Platform-Specific Titles: How to Adjust an Idea for Social

There are many sites for content promoters to implement for a successful campaign. Many of these sites are easy to access, and don’t require too much work to ingratiate oneself with the subculture, whereas others require extensive research and consideration.

Image via InsuranceComparison

In order to write successful titles for specific forums, a promoter or writer should understand the essential character of the forum in question. Here is a cheat sheet for new content promoters, and for those writers who hope to capture the attention of a given forum.

FACEBOOK

Image via Facebook

ESSENTIALS:

  • Title case for shared articles, but not for random content
  • Interesting pictures with quick-loading resolutions
  • “Click ‘like’ if” content should only be shared by actual friends

Browsers on Facebook will look for interesting pictures, strong titles, and a connection to the person posting. If the person who shared the content is essentially a stranger, the content will need to be much more interesting to yield a click.

TWITTER

Image via Twitter

ESSENTIALS:

  • 140 characters or less
    • Remember that retweets eat up characters, so if you hope to be re-tweeted then leave extra space
    • Use link shorteners like Bitly
    • Interact with others frequently to build a following that will retweet your content

Twitter browsers are often looking at anything and everything. It doesn’t matter if they know you or not, as long as your title is catchy. Try to be succinct and direct. Clever titles are more likely to be retweeted, even by those who aren’t reading the articles.

REDDIT

Image via Reddit

ESSENTIALS:

  • Be quirky and original, avoiding anything that smells of ‘repost’
  • Do not use title case
  • Write as though the audience is your college class (using site slang)
  • Use high resolution photos
  • Long, familiar titles can work on this site

Redditors only like other redditors who display signs of being very familiar with the site. A promoter cannot simply go onto the site and post content expecting it to be popular. To ingratiate oneself with this forum a writer should read the first four pages of content several times a day, become familiar with the subreddits (sub sites) that they hope to use, and try to leave thoughtful comments on others’ posts. Trial and error is the only sure way to become a good title writer for Reddit, as it continually changes.

GOOGLE+

Image via Google

ESSENTIALS:

  • Add as many friends as possible (and make new friends) so that circles can grow to reach a wider audience
  • Avoid over-posting, as many people have very limited circles, so they could be forced to see back-to-back posts by you
  • Share others’ posts and leave thoughtful comments
  • Write short titles

Google+ still hasn’t realized its full potential, but it’s growing. In order to craft titles for Google+ a writer or promoter only needs to look at what his or her circles are doing. Many people strictly use title case, whereas others are more casual and laid back. Each circle often develops its own subculture that needs to be followed. In general, very short titles are easier to view on the Google+ format.

STUMBLEUPON

Image via StumbleUpon

ESSENTIALS:

  • Titles are not as important as the publication page of the content
  • During submission the writer should tag as many sub-topics as possible to reach more viewers
  • Stumblers should use the site occasionally and build their own liked pages

StumbleUpon is popular with bored people, generally under the age of 55. Any title can work on StumbleUpon, because the viewer is taken to the page of publication and thus judges the entire piece as well as its background page. Many users will click-away very quickly if the initial page view isn’t attractive.

PINTEREST

Image via Pinterest

ESSENTIALS:

  • Most people focus on the visual content rather than the title
  • Long titles are rarely read
  • Each time content is shared the title can be re-written, which makes it less important

Pinners enjoy the visual message board that is Pinterest, and rarely take the time to read a title unless they love the image. Thus, it is crucial to pick a primary image that stands out and catches attention. The title should be kept short, but most likely it would be re-written or removed by the initial sharers.

CONCLUSION

Understanding the forum you are implementing is as important as understanding your audience. Hopefully this cheat sheet has helped you to understand the essentials of each popular forum, which can be used to become familiar with each site’s peccadilloes and unspoken rules.

About the author

Michael Purdy