Social Media

How to Write Social Media Headlines: 13 Amazing Tips

Social media headlines are essential for creating an impactful first impression that drives people to click and learn more. Good headlines can quickly capture the attention of potential readers and help increase visibility for a piece of content.

A well-crafted headline is often the difference between potential viewers choosing to read your content or scrolling past it.

With limited character space in most social media platforms, these headlines should be succinct and catchy while still accurately conveying the topic at hand.

We bring to you some tried and tested tips to create well-crafted social media headlines that not only serve as a reflection of the quality of the content that follows but also pique interest while conveying the topic's message accurately.

Why Do You Need to Create Perfect Social Media Headlines?

Billions of people are on social media platforms for an average 2.5 hours each day.

Image via HootSuite

Not surprisingly, marketers are continuing to increase their ad spend on social channels. While the ad spend was approximately $230 billion in 2022, it is expected to go above $300 billion by 2024.

But, are they getting the ROI they seek from social media marketing?

The latest data on social media click-through rates (CTR) reveals the success rate. CTRs are calculated by comparing the number of times a social media post or ad is viewed with the total number of clicks it gets.

Image via Statista

As you can see, the CTRs stand at a little over 1% for social media. Compare this to the average CTRs for Google ads (6 to 7%) and email marketing which is an average of 2.3% for all industries.

What’s more, CTRs on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram are declining compared to previous years according to Smart Insights.

Boosting your CTR is critical to ensure you maximize the return on your social media ad campaign investment.

While there are a number of ways to optimize CTR, social media headlines are one of the most important factors, because they are the first things that users read before deciding on whether to read a post or click on the link.

So, how do you create perfect social media headlines that attract and convert leads? Read on.

Tips to Write Compelling Social Media Headlines

The attention span of social media users is declining. You just get a few seconds to make a great first impression. That’s where your social media headlines play an important part.

Here are some tried and tested tips to write amazing social media headlines.

1. Write for Your Audience

The best social media headlines are written with the audience in mind. Think about who your audience is and write a headline that will appeal to them. If you know what kind of content they like, you can tailor your headline accordingly.

Start by looking at your current customer base. Who are they? What do they like?

There are many social media analytics tools that give you insights into your audiences. Tools such as Hootsuite, RivalIQ, Google Analytics, BuzzSumo, etc allow you to understand your audience.

2. Keep it Short and Sweet

When creating headlines for social media posts, it is important to keep them short and engaging. This means that the headline should be no more than 5 to 6 words long, as this is the maximum that will be displayed on most social media platforms.

Here’s one of the short and impactful social media headlines from HubSpot:

Image via LinkedIn

3. Make it Personal

When you're crafting headlines for social media, make sure to include words like “you” and “your.” This will make your headlines more relatable and help readers feel like you're speaking directly to them.

Here is a LinkedIn post headline that is personal and engaging that encourages readers to click through to learn more.

Image via LinkedIn

4. Use Negative Wording

If you want to create social media headlines that get attention, one thing you can try is using negative wording. A recent study showed that negative language attracts more engagement on social media.

This is probably due to a “negativity bias” which is a cognitive bias that refers to the tendency of people to give more weight to negative information than positive information.

For example, a cybersecurity company grabs attention with a headline that starts with ‘don’t.’

Image via LinkedIn

Author Tim Ferris catches the attention of his Facebook followers with this headline that tells them what not to do.

Image via Facebook

5. Include Interesting Adjectives

When creating headlines for social media posts, be sure to use interesting adjectives that will grab the reader's attention.

Adjectives such as “amazing,” “incredible,” and “unbelievable” in your social media headlines are sure to pique the reader's interest and get them to click on your post.

Image via LinkedIn

Another example of great social media headlines that attract readers’ attention is the one shown below, which uses adjectives such as ‘refreshing’ and ‘softest.’

Image via Twitter

Here are some other adjectives that you can use to write compelling social media headlines:

  • Superior
  • Unique
  • Absolute
  • Effortless
  • Painstaking
  • Inspiring
  • Fun
  • Awesome

6. Create Credibility with Numbers or Statistics

Using numbers in your social media headlines can make them more clickable. People are often drawn to content pieces with numbers in the title because they know exactly what they’re going to get out of it.

Numbers can be a great way to make your headlines more attention-grabbing and specific. For example, instead of simply saying “Ways to Save Money,” your headline could say “10 Amazing Ways to Save Money.”

Here is another example to take inspiration from when writing social media headlines.

Image via LinkedIn

Numbers tell the reader that your article is comprehensive and informative. It also gives them a specific number of tips they can expect, which can help them better gauge whether the article is worth their time.

7. Evoke Emotions

Whether it is making a buying decision or clicking on social media ads, humans are more driven by emotions than by logic or reasoning.

Here are some examples of words and phrases that can help you evoke emotions:

  • Secret (evokes curiosity)
  • Limited time (evokes urgency)
  • Best-in-class (evokes confidence)
  • Before it’s too late (evokes fear)
  • Tired of/fed up (evokes anger)
  • Backed by science (evokes trust)

Take a look at this YouTube ad headline from Coca-Cola that evokes the right emotion with the word ‘happiness’ in the caption.

