One popular blogger said, “Actually, I am subscribing to fewer blogs myself. My feed gets cluttered and I end up not reading most of them. I follow the bloggers on Twitter instead and always see when they have a new post out. That way I can decide if it sounds interesting or not.”
That comment hit me like a ton of bricks. Not only is the post headline incredibly important, but the readers on social media have a split second to decide, on the basis of our tweet or Facebook update, whether it’s worth their time to pop over for a read.
That means we have one job.
To make our social media teasers irresistible. So much so that people just have to click on the link or retweet it out to their community.
Studies show that, on average, 96 percent of all tweets are not retweeted. They just fall away from the stream and are never seen again. That’s kind of depressing.
Over the years, I’ve learned how to get more love for my blog posts by using some of the same tricks that good copywriters do. If you tweet with your reader in mind, your content will be more likely to be shared—and maybe even go viral.
These tips work for Facebook as well, but particularly with Twitter, where you need to make every word count. The rule is to leave 25 characters for the retweet. So make your tweet no longer than 115 characters.
10 types of social media teasers to get your posts read and shared more:
1. Tell them what to expect up front.
This is sometimes called the command headline. If the benefit is appealing enough, readers will want to click through (or share). An example:
Get two dozen unique blog post ideas in 15 minutes with this simple technique.
2. Use a heathy dose of fear.
Because we are social animals, our biggest fear is that others will think we are not good enough or smart enough. A tweet or update for a post on better writing might say:
These 5 writing mistakes make you look stupid. Do you make any of them?
3. Ask a question.
The human brain is wired to want to know the answers to questions. Example of this strategy:
Do you know the first thing readers look for when they land on your site?
4. Don’t give away all your secrets.
If you have a real estate blog and your blog post teaser is, “Home prices drop 46%,” your reader isn’t motivated to read your post because you have told her the whole story. Instead, make her wonder how big the drop was with something like this:
Biggest drop in home prices since 1989.
5. Stop at an interesting spot.
Novelists do this to get us to turn the page. Try starting a story and stopping before the end. I saw this example on Twitter recently:
Man scribbles idea for love button, gets embarrassed, then…
Really. Don’t you want to know the end of the story?
6. Take an opposite view.
If your post makes us rethink something we always thought was true, we will pay attention. One tweet I saw recently:
Who thought customer surveys can hurt business?
We’ve seen a million articles about the benefits of asking our customers and clients the right questions. But this blogger is saying that surveys can harm our business? I had to know why, so I clicked through.
7. Promise an insider’s secret.
The trick here is to promise a solution but don’t tell us what it is. An example:
The single email subject line that will lose you the most sales.
The promise is that if you fix this mistake, you’ll get more sales. Who would not want to know this secret?
8. Make ‘em laugh.
This is one of my favorites. One of my recent teasers:
Your last web designer was abducted by aliens and he took your password with him? Make sure it never happens again.
9. Pull the curtain back.
When we show our vulnerability, our humanness, we just naturally attract people to our side. They can relate to us because they have been there, too. One blogger’s tweet:
5 insanely simple things I’ve learned about blogging since my stinky first post.
10. Make a unique comparison.
Analogies are fun and give people an instant visual. When promoting my post, 6 Interior Design Tips to Make Your Blog User-Friendly, my Twitter teaser was:
If your blog is your house, how comfortable are your guests?
For more tricks, tips and strategies for getting your blog content noticed, join me at NMX in Las Vegas this January for my session, How to Laser-focus Your WordPress Blog in 60 Minutes.