How do you make a post go viral?
In one sense, it’s magic; that is, when something goes viral, it is often unexpected. But, that said, in another sense, it’s not: There are definitely some tricks to the trade that we can utilize that can help that post go the extra mile.
In my new book Your Small Business Boom, I have a whole chapter (actually, several chapters) devoted to this. The idea is: How can you take you small business to the next level, whatever that next level is for you?
One way is to create content that is popular, and one way to do that is to have a headline that pulls people in.
BuzzSumo.com analyzed an incredible one hundred million headlines on Twitter and Facebook over the course of a few weeks, in order to answer the question, “What makes an engaging headline?” They were looking to find what content was shared the most, and their findings are surprising and fascinating.
The most powerful three-word phrase in the headlines was “Will make you,” garnering more than two times the number of engagements (likes, shares, comments) than the next most popular phrase, “This is why.” Typical headlines include:
- 24 Pictures That Will Make You Feel Better About The World
- What This Airline Did for Its Passengers Will Make You Tear Up – So Heartwarming!
- “Who Wore It Better?” Pics That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud
The next finding was less surprising, but no less important. Emotional headlines also drove engagement. Headlines in this case (often with relevant pictures) included Tears of joy, Make you cry, Give you goosebumps, and Is too cute.
According to BuzzSumo, the key to headline writing in this regard is that, “The most popular phrase “will make you” is a phrase that clearly sits in the center of a headline as it connects two elements. Thus it creates the structure by linking something to an emotional reaction.
So the first step is to create a great piece of content. Then, the trick is to give it a headline that makes people want to know more. If your content delivers on that headline, then they are far more apt to engage with your brand – like, swipe, share, comment, or, just maybe, buy the book!
By: Steve Strauss
Senior small business columnist at USA TODAY and author of 15 books, including The Small Business Bible, Steve is your host here at TheSelfEmployed.com.