5 Sure-Fire Social Media Headline Formulas That Work

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Although content is important when you are trying to leverage social media sites like Netscape or Digg, the [story title](http://www.pronetadvertising.com/articles/titles-descriptions-and-digg.html) used for the submission maybe as important if not more important. Here are a few types of titles that I have found to be effective.

  1. Increase Your [Blank] within [short time period]
    This headline promises the reader that they will see an increase in something within a short period of time. People are impatient; they want to see results within a certain time period.
    • Increase Your Blog Traffic within 30 Days
    • Increase Your Wealth within 1 Week
  2. How-to Improve Your [Blank] through [number] Easy Steps
    People love how-to guides and lists so why not combine them? This headline shows people how-to do something in a list format.
    • How-to Improve Your Search Engine Rankings through 7 Easy Steps
    • How-to Improve Your Health through 5 Easy Steps
  3. [Blank] Goes to an All Time Low by [some sort of incident]
    By making a strong statement readers will be tempted to click through and find out more.
    • Comcast Goes to an All Time Low by Ripping Off a Senior Citizen
    • Yahoo Goes to an All Time Low by Copying Digg
  4. How-to [Blank] – The Ultimate Guide
    By using the phrase “ultimate guide” and “how-to” in the same sentence people feel they are going to learn something and never have to learn it again. Why learn something when you can learn it once by reading the ultimate guide.
    • How-to Install Linux – The Ultimate Guide
    • How-to Create a Power Point Presentation – The Ultimate Guide
  5. The [Name of an expert] Approach to [What the expert is good at]
    People love to learn from experts, so why not teach them.
    • The Guy Kawasaki Approach to Writing
    • The Adaptive Path Approach to Design

There are tons of other title styles you can use when submitting a story to socially driven websites, but these are some of the ones I use on a regular basis. If you are looking for more [headline templates](http://www.copyblogger.com/10-sure-fire-headline-formulas-that-work/) I recommend checking out [Copyblogger](http://www.copyblogger.com).

Neil Patel
Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions. Neil also blogs about marketing and entrepreneurship at... Read Full Bio
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  • Jeremy Steele

    I think you forgot one: [number]Sure-Fire Ways To [topic of post]

  • Neil Patel

    Yea, there are a lot of them. Brian Clark is really good at writing catchy headlines.

  • Allen Stern

    Of course you left off:
    ____ copies Digg
    _____ is a digg-clone
    _____ revision3 ________
    etc. 🙂

  • SEOsnafu

    And then the holy grail of headlines;
    Top 10…[blank] [blank]

  • Dawud Miracle

    Thanks for the idea. I think I’ll sit down and write my ‘How to [blank] – An Ultimate Guide.’

  • Mukund Mohan

    I think is that this is due to 3 things:
    1. Most blogs are read by people that are “early adopters” and want a quick fix & instant gratification. These headlines suggest that everything they know and dont know can be boiled down to a simple set of the “known”
    2. Most readers read over 50+ blogs and want to skim and these types of posts crystallize ideas quickly.
    3. These headlines all suggest “self help” as known from “experts”, and again it probably goes back to the demographic of users reading these. I suspect they all want to always get better and are looking for that edge.
    If you take a leaf from the old “newspaper journalist” (gasp) playbook, headlines have to grab attention for a reader to think the article is worth reading. These are not attention grabbing to me, but the are like a quick fix.

  • Zach Katkin Google The Ultimate Google AdWords Master

    The ultimate master at increasing your overall 5 steps process to bottom line enhancement. I am trying one of these title suggestions out now, and will let you know how well it works.

  • Andy Beard

    I think a lot depends on the demographics you are looking to target. I am quite please with the one I just came up with “Polish Gmail vs Google Gmail – The Poets vs The Court Jester”
    I actually back up the story with a lot of facts and deep discussion. Then again the title isn’t yet a proven success.