Being “good” at Twitter is more of an art than a science.
But there are guidelines, informed by scads of data and legitimized through case studies and success stories, for writing the “best” Twitter headlines as measured by their clickability. Tests have shown that you can increase your conversion rate on a link by 73% when you write a compelling headline.
And getting users to click on links in tweets is one of the major goals of brands using Twitter.
To that end, here are the 10 most clickable Twitter headlines that will engage your followers, draw traffic to your blog or website, and help differentiate your Twitter among its thousands of competitors vying for attention.
1. A Top 10 list. People love lists, on Twitter just as across the Internets (ahem, did you notice the headline of this blog post?). A Twitter headline that concisely packages the content being linked to by referring to it with a quantity – doesn’t have to be 10 – sends the message to the reader that wherever they’re led after clicking on your link won’t take too long to read and will be digestible.
Top 5 Tools for Monitoring Your Online Reputation http://t.co/MFIqNFSqwv
— Inspirationfeed.com (@Inspirationf) April 16, 2013
Top 7 websites for finding a nonprofit job http://t.co/vZxATDrsma
— HuffPost Impact (@HuffPostImpact) March 31, 2013
2. The promise of something. The best headlines, in traditional copy and tweets alike, make a promise. Hook people with a promise, and they’ll feel that they’ll be more entertained, informed, smarter, or better off in some way than before they clicked the link in your tweet.
— Karen Schopp (@custom_publish) April 17, 2013
You officially have our permission to waste an hour staring at these insane jellyfish(-like creatures). http://t.co/jwZRZnWTm7
— WIRED (@WIRED) April 17, 2013
3. A poignant question. Ask and you shall receive. Pose a resonant question, and you’re more likely to attract engagement. People also want to follow, for the most part, Twitterers that do more than push out 140-character press releases around the clock. Tweeting relevant and pithy questions suggests that you actually care about your followers’ input.
How Much Money Do I Need in My Emergency Fund? – http://t.co/XYVZlYa4bz
— Life'd (@Lifedcom) April 17, 2013
In the studio recording a cover! What song would YOU like us to cover?:) pic.twitter.com/dALVsY8f4w
— Keep It Cute (@KeepItCuteBand) April 17, 2013
4. A call to action. Similarly, tell your followers to click on a link – and as long as your tweet is well-written (grammatically right, concise, engaging), they’ll do so. Also, according to Dan Zarella, the most retweeted word is “you.”
I'm hosting a Google Hangout on digital trends & etiquette next week. Click here for a chance to receive an invite: http://t.co/tZsNlVj5EC
— Randi Zuckerberg (@randizuckerberg) April 17, 2013
Who do you think should win at tonight's Screen Actors Guild Awards? Click here to cast your ballot! http://t.co/kx2XfyAt
— People magazine (@peoplemag) January 27, 2013
5. A directed message. When you prefix your tweeted link with a targeted audience, you perk up the ears (er, fingers) of the followers that fall into that category. People are more likely to click on the link in a tweet if they feel that it’s super-relevant to them.
Soon-to-be graduates and recent grads should print this list. How to get a job in PR: 11 tips http://t.co/0IfEKuDYqd
— Mark Ragan (@MarkRaganCEO) April 17, 2013
Readers expecting a visit from the stork should click here to get all the facts about maternity leave. http://t.co/lycQLGu5YB
— Real Simple Magazine (@RealSimple) April 17, 2013
6. Intrigue. When you catch a reader’s eye with stand-out phrasing or buzzy language, they are that much more likely to engage with your content. With this one, you’re going for the virtual double-take reaction.
Great piece: Jonathan Cohn's "The Hell of American Day Care" http://t.co/RyWWvNlZ4h
— Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff) April 17, 2013
Is that $100,000 MBA Worth it Anymore? http://t.co/vDvRFYDmGr
— Brian Clark (@brianclark) April 17, 2013
7. A newsy nugget. It’s nearly impossible these days to pinpoint what outlet broke what news, on what platform, and when. But tweeting something that’s ultra-time-sensitive gives tweeps a major incentive to click your tweet.
— The Next Web (@TheNextWeb) April 17, 2013
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) April 17, 2013
8. The word “infographic.” Infographics shared on Twitter get 832% more retweets than images and articles. That’s a big payoff for one 11-letter word. Throw a hashtag in there (#infographic) for extra shareability.
— Allison Stadd (@AllisonStadd) April 16, 2013
— Visually (@Visually) April 9, 2013
9. A celebrity name. Hollywood’s got pull, even on Twitter. Tap into existing popularity by linking your Twitter headline to someone high-profile.
— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) April 17, 2013
— BET (@BET) April 17, 2013
10. A how-to. Tips, tricks, and how-to’s have made sites like Lifehacker formidably popular, so it makes sense that well-worded tweets along those lines get tons of clicks.
How To Schedule Your Day For Peak Creative Performance http://t.co/er5cyjeIql
— Fast Company (@FastCompany) April 17, 2013
How to Create a Business for $100 or Less http://t.co/Cc3qAYGYKz
— Jonathan Mead (@jonathanmead) April 17, 2013
Anything you’d add to this list? Let me know in the comments!
(Image via Shutterstock)