Being good at Twitter is more of an art than a science.
There’s no magic formula for social media success, nor hard and fast rules for how to use Twitter well.
But there are guidelines—informed by scads of data and legitimized through case studies and success stories—for writing the “best” Twitter headlines as measured by their clickability. Tests have shown you can increase your conversion rate on a link by 73 percent when you write a compelling headline.
Getting users to click on links in tweets is one of the major goals of brands that use Twitter.
Here are the 10 most clickable Twitter headlines that will engage your followers, draw traffic to your blog or website and help differentiate your Twitter account among the thousands of competitors vying for attention.
1. Top 10 lists
People love lists on Twitter just like they do those across the Internet. (Did you notice the headline of this article?)
A Twitter headline that concisely packages the content you’re linking to by referring to it with a quantity—it doesn’t have to be 10—tells the reader that wherever she goes after she clicks your link won’t take too long to read and will be digestible.
2. The promise of something
The best headlines—in traditional copy and tweets alike—make a promise. Hook people with a promise and they will feel that they’ll be more entertained, informed, smarter or better off in some way than before they clicked the link in your tweet.
3. Poignant questions
Ask and you shall receive. Pose a resonant question and you’re more likely to attract engagement. People also want to follow, for the most part, users who do more than push out 140-character press releases around the clock. Tweeting relevant and pithy questions suggests you actually care about your followers’ input.
4. Calls to action
Similarly, tell your followers to click on a link. As long as your tweet is well-written (grammatically correct, concise and engaging), they’ll do so. Also, according to Dan Zarella, the most retweeted word is “you.”
5. Directed messages
When you preface your link with a targeted audience, you perk up the ears (er, fingers) of the followers in that category. People are more likely to click on a link if they feel it’s relevant to them.
When you catch a reader’s eye with stand-out phrasing or buzzy language, they are that much more likely to engage with your content. With this one, you’re going for the virtual double-take reaction.
7. Newsy nuggets
It’s nearly impossible these days to pinpoint what outlet broke what news, on what platform and when. But tweeting something that’s time sensitive gives people a major incentive to click your tweet.
8. The word “infographic”
Infographics on Twitter get 832 percent more retweets than images and articles. That’s a big payoff for one 11-letter word. Throw a hashtag in there (#infographic) for extra shareability.
9. Celebrity names
Hollywood has pull, even on Twitter. Tap into existing popularity by linking your Twitter headline to a high-profile person.
Tips, tricks and how tos have made sites like Lifehacker formidably popular, so it makes sense that well-worded tweets along those lines get tons of clicks.
Is there anything you’d add to this list?
Allison Stadd is a contributing writer to AllTwitter, where a version of this article originally appeared.