Copywriting is an art, especially when it comes to attention-grabbing headlines that spur readers to share or tweet your content across their networks. However, there’s a science to it, as well.
The team at ShortStack call this Word Science – the craft of writing blog titles and social media content that inspire people to share. They recently compiled into one infographic recommendations from Buffer, Post Planner and Startup Moon to help marketers identify the top headline and social content words that trigger action. See what they found and whether you could use any of these tips to get more social shares in your own channels.
Important Note: Only use these words where they’re natural and make sense. I resisted the urge to write a clickbait (sharebait?) headline for this post about The Surprising Science Behind Huge Headline Copywriting! Or worse, A Girl Used Science to Write Surprising Headlines – You Won’t Believe What Happened Next!
Upworthy-esque headlines work great… on Upworthy. Others have tried the style and received less than enthusiastic reviews (see CNN’s major gaff with an Upworthy-style clickbait tweet about the tragic murder of a young girl). A lot of people find the style flat out annoying, so unless you can do it well – and are ready for any potential backlash if you screw it up – stay away from histrionic headlines.
The most shareable blog headlines use words like “smart,” “critical” and “surprising,” among others as seen here:
What about tweets? “Please retweet” is there, of course, but if you use phrases like “check it out” or “new blog post,” you’re more likely to get retweets. Other successful words for tweets that get shared are:
For Facebook, they recommend specific types of words, to accomplish a goal. Aim to advise, inspire, or unite your audience to get more Facebook shares. Other goals are:
You can download the full infographic from ShortStack.
How much thought do you put into your company’s headlines and social content copywriting? Share your thoughts or questions in the comments.