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Headline Hacks: 8 Proven Formulas + 100 Ideas to Grab Attention on Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

When you post something on social media that no one comments on or likes, it almost feels like a personal rejection.  And when you’re posting to get attention for your law firm and no one cares what you’re writing, you are wasting your time.

One of the most important ways to get noticed on social media — especially on Twitter — is to make sure your post has a great headline.  There are actually very good psychological reasons for using certain words that makes it almost irresistible for people to click.  Here are 8 proven formulas to craft your headlines around:

  1. Surprise — using words that surprise or startle captures attention because we love novelty.  Words that break the pattern stand out.

  2. Questions — using questions works because a question mark stimulates the human brain to seek an answer.

  3. Curiosity — use incomplete information in your headline to pique curiosity.  A famous example of this is the 1926 ad with the headline, “They laughed when I sat down at the piano…but when I started to play…!”

  4. Negatives — using negative superlatives like “worst” or “stop” intrigues us because we want to know if there is something we shouldn’t be doing.

  5. How to — we all want to get better, so using “how to” in your headline makes a promise of improving the reader’s knowledge.

  6. Numbers — because humans dislike uncertainty, we respond well to numbers in headlines.

  7. Reader referencing — using phrases like, “For those who don’t know what to do after a car accident” — or even just the word “you” — are powerful drivers.

  8. Specifics — quantifiable facts and figures that elicit an image in our head are incredibly intriguing.

Still stuck for good headlines? Keep this headline template list handy when you’re crafting your next post:

social media tips


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About this Author

Stephen Fairley legal marketing expert, law office management

Two-time international best-selling author, Stephen Fairley is the Founder and CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, the nation’s largest law firm marketing company specializing in marketing and lead conversion for small to medium law firms. Since 1999, he has built a national reputation as a legal marketing expert and been named, “America’s Top Marketing Coach.” He has spoken numerous times for over 35 of the nation’s largest state and local bar associations.