Headlines by mikecogh

In the last 10 years, the use of social media has exploded in both the business and private sector.

Businesses understand the importance of having a presence on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. In a 2013 CEO survey on social media, researchers found that 80.4% of leaders thought being on social media was vital to a successful marketing campaign. However, a successful social media campaign needs to be thought out a bit better than just throwing out a tweet here and there. Smart companies know it is important to engage customers and grab their attention with subjects the customers care about and headlines that will stand out from the millions of other tweets coming across the wire each and every day.

Headlines Matter

The average Internet user scrolls through Twitter and Facebook feeds. This person might have a few minutes while riding on the subway to work or standing in line at the store. I recently wrote an article on how some of the top Internet marketers use headlines to grab the reader. These headlines can be used for blog posts, but are also workable for social media posts. You'll just want to keep it short and sweet, since youll be limited as to how many characters you can use.

Good headlines include things like:

  • Interesting statistics
  • A question to get the reader thinking
  • A funny quote
  • The word top (Top 5 ways to earn more money)
  • How-to headlines

Pay Attention to Trending Subjects

One of the best ways to gain new followers on social media is by posting about trending topics and relating it back to your business. There are a couple of ways to find trending topics.

  • Pay attention to current events. What are the news reporters talking about?
  • What are people interested in? When you talk to others, what are the topics of discussion?
  • Google trends can be a good roadmap to what people across the Internet are searching for and likely talking about. You can also study charts and trends across time to see patterns.
  • Whats hot on Google+. This growing social media (and more) platform can give you a plethora of ideas.
  • Find out what's popular this week on BuzzFeed.
  • Login to Twitter and look in the left sidebar to see what is trending.

Once you've figured out some topics that are popular, you must figure out a way to relate those topics back to your business. Lets say that there is a trending topic on Justin Bieber. Your business sells custom tennis balls. You might write a post about how a tennis ball could inspire Justin Bieber. Or, if the trending topic is about sky diving, conduct a poll to find out how many of your customers have gone sky diving. Later, you can tie the poll into a promotional event.

Light or Heavy Emotions?

You know your customer base better than anyone else does. Are your customers deep and thought-filled people or do they enjoy a good laugh or two? The tone of your post will reflect your customer base. You may also want to gauge the popularity of your social media activity by how many people retweet or share your post. If a lot of your customers are sharing jokes or cartoons that you post on the business page, then you may want to stick with light and funny posts. On the other hand, if your customers seem to enjoy a post that hits you in the gut and makes you want to cry, then engage them with heavier, thought-filled and emotional posts.

Encouraging Interactivity

If you can get your customers interacting with your posts, then they are more likely to remember what you've posted and to share what you've posted with others (this can easily equal new customers who otherwise might not have heard of your business). Encourage interactivity with:

  • Polls about what your customers like
  • Questions that require a thought-provoking answer
  • Asking for retweets and shares with something as simple as please RT.
  • Hosting contests for the person who posts the best picture of themselves using your product or service.
  • Get customers involved in redesigning your logo or planning your next big event.

Essentially, anything you can do online to engage your customers and even get them to interact with one another can drive your social media platform.

Use Brand Ambassadors/Helpers

When you're at a loss for what else to post on social media, consider enlisting the help of a few others. Steve Olenski over at Marketing Land suggested in his column that using brand ambassadors can drive your social media marketing campaign to greater success.

Here is how it works.

You'll find a few loyal customers that you've noticed are particularly engaged in social media. You want people who are on different social media sites several times a day, have a large number of followers/friends and seem to be up-to-date on trending topics.

You'll also want to vet these people to be sure they understand that they are representing your business and your image. Put a few rules in place, such as that they need to make it clear they are tweeting about your business and not speaking for your business (this is to protect you in case someone posts something sensitive or insane). Offer them a discount or free item for every so many times they mention your business online as an incentive.

Here are some examples of what they might want to post:

  • Try out X-tra Squeaky Car Wash. I use them once a week.
  • My favorite web designer is Mark Smith. Check him out at
  • ABC Hair Bows is offering a sale through tomorrow. Visit here

Coming up with catchy headlines and knowing when to post them and the tone to take can increase your companies Internet footprint and drive traffic to your site. Engage social media users and you'll have more success. Be creative in your headlines and how you incorporate them and you're likely to reach more customers than ever before.