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What makes an engaging social media headline?

This research analyzes 100 million article headlines to find what works for attracting audiences from Twitter and Facebook.

Your article’s headline is often the first thing a reader notices through social media channels. It’s like your audition for getting a part in the reader’s daily routine, so your headline should entice your audience to click, share and follow. Research from Buzzsumo, a social and content marketing tool, discovered a few key ingredients for creating engaging headlines:

  • Top trigrams, like “will make you”
  • Emotional phrases, like “tears of joy”
  • Explanatory phrases, like “This is why”
  • Curiosity framing
  • Lists

Additional studies included in the research focus on how many words should be in a headline, how headline performance compares between Facebook and Twitter, and which number performed the best in a headline about a list.