This Looks Like An Ordinary Blog Post, But When You Read It Your Jaw Will Drop

jennifer carioRaise your hand if you’ve seen these kinds of headlines in your Facebook feed:

  • She Pours Baking Soda Into This Washing Machine and What Happens Next, SO COOL!
  • Dog Waiting At Hospital Until His Owner Died Then Did Something Unbelievable
  • It Looks Like An Ordinary Shell, But When He Pokes It, My Jaw Dropped

Then you click on the link and read that the cool thing that happened next when she poured baking soda into the washing machine wasn’t even remotely cool or interesting.


So what are we to make of these often misleading headlines that often smell of click bait?


Our social media expert Jennifer Cario addresses this headline-grabbing phenomenon in her latest blog post “Getting Back to Good Headlines with the Curiosity Gap.”

Here’s quick snippet:

The pattern goes a little something like this:

[Observational Statement] + [Transitional Phrase] + [Shock/Emotion] = Ideal Conversation Headline

At first, we tended to see these types of headlines showing up for really impressive, unique and engaging stories. Stories like WestJet’s Christmas Miracle campaign or the Tulane University students who met, became best friends, and then learned they were half-sisters. At that stage of the content game, the headlines were the natural byproduct of amazing stories. Of course, the headlines were also attention grabbers, due to a psychological theory called the “Information-gap Theory.”

As Jen shows you in the remainder of her blog post, attention-grabbing headlines have gotten out of control as sites look to increase clicks.

Market Motive’s  Social media marketing course will help to write attention grabbing headlines and understand the entire social media ecosystem.

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