughs to your blog or website, as long as the content delivers the goods. Just be sure not to disappoint, otherwise your website’s reputation will start to dwindle and people may think twice about clicking on your social posts in the future.
‘Discover the secrets of [blank]’
‘Little known ways to [blank]’
3. Ask a question
Asking questions of your social media followers shows that you care about their opinion, and it can even help inform your content. However, don’t ask something that can easily be answered with ‘no’. Instead, try to ask something that is a little more open or leading. And if you get a huge response to something that you initially considered a throw-away question on social media, start writing the corresponding blog post right away.
‘How much money do I need to [blank]?’
‘What [blank] would you most like to see?’
4. Call to action
Telling your audience to click on a link, or to perform some kind of action, usually works wonders, so long as you sell it right. And research by Dan Zarella suggests that the most retweeted word is ‘you’. Also, putting time-pressure on your call to action will make people fear missing out on something if they don’t click right now.
‘Don’t miss out on your chance to [blank]’
‘Click here to download [blank] for a limited time’
5. Target your message
Get to know your audience and target your social post directly to them. If your message only applies to a certain part of your readership, for example, then be very clear about that from the start – it will prevent you from wasting the time of those who have no interest, while also making those who do fall into the category feel as if the content has been specifically written for them.
‘Recent graduates should [blank]’
‘Having a baby soon? Be sure to read [blank] first’
For some reason infographics do something magical to our brains — take a look at the one above from socialmediatoday.com. We just can’t get enough of them, it seems, with infographics getting 832 per cent more retweets than images and articles. So if your blog contains one of those highly digestible infographics, consider putting the word in your social posts, using the hashtag #infographic or embedding the infographic directly as an image.
Try to get your readers to do a virtual double-take. The use of stand-out phrasing, an unusual word or stating the reverse of something that’s seen as common knowledge can sometimes appeal to our thirst for information, or otherwise our need to disagree with the writer.
‘Here’s why Facebook won’t exist in five years’
‘15 reasons why Justin Bieber is actually cool’
8. Name-check an expert or celebrity
If your content is in anyway related to someone who is well known in their field, put their name front and centre in your social post, and perhaps find them on Twitter to link them to your post by using the @ symbol in front of their username. You never know, they may even retweet you, which should hopefully bring everyone and their mother over to your blog or website.
‘Find out what Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said to us about [blank]’
‘Catch @BarackObama talking about [blank]’
9. The how-to guide
Being genuinely helpful is not only going to win you traffic that will hopefully return again and again, but it will also endear you to thousands of readers who are looking to fix things in their life quickly. Tips, tricks and guides have made sites like Lifehacker immensely popular, for example, so it makes sense that a well-worded social post about how to do something will get tons of clicks. Try using phrases like ‘life-hack’, too, which suggests that your audience has been doing something wrong when there’s been a much easier way to do it all along.
‘How to life-hack your [blank]’
‘15 top tips for streamlining your [blank]’