Trying to market yourself on social media these days is an uphill struggle. Business related posts get thrown in with updates from your friends, other people’s adverts and viral cat videos. The nearest I’ve got to going viral was when my kids had chicken pox.
The rules are constantly changing. Even if you have amazing content it can be difficult to get anything seen, much less read. However, there is one simple thing that you can do to give your posts the best chance of being seen by your potential customers.
Great headlines = more attention
You’ll probably have read lots of advice telling you that attractive images and videos are the way to go. I’m a complete convert to using video, particularly because the Facebook algorithm seems to like it so they show it to a lot of people. A beautiful photograph will also help as people are much more likely to stop scrolling and look at it.
However, if you don’t have a headline that draws your reader in and makes them want to know more, they’ll just look at the pretty picture and keep on scrolling.
How do you do it?
Broadly speaking, there are two approaches you can take to writing an amazing headline.
The first is to ask a question. I’m guessing that you’re reading this because your social media posts are being ignored and you want to know how to get attention. Maybe not – if you’re just reading because you like me, thanks! It’s a good job I don’t blush easily.
If your business solves a particular problem, you want to attract people who have that problem. You can then offer advice on solutions or how you could help when they click to read more.
You can also use questions to highlight updates that your customers need to know about. Say you offer pensions advice to small businesses. The new rules on opt-in pension schemes will have had a massive impact. A headline such as “Is your small business ready for the new rules on pensions?” will attract attention if they aren’t.
The second method is to offer a specific solution to a problem. This can work in combination with a question. For example, our pension advisor could say “Confused about new pension rules? How you can get organised in no time.”
Think about the stuff that gets shared on social media. The most popular posts are always the ones that focus on emotion. It could be something that will make you cry, laugh or even get scared.
I’m not suggesting that you try and frighten your customers. However, something that appeals to their emotional side can work extremely well. You could use fear, for example, “Why your small business can’t afford to ignore the new rules on pensions.”
How you use emotion in your headlines depends on your audience. If you, like me, have lots of clients who are working mums, you can write about their need for more time. “Do you need more time with your family? How outsourcing can help” or “Are you overwhelmed? How you can get your life back”.
If you’d like to know more, I’ve produced a free guide to headline writing which you can get here. It has some extra tips and useful resources if you want to go deeper into the science of headline writing.
If you want to try a new approach to your content marketing, I’m for hire! Get in touch or register here to receive regular updates, special offers and a free copy of my guide, ‘Marketing magic: your indispensable guide to creating amazing headlines’.