On social web, headlines makes all the difference

“The reality is that in the world of newsfeeds and streams, titles matter more than ever before. The best content in the world will fall flat without a great title. Nothing illustrates it better than this recent Target article.” — Nick O’Neill.

Nick pointed out that after The New York Times published, How Companies Learn Your Secrets, Forbes.com ran an article titled How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did. The Forbes article got 12,902 likes and more than 680,000 page views. The New York Times article got about 60 likes and shares.

I agree with Nick – Facebook and Twitter have reduced our attention spans to such a degree that if the headline doesn’t catch your eye when flowing through the stream, there is very little chance people are going to pay attention. And that is one of the reasons why I spend quite a bit of my time on headlines and making them inviting enough for the readers. Of course, these creative headlines do have to match the content – otherwise what you are doing is cheating the readers and that is never a good idea.

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