Image via YouTube

8. Adhere to Character Limits for Different Social Media Platforms

When writing headlines for social media posts, it's important to adhere to the character limitations of each platform.

On Facebook, you can use up to 40 characters in your headlines. And on LinkedIn, you can use up to 200 characters but to avoid truncation, the platform recommends limiting the headline to 70 characters.

No matter which platform you're using, always put your most important keywords at the beginning of your headline so that they're not cut off.

That brings us to our next tip on writing headlines that boost reach and visibility.

9. Include Keywords

When creating headlines for social media posts, it is important to include keywords that accurately reflect the content of the post.

Including keywords will help users who are searching for information on a specific topic to easily find your post. In addition, including keywords will also help to improve the visibility of your post in search engines.

You can use free keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs to find keywords to include in social media headlines.

And, as Google prioritizes the words in the first half of a title tag, make sure you front load your social media headlines with the specific keywords you are looking to rank for.

10. Ask a Question

Question-type headlines are one of the best ways to attract attention. When you ask a question in your headline, you immediately engage your reader and make them want to know the answer.

Here are a few examples of question headlines:

– “What’s your go-to cold brew order?”

– “How well do you know your customers?”

– “Do you make these common Instagram marketing mistakes?”

Here’s a good example of a social media headline from Entrepreneur that piques interest with a question:

Image via LinkedIn

11. Offer Value

If you want people to read your social media posts, you need to write headlines that offer your readers something of value. The value you offer should be appealing enough to make your readers want to click and keep reading.

“How to” posts are well-suited for social media headlines that promise a benefit, like this one from Entrepreneur:

Image via LinkedIn

HubSpot’s content marketing game is strong, and here is one of their how-to posts.

Image via Twitter

12. Create a Sense of Urgency

The best way to create eye-catching headlines for social media posts is to create a sense of urgency. Your headline should make people want to read your post right away, and it should be something that they can't ignore.

One way to create urgency is by using time-sensitive words like “now,” “today,” or “tomorrow.” This tells readers that your content is relevant and timely, and they'll be more likely to click on your post and read it while it's still relevant.

Here’s a Facebook ad with a headline highlighting the exclusive, limited-period offer.

Image via HubSpot

13. A/B Test Headlines

There’s no such thing as a perfect social media headline. Any headline that helps you achieve your objective is perfect for your campaign.

To simplify the headline writing process, we recommend using a headline analyzer.

A/B testing social media headlines is a great way to find out which ones will help you improve your click-through rate and engagement. Write multiple headlines and test them to find out the best one.

You can test different components of your social media headline including:

  • The length
  • The style of writing (conversational/professional/humorous)
  • Use of questions, numbers, emojis, action words, etc.
  • Hashtags

Here are two versions of social media headlines that Google tested:

Image via AB Tasty

Above all, get your creative juices flowing, and don’t be afraid to experiment and think out-of-the-box. Surprising information and shocking revelations are also effective in grabbing eyeballs.

FAQs

Q1. What are social media headlines?

A: As the name suggests, social media headlines are headlines that are designed for social media platforms. Impactful social media headlines can boost engagement and optimize lead generation and conversion rates.

Q2. What makes a good social media headline?

A: Good social media headlines:

  • Are clear and to the point
  • Use strong keywords that will grab attention
  • Offer something of value
  • Use the language of the intended audience

Q3. How do you write good social media headlines?

A: Here are the steps to follow to write compelling social media headlines:

  • Understand your target audience to tailor your headlines
  • Keep it short and sweet
  • Make it interesting
  • Use numbers
  • Evoke emotions
  • Use keywords wisely
  • A/B test your social media headlines

Q4. What are some social media headlines examples?

A: Here are some catchy headline ideas:

  • How to use your passions to connect with others and grow your brand (How-to headline, promising a benefit)
  • 4 ways to stop work stress and boost brain health (using a number)
  • Is your company preparing for layoffs? Here are 4 warning signs (asking a question)

Q5. How to write catchy headlines for social media?

A: A headline should be clear, concise, and direct. It should also be relevant to the audience you're targeting. Consider using uncommon words, keywords, and hashtags that will help users find your content.

Additionally, consider using numbers or lists in your headlines to make them more digestible. Finally, don't forget to test your headlines before posting to avoid any typos or errors.

Write Great Headlines for Your Social Media Posts

By following the tips listed in this article, you'll be well on your way to writing perfect social media headlines that will help you get the most out of your content.

With a little bit of creativity, attention to detail, and A/B testing, you can write social media headlines that are both effective and eye-catching.

If you need help coming up with catchy social media headlines and impactful posts, Attrock is always here to help!

As a full-service digital marketing services company, we are equipped to handle all aspects of your social media marketing right from content marketing to search engine optimization.

Gaurav Sharma

Gaurav Sharma is the Founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years | 10X leads | 2.8X conversions | 300K organic monthly traffic | 5K keywords on page 1. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost, Adweek, Business2Community, TechCrunch, and more.

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