5 Keys to Twitter Headlines

A starfish on the beach. An idyllic image.

Twitter headlines are about short striking descriptive tidbits that get retweeted frequently.

First we had social media now we have Twitter.

No joke. You don’t do social media optimization anymore. You have to optimize for Twitter.

Getting retweeted poses some special challenges though, one of the foremost is the retweetable headline.

It’s a mix of SEO and SMO as Twitter headlines need both keywords and the “awesome” effect needed on other social sites as well.

The most difficult thing about these headlines is of course fitting them in the shortest possible form.

Thus I present to you the 5 keys to Twitter headlines. Please note how short my examples are.

  1. Eye catcher: how to, 101, free
  2. Emotion: “wow”, “cool”,  “LOL”, “FAIL”, “WTF?”
  3. Keyword/s: Twitter, UX, social media
  4. Names, brand names: Apple, Elon Musk
  5. Value: tools, list, DIY, guide
  • With an eye catcher you manage to get noticed. The usual suspects work also on Twitter.
  • You need to get emotional, otherwise people won’t see a reason in clicking the link you tweet if you don’t even care for it.
  • For those who search Twitter for keywords you need to add some. “Twitter” as a keyword works for everybody, for my followers “SEO” will work.
  • Use names and brand names people know on Twitter and Twitter users love or hate. Make sure to promise value in your headline. No “all tweet and no meat” tactic will work. You need to offer something of value.

Will these simple 5 keys to Twitter headlines make you popular on Twitter? Not really, you need followers, the right ones.

You need to tweet at the right time – when Americans are awake – or wherever your audience resides. Tweeting at night might be a good idea when you want to attract the night-life crowd.

Last updated: February 27th, 2017.