10 reasons why this post will make you think about your article headlines more closely
Do you think that your article headlines have a major impact on how often your audience engages, reads, and shares your content?
Well according to Buzzsumo it is difficult to overstate the importance of headlines. They analyzed 100 million headlines found on social media, and the results were amazing.
Their research included:
- Headline phrases that drive the most engagement on Facebook
- The worst performing headline phrases on Facebook
- The most effective phrases that start or end with headlines
- Optimum number of words and characters to use in a headline
- Most impactful numbers to use in headlines
- Most engaging Twitter headline phrases
- And differences between B2C and B2B headlines
Is there a formula to follow when writing headlines?
They did learn that there is not a magic formula to create a viral headline, but they did learn how to improve their content engagement.
One amazing stat for creating a popular post was using the trigram or three-word phrase “will make you” in your headline resulted in twice as many engagements as the second most popular trigram “this is why” in your headline.
The team also found that emotional headlines such as “make you cry” performed extremely well, but content writers have to be very careful when using these headline phrases as Facebook announced that it will demote “headlines that exaggerate the details of a story with sensational language” and which aims “to make the story seem like a bigger deal than it really is.”
“Where there is good there is also bad”
Buzzsumo also tested the worst performing headline phrases and found that at the top the list included phrases with the trigram “control of your”, “your own business” and “work for you” talked the list of worst performing headline phrases.
They also found that using the phrase like “x reasons why” and the number 10 in your headlines increased the average engagements by almost double over the next most popular phrase or number.
Do the industry experts agree with these finding?
Many marketers will argue that headlines should have as few as four words or less than 40 characters but according to Buzzsumo’s research, articles that had between 16 and 18 words and between 80 and 100 characters received the highest number of Facebook engagements on average.
Twitter versus Facebook
Twitter results were slightly different than that of Facebook but the trigram “will make you” also performed well on that platform. The top headline phrase for Twitter was “this is what”, followed by “for first time”, and “things to know”.
One key difference between Twitter and Facebook that was interesting is the lack of emotional phrases that topped the headlines on Twitter.
You can find the full article here: http://buzzsumo.com/blog/most-shared-headlines-study/#worst
What about LinkedIn?
Buzzsumo’s research on B2B headlines was based on 10 million posts that were shared on LinkedIn, here is the article URL: buzzsumo.com/blog/write-
The top headlines for B2B phrases were: “The future of”, “X ways to”, and “need to know”.
Both of these articles are fantastic, I highly suggest reading them and testing them with your own research when writing articles on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.
In the headline that I used for this article I use the number 10, and the trigram “will make you” along with 15 words and 72 characters not including spaces. I am not a professional writer but I do look forward to testing these techniques on my future articles for social media, the psychology behind headlines is fascinating.
As you can see article headlines are extremely important to your success when posting articles on social media. you can check out some of my other article headlines here at keithwick.net