Attention is the currency of the 21st century.
Next time you are in a restaurant, take notice of something. Notice the number of people who are staring down at their smart phones even though they are surrounded by people they like enough to invite out to dinner. The number is shockingly high.
This is important for two reasons. One is that while they are on their phone, they are likely on social media. But you already know this. You already know that social media is booming. That Facebook has 1.35 Billion users and that the average person spends 20 minutes a day on it.
What’s more significant is why this highlights how limited our attention is as humans in a digital age. If it’s difficult for their friend to hold their attention, then what hope do you have of getting these people to focus on you?
Attention is valuable and therefore rare. If you want your social media posts not to be brushed over and ignored, but instead clicked on, read and shared, then there are 3 important things your social media headline must have:
- Use a number in your headline
Next time you are in a supermarket, take a look at the magazines. Popular magazines such as People and Men’s Health spend hundreds of thousands of dollars hiring the very best copywriters in the world and testing and testing and testing some more. The result of this testing is obvious as you glance at the covers - use numbers! On the front cover of EVERY magazine you will find article titles with numbers on them.
When you have a number in your headline, “7 ways to look beautiful for summer” or “How I earned $217,942.59 in 14 days”, you create curiosity. The human mind loves answers and hates open loops; it’s one of the 25 cognitive biases. Curiosity is such a strong motivator that we can’t help but discover the answer.
Final note on this: Use digits instead of words; the number is where the magic is.
- Lead with the negative
This isn’t something you want to overuse because people will soon associate you and your company with negativity and fear-brandishing. However, done tastefully, leading with negativity can increase click-through rates in a big way. The reason is that human beings are risk-averse. Psychologists have shown that the fear of pain is 5-10 times greater and more motivating than the promise of pleasure. The fear of pain and fear of loss grip us and force us to pay attention. This is why “Is your credit card company ripping you off?” works better than “7 ways to make 3% more money each month”!
- Use interesting wording
In a world where we are exposed to 2,000+ online advertisements each day, we develop what is called “marketing block”. Our brains, in particular the RAS or Reticular Activating System which is the part of our brain responsible for what we focus on, blocks out advertisements from our conscious awareness.
This marketing block means we literally don’t notice advertisements that we see. What does this have to do with your social media headlines? There are ways to get your prospects to hone in on you, and one of the ways to do this is to use interesting words in your headlines. These words stand out because they are different than what we normally see. Try using words like “Painstaking, Delightful, and Extraordinary” and see the effect this has on your results.
Writing headlines for social media can be difficult, but if you include the above 3 components, your audience will sit up and take more notice.
Interested in using social media content to grow your business? Talk to us at MintCopy. Give us a call at 888-646-8003 or send us an email.