• Mark Hallander

10 headlines that convert on social media

In today’s fragmented media landscape, everyone is fighting for a place in the consumer’s mind. Especially on social media, we have as little as 3 seconds to catch the attention of the ever-scrolling consumer and make initial interest an actual conversion. So how do we write headlines that catch the eye and make people click? Here are my 10 best copy approaches.

#copywriting #contentmarketing #leadgeneration #digitalstrategy


The importance of a catchy headline

Although images and videos can be a great attention grabber in itself – and I do encourage you to always use these when sharing content on social media, as it helps your conversion rate – the headline is equally important. It is the first thing that we read to decode the piece of communication. And while it can be quite easy to disappear in the constant flow of updates, a lack of differentiation will result in bad conversion, which harms your ability to grow the brand and generate new business.


So how do you write a great headline for ads or organic posts?


In general, you should focus your efforts on making headlines as short and catchy as possible. Remember that less is more. You are meant to elaborate your core message in the content you are linking to, so don’t make it too complex. In copywriting this is sometimes also referred to as “The Hook” – an element that catches attention and draws people in to read your content.


You also have to keep your target audience in mind: What would they like to hear from you? Why are you relevant to them? Which challenges have you solved for your clients that might be of interest to them? This is the sort of value that you need to provide them with upfront, and you need to make sure to capture the essence of your message in a way that is relevant and interesting for your target audience.


So what are the different approaches you can take when writing copy?


Here are my suggestions.


1. Show them how it's done

This approach is very common in online lead generation, and you have probably seen a "How to" guide once or twice. It’s all about taking your reader from A to B by providing them with awesome (and very much clickable) content. For example:

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  • How to improve your click-through rates on social media


2. Use lists to round-up content

Collecting lists of information is a powerful conversion technique because the easy-to-digest format sorts information and helps the reader get a quick overview of the specific topic. You can use several different approaches to your lists including processes (steps), advisement (tips, learnings, recommendations, mistakes) or future-oriented directions (trends).

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3. Make it specific with data

Using statistics or data will help you establish trust in you as a receiver. Furthermore, adding numbers to your headline will help your target audience to decode and understand the real value of the message instantly. Besides, you can also use social confirmation (the fact that someone else has already done the same) to strengthen your number-based approach.

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4. Collect authentic endorsements

In a time where trust in organizations is less than ever before, we turn to our peers. Activating your clients, and using their authentic endorsements, is a great way to connect with prospects on a peer-to-peer level.

  • (Your Client) saw a 60% growth in website traffic

  • Why we have always used (Your Company) in our marketing


5. Cite experts from your industry

Just like peer-to-peer recommendations, potential clients respond well to authentic advice from industry experts. Draw on your networking resources to exploit and do collaborations with these.

  • What leading marketers are saying about influencer marketing

  • Get the edge over your competitors with this tip from (relevant industry expert)


6. Intrigue your audience with a question

In sales, we use a model called NASA (Need, Accept, Solution, Accept). What it means is that when we analyze the product demanded by the customer, we need to get acceptance along the way. Every time people say “Yes” it‘s a confirmation that you are on the right track. Surprisingly this also triggers the consumer’s unconscious “buying mindset”, so asking questions in which your target audience’s answer is “Yes” can be a powerful tool.

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7. Use a direct approach

Sometimes it can be good to cut to the chase. You can, for instance, be very direct if you have a great offer, which then becomes your main message. It can become too salesy, so bear in mind that it must make sense for your target audience.

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8. Remember newsworthiness

Think about what in particular makes it newsworthy. News criteria such as actuality (is it relevant here and now?), identification (can you reader identify with the story?), and conflict (does it have opposite viewpoints?) will make your news more relevant.

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9. Address pain points

There’s an element of anxiety in every business aspect – from an individual’s missed professional opportunities to major company IT malfunctions. Pain is thus an element that can be used to spotlight the thing we want to change or prevent.

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10. Talk to aspirations and dreams

People also love to aspire – and see their own personal potential – in your content. Painting a picture of the dream, that they may or may not have considered themselves, is therefore a strong tool that will make people click.

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Rounding off, you should always ask yourself why your target audience should click on your particular ad or post. What will they get out of it? And how is it different from what your competitors are doing?


Combine these recommendations on copy with an equally high standard of design and imagery, and you will see great results with your conversion rates and content marketing in general.


If you want to read more related content, check out 3 lead-generating content strategies for social media or how to write a good case.