Are you trying to increase the amount of social media referrals your website gets?
It’s likely you are since, besides that fact that social media helps you build brand equity, the primary reason a business uses social media is to drive website traffic.
When your website traffic grows, the amount of customers and revenue you generate is bound to grow.
One of the simplest tactics to use to grow the amount of referrals your website receives from social media is to get better at writing headlines. A great headline will make a person who is browsing Facebook or Twitter stop, think, get curious, and then click your link.
People will click your link on social media when your headline is really good. A good headline typically gives a succinct glimpse into what is on the other side of the link. However, a REALLY good headline gives a potential reader a peek at what’s they can learn and also manages to begin a story. When you can begin a story in your headline, the only way for a reader to get the rest of the story is to click your link! This notion works, and it’s what has made websites like Buzzfeed so successful.
Test Headlines on Social Media
We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how we can increase the amount of times people click on our social media links. The way we have tested headlines is by using our favorite social media tool, Buffer. We use Buffer to experiment with headlines on social media because it gives us the opportunity to schedule and efficiently write multiple headlines for the same article at once. After all of our scheduled posts go out to our audience, we head on over to the analytics tab in Buffer to see which headlines our followers are clicking on most. Whichever headline is getting the most clicks is the one you should use and promote most.
People are Meeting Your Brand on Social Media
Before we share headline formulas to boost your social media traffic, it’s important to remind ourselves that a headline is a defining brand moment. It’s a moment when a person is either meeting your brand for the first time or having another interaction with it. This means that you shouldn’t forget that any time people interact with your brand, it’s an opportunity to gain or lose a customer.
Also, remember that even if a reader doesn’t click through to your website after reading your headline, the reading of the headline is still a brand interaction. It’s vital that you remain professional and don’t ever come off as spammy. If you keep professional and unspammy, it’s a lot more likely a follower is going to click on a future link that they find more relevant to him or her.
26 Headline Formulas to Boost Your Social Media Traffic
Now that we’ve hopefully fueled your brain with those initial times, it’s time to get on with what you likely really came here to read.
We’ve created an easy to use table that we should be a key resource for you in your quest to increase your social media referral numbers. We’ve given each headline on the list a name, a formula you can mimic, provided an example of the headline in action, and added a brief line of insight. For our example topic through the table, we decided to use the topic of Facebook changing their newsfeed algorithm.
|Breaking News||Breaking: Your Story||Breaking: Facebook’s Newsfeed Algorithm Has Changed|
|Ignorance||What You Should Know About *Topic(s)*||What You Should Know About Facebook’s Algorithm Change|
|Results||How We *Result* in *Timeframe*||How We Used the Facebook Algorithm Change to Our Boost Social Media Referrals in 4 Weeks|
|Audience||*Audience*! Are You *Outcome*?||Marketers! Are You Losing Traffic From the Facebook Algorithm Update?|
|Teaser||These *Things* Will *Outcome*||These 5 Tactics Will Help You Avoid Penalties from the Facebook Algorithm Change|
|How To||How to *Outcome*||How to Avoid Penalties from the Facebook Algorithm Change|
|Lessons Learned||*Number* Lessons Learned From *Experience*||7 Lessons We Learned from the Facebook Algorithm Update|
|Precautionary||Yes/No, You *Topic* to *Result*||Yes, You Should Be Worried About the Facebook Algorithm Update|
|Question||Your question*||What is the Facebook Algorithm Change?|
|Outcome||Why *Topic* *Outcome*||Why the Facebook Algorithm Change Will Impact Your Social Media Traffic|
|Reasons||*Number* Reasons Why *Topic/Outcome*||17 Reasons Why the Facebook Algorithm Will Change Content Marketing|
|Imagine||Imagine *Outcome*||Imagine Using the Facebook Algorithm Update to Increase Your Traffic|
|Solutions||Why *Problem* (And How to Fix It)||Why the Facebook Algorithm Can Hurt You (And How to Fix it)|
|Reminder||Reminder: *Topic*||Reminder: The Facebook Algorithm Just Changed|
|Ultimate Guide||The Ultimate Guide to *Topic*||The Ultimate Guide to the Facebook Algorithm Change|
|List||*Number* *Desired Filler* to *Outcome*||27 Ways You Can Take Advantage of the Facebook Algorithm Change|
|Fear||Warning! Are You *Undesirable Outcome*?||Warning! Are You Losing Traffic Because of the Facebook Algorithm Change?|
|Proven||*Number* of Proven Ways to *Outcome*||15 Proven Ways to Beat the Facebook Algorithm Change|
|Outrageous||*Outrageous Claim*||The Facebook Algorithm Change is the End of the World|
|Tutorial||A *Powerful Word* Tutorial to *Outcome*||An Extensive Tutorial to the Facebook Algorithm Change|
|Guess||Can You Guess *Topic*?||Can You Guess What the Facebook Algorithm Change Did?|
|Keyword 101||*Keyword* 101: How to *Topic*||Social Media 101: How to Adapt to the Facebook Algorithm Change|
|Promise||*Promise Regarding a Topic/Outcome*||We Can Help You Survive the Facebook Algorithm Change|
|Worry||You Aren’t *Filler Word* *Topic* Right||You Aren’t Preparing for the Facebook Algorithm Change Right|
|Secrets||*Number* Secret Ways to *Outcome*||10 Secret Ways to Take Advantage of the Facebook Algorithm Changes|
|Preparation||Get Ready for *Topic* Now||Get Ready for the Facebook Algorithm Update Now|
Here’s Why Each of These Tactics Work
- Breaking News: This headline style is meant to convey a sense of urgency to the reader. Urgency typically leads to curiosity, and curiosity leads to a click.
