Include an image. Use a hashtag. Mention an influencer.
Oh for heaven’s sake… I’m sure you’re sick and tired of hearing this advice over and over again, right?
And that’s especially because it doesn’t solve your biggest problem with promoting content on Twitter: What to say in the darn tweet anyway? How to write a tweet headline that will attract users and send traffic to your content?
I mean, you know that you need to tweet about your posts a number of times. And make each tweet interesting, intriguing, and post more than just the article’s headline.
What you don’t know, though, is HOW TO WRITE those freaking tweets…
Well, that’s what I’m going to help you with.
In this post, I’ll show you 9 tweet copy formulas that will help you write Twitter updates your audience will want to click.
Ready? Let’s do it.
1. Being Specific
You know: You probably can’t find a simpler formula than this. Well, apart from using the post’s actual title, of course.
This formula focuses on presenting the topic of your post in a straight-forward way. No fluff. No fancy phrases. No word play.
In other words, with this formula you just hit them with what they’re going to get from your content.
Like this: The [number]-step process for overcoming [specific challenge].
Why this formula works?
- First of all, because it’s darn clear. A user can see right away the benefit they’ll get by reading your content.
- Second, it promises a very specific solution (hence the name).
- And finally, it defines the problem you tackle in the content. This makes your tweet immediately relevant to people currently experiencing something similar.
2. Problem -> Solution
Think about it: The no.1 reason people are willing to click your content is that it promises them a solution to their pain.
Sure, you could try to seduce them to check out your post by arousing their curiosity (and I’ll show you formulas for that too), surprising them or playing with their emotions instead.
Still, the best traffic will still come from people who experience the problem you focus on in the content.
And so, here’s a formula that can help you target them: “[Question about the problem]? Check out these [number] ways to [solution] here:”
Why this formula works?
- It’s simple; nobody likes problems. Every time, you feel that pain in the proverbial neck, you want to eradicate it right away. And so, by first defining the problem, and then promising a solution you make the tweet irresistible to click for anyone in similar situation.
3. Showing the Before and After the Problem
Another formula that’s focusing on your audience’s problem. However, this time, approaching communicating it from a different angle.
Instead of presenting a problem and promising a solution, like in the previous formula, here you first define the problem and then… ask the reader to imagine how it would be if it didn’t exist.
In other words, you play on your audience’s emotions.
The formula: “[Statement about the problem] + [question that suggests a reader’s life without a problem] + [statement pointing to the content]: URL”
4. Give Opinion on a Problem
Sometimes to get people to pay attention, you need to stir things up a little. Say something that will ruffle their feathers.
And that’s the premise of this formula, to give a strong opinion on a problem.
But don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to be controversial for it to work. But you need to say something that will get the audience to listen.
Here’s the formula: “[Opinion or statement about the problem] + [Post’s Title]”
Your statement could be something like “Finally a decent way to get rid of [Problem]”. But you could also push the audience’s buttons a bit, i.e. “Guess you’d never come up with a better solution to [Problem]”.
One more thing. Use common sense when choosing the approach. Consider your audience and the severity of the problem you’ve tackled in the post. And then, write something strong but without crossing the line.
5. Reference How Others Solve the Problem
You know: We humans are a curious bunch. We’re sucker for news, trivia, and those little secrets of others.
Hey, there’s no point in denying, curiosity drives our actions more often than we’re willing to admit.
Back in 1757, Edmund Burke, an Irish statesman said:
Curiosity is the most superficial of all affections; it changes its object perpetually; it has an appetite which is very sharp but very easily satisfied; and it has always an appearance of giddiness, restlessness and anxiety.”
And this formula focuses exactly on that.
Because you see, I can guarantee that your audience will want to know how others solve problems similar to theirs. Full stop.
The formula: “Here’s what [Person] does to [overcome problem]”
(Note the little extra punch to evoke more curiosity – a writer creating visuals… Intriguing? You bet.)
6. Stat / Fact
We love numbers too. And stats. Facts. Data. What’s more, we notice them often much quicker than other text, particularly if they include numerals.
One reason for that, as Jakob Nielsen points in one of his studies, is that numbers represent facts. And that is, according to Nielsen:
[…] something users typically relish. Sometimes people are looking for specific facts, such as a product’s weight or size, so product pages are certainly one place where you should write numbers as numerals. But even when a number doesn’t represent a product attribute, it’s a more compact (and thus attractive) representation of hard information than flowery verbiage.”
To play on this psychological characteristic, start your tweet with a stat or fact that would intrigue your audience. For example:
“Did you know that [Numerical Fact]?”
7. Ask a Question About the Headline
Questions have enormous power over us.
I mean, you’ve probably noticed that in spite of being “in the zone,” focused on the work, you still react to someone asking you a question. Sure, your response might not happen instantly. But regardless of your deep concentration, you somehow notice the question.
That’s because we are naturally wired to spot questions.
And that’s another of our characteristics you could use when writing tweet headlines. Simply ask a question relating to your content, and follow by the post’s URL.
The formula: “[Question relating to the audience’s problem] + URL”
8. Referencing the Audience
All the formulas we talked about so far focused on the problem.
However, you could also attract more views on your content by referencing the audience for whom you wrote the content.
For example, the formula for this type of tweets would look like this: “[Audience] + [Question about their best practices]”
Why reference the audience, though?
Basically, referencing your audience means using “you” in your headline. Seeing such a headline, the reader immediately feels known and named. The construction gains attention because our brains are focused on solving problems. Actively searching for solutions to problems is part of our survival instinct. That’s why when a reader is in the precise target audience of some headline, he thinks, “That’s for me!””
So simple, isn’t it?
9. Building Excitement
Finally, you can construct the tweet to get the audience excited about your content.
Using words and phrases like “finally” or “at last” can help you present your solution (and in turn, your content) as super important and get the audience revved up about reading it.
But there’s a reason why I left this formula for the end. You should use it with caution.
If you overdo it, you risk not only losing a reader but having people scoff your content in public. And I’m sure you’ll agree; this is one outcome of your content promotion efforts to avoid.
So, if you wrote a content that can deliver on the promise, then by all means, fire this formula.
Otherwise, better focus on the other eight.