How to Change the Way Your Audience Thinks



We all know that a headline has a lot of sway. A headline can determine whether you choose to read a piece or not. This applies to articles, blog posts and advertisements alike. And as Dylan explains in a recent post, there are certain methods to making your audience “click”.  But what if this sway goes even deeper than just simply determining whether or not a person clicks, reads, buys, etc. What if a headline can influence the way your audience interprets what they read?

As it turns out, they just might. In psychology, it’s understood that how a person sees or feels during their first encounter with something determines how they process it thereafter. And article headlines are no different. A title can shift how the reader perceives the text that follows.

So how exactly does this translate on social media? Well a headline is comparable to the description you post before linking to a curated article, or even the article headlines you do choose to use. The 140-character description that your audience sees before they read the linked text matters—it will effect how your audience perceives the content you are curating.

And this requires more than using rhetoric to inspire a click. You need to think about your brand’s strategy and your brand’s values. Your strategy not only helps you determine what content you curate, but also the topics you create blog posts around as well. Your company’s goals and value system are behind all of these decisions. The trick is making it clear to your audience, too. A manufacturing company and a strategy firm could both curate the same article on 3D printing, for instance. But the former may highlight the advance of an industry, while the latter emphasizes industry disruption. As a result their audiences will read them differently.

When creating descriptions or titles, it is important to always have your strategy in mind. What you stress in your description has the potential to reframe the text for your audience. Ideally, they will value the content for the same reason your brand chose to curate it in the first place.

So think about the influence you have when creating your next tweet or caption. You want your consumers to click on it but you also want them to see your company in everything they read. In order to achieve this influence, however, you need to know what your brand should emphasize—you need to know your company’s goals, values and strategy. At Social Media Contractors, we work with our clients to develop a clear picture of all three to be implemented across all social media platforms. If you’re not sure what your brand’s strategy is, contact us today for a strategy session.


Reprinted by permission.

About the author: Catherine Walsh

Catherine is Editor at Social Media Contractors. She graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, where she earned her B.A. in English and M.A. in English, specializing in Rhetoric and Composition/Ethnography.

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