- Ignorance: This headline makes people feel like what you’ve written about is something that they should already know.
- Results: This headline plays into aspirations. Your followers also most likely have similar goals as you, so it gives you the opportunity to lead by example.
- Audience: We learned this headline type from our Twitter rep. If you call out your audience, you’ll typically get their attention. Asking a question after is a fantastic way to get both a click and a response.
- Teaser: The teaser headline will give people a solid understanding of what they’ll learn when they click your link. It’s straight-forward and leads to a curious social media reader.
- How To: How to headlines will typically treat you well. They’re also great for search engine optimization since people very frequently search for how to do various things online.
- Lessons Learned: This is a great option for a headline because it positions you as an expert on a topic, which makes people want to learn about what you’ve learned.
- Precautionary: Positioning something as being precautionary will make people feel either relieved or nervous. Both emotions have the potential to make a person curious, and then click.
- Question: A straight-forward question goes far. As long as the content is good and topic is relevant to your audience, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get both clicks to your website and responses on social media. Questions are engaging.
- Outcome: Telling your reader what they’ll gain from reading your article is valuable. It, in a way, tells them an incomplete story. An incomplete story triggers curiosity, and curiosity leads to a click and a complete read of your content.
- Reasons: People love lists that give them reasons why something matters to them even more.
- Imagine: Getting people to think about their ambitions on social media is a great way to get them excited about your link. When people are excited about your link, they’re a lot more likely to want to press on it.
- Solutions: The solutions headline will get people that face the problem you’re describing to click on your link, especially since you let them know that you’re going to explain how to solve it.
- Reminder: Giving people a reminder is a subtle way to convey a sense of urgency. Urgency leads to clicks because people want to get more information on what you’re reminding them about.
- Ultimate Guide: By writing that you’ve created the ultimate guide to a topic, you are telling people on social media that you are an authority on a topic and that you will pass on a ton of knowledge upon clicking your link.
- List: Lists work. We recommend making a longer list than just 5 or 10 items- so that the number at the beginning of your headline is bigger. Finish off your list headline with a time relative hook that will convince people to click.
- Fear: Fear is a great way to get a person’s attention on social media. Fear makes a person want to click your link and make sure they aren’t doing something wrong.
- Proven: Telling people that your methods are proven is a great way to make people want to read your content. It’s effective because it tells people that they aren’t just going to read about theories, but they’re going to learn about theories that have actually been tested.
- Outrageous: Making an outrageous claim that clearly isn’t true can be an effective tactic to get people to click a link because they’ll want to learn what realty is. Reality is what they’ll get when they go to your website.
- Tutorial: People are always looking to learn useful things on the internet, which makes a tutorial headline so effective. We’ve found that by adding a powerful word to your tutorial headline you’ll be able to get an even larger amount of clicks.
- Guess: Asking people to take a guess about something works really well because they’re going to want to click your link to see if their guess was correct.
- Keyword 101: Numbers typically stick out well on social media, which is why writing *Keyword* 101 has the ability to have a high clickthrough rate.
- Promise: Promise’s are effective because they’re powerful. Just make sure your content is accurate and you’re not providing a false promise in your headline.
- Worry: When you make somebody worry, they’re going to want to read your article to make sure they aren’t making a mistake.
- Secrets: Everybody loves secrets. Offering up little known tactics to accomplish an outcome is a brilliantly simple way to get people to read your article or go to your website.
- Preparation: By offering up methods for a person to get ready for something, they’ll be eager to click to your site or article since you have turned an impending change into an opportunity for them.
Reminder: Don’t Make Bad Content!
We’ve just talked about 26 headline formulas that have the ability to boost your social media traffic. However, these headline formulas are completely useless if you don’t have high quality content on the other side of the link attached to the statement. Make sure that you always write content that is accurate, data-informed, and shareable. Tell a story that makes people have a response and also makes them feel like that if they share what you’ve written, people will perceive them as being smart and informed.