The next step after creating great content is coming up with a title to grab consumer attention and effectively use social media tools to expand your reach. Crafting headline-hashtag pairs is one strong way to grab the attention of potential readers on social media and direct them to your online and offline content.
As an author you already know the importance of creating titles that capture the essence of your work. Authors create titles that are catchy, clever, and descriptive of their stories. So what do you do with titles and headlines on social media? What about those pesky hashtags that could expand your visibility? Chris Garrett and Tony Clark through address these questions in their podcast Deadly Conversion Busters: How to Fix a Horrible Headline. They give expert advice on creating titles that convert to clicks.
In your products you are going to exclude people just by the nature of what it is you are creating; and that’s okay. You should aim for a title that says, ‘this is what we are, this is why its good, and this is why you can enjoy it.’
While clever literary titles are applauded, Garrett and Clark tell us clever headlines online are a distraction. Even more surprising, they encourage online titles to exclude potential readers and followers. They explain that, as a user of social media, and one that wants to build a following, you really only want to connect with people you can help. Trying to connect to everyone with broad and click-batey headlines and hashtags will only confuse followers and, worst case scenario, you might even turn away followers who are looking to connect with an author like you.
Hashtags double as mini-subtitles as Markelle Harden showcases in her article Another Online Marketing Opportunity is Knocking: Hello #HashtagSearch. Harden illustrates that coupling hashtags with headlines double the effectiveness of the tweet or blog post. Tweets with hashtags and links to your content not only increases attention on twitter but also expand the tweet’s reach across platforms such as Google+ and LinkedIn.
Adding a hashtag strategy to your campaign will improve visibility for your brand, from Google to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and beyond.
Garret and Clark’s advice on titles and headlines pair nicely with hashtags. You should be aiming for headline-hashtag pairs that are “useful, unique, urgent, and “ultra specific.” Potentially the most important piece of advice from the podcast is to test your titles, headlines, and tweets. As authors, you know writing is rewriting. Perfecting effective headline-hashtag pairs takes trial and error. Try different headline-hashtag pairs to see which combination is gathering the most following.
What do you do now? Go forth and test your exclusive, specific, and useful headline-hashtag pairs that tell followers why they can enjoy your content!