Social media headlines, and headlines in general, are one of the most important parts of content creation as a realtor.
Think about it this way.
You could create the most amazing content.
Filled with valuable education, juicy real estate tips, and wisdom for your potential clients.
But if your headline is just “meh”…then nobody is going to read it.
Your social media headlines are the initial hook for the rest of your post.
And if they don’t adequately grab the attention of your ideal clients, all of the incredible content you’re creating is going to waste.
You have to remember…
There’s a LOT of content out there. People can’t possibly consume all of the content put in front of them on a daily basis.
They only have so much time and attention to give. Which means they have to make a snap judgment about your content, and a lot of the time that snap judgment is based purely on the headline.
Your Headline Has One Job
While having your followers judge your entire post based on the first line isn’t ideal, it IS the reality.
You could have fantastic content but none of it will matter if your headline doesn’t do its job…
To entice the reader to consume your content.
So you have two choices.
You can feel frustrated and victimized by the fact that your content just isn’t getting the engagement it deserves in our media-saturated world.
OR, you can buckle up and take the time to learn the fundamentals of social media headline writing, a fundamental skill if you want to master your marketing as a real estate agent.
I hope you choose #2 and start viewing your headline as the MOST important part of your content.
They are the biggest and the greatest marketing piece that you have in order to get that attention…and then keep that attention.
On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body of the copy. So once you’ve mastered your headline, you’ve spent 80 cents out of your dollar, just through the headline alone.
When you look at professional copywriters, they’ll spend HOURS just coming up with a solid hook, often rewriting the headline up to 100 times.
4 Types of Social Media Headlines to Hook Your Followers
Now, if you’re thinking, “Jess, hold up. There’s NO way I have time for that”…don’t worry.
I’m not going to ask you to spend all your precious time writing headlines.
In fact, in this post, I’m going to give you some proven copywriting formulas so you can shorten the time it takes to write engaging headlines.
With these formulas, you’ll be able to create high-converting headlines with a fraction of the time and a fraction of the effort.
Let’s get into them!
When it comes to headlines for your social media posts, there are really four ways to get the interest of your audience.
These four headline types are as follows:
- Headlines that promise value
- Headlines that spark curiosity
- Headlines that subvert expectations
- Headlines that call out the reader
Some headlines will lead really heavily in one particular direction or the other. And some of them might even be a hybrid of two of those principles at once.
Let’s dive deeper into how to use these formulas to get your followers hooked on your content.
Headline Type #1: Promising Value
Value-focused headlines are probably the most straightforward of the headline formulas.
All you need to do is promise a specific, tangible outline in your headline. You can also add a framework or a timeline to jazz it up.
The basic gist of your headline should be, “How to achieve [X RESULT]”
Some examples could be:
- “How To Sell Your Home in 5 Days Or Less”
- “How To Be The Winning Offer In A Low Inventory Market”
- “5 Renos To Do This Year To Increase The Value of Your Home”
Your reader should immediately be able to see what they’ll gain or learn from reading your post!
Headline Type #2: Sparking Curiosity
Curiosity-driven headline formulas are going to be a little different. These headlines rely on information gaps.
These gaps entice your audience to read even further.
A good two-step template for these social media headlines is to tease them with an outcome and then promise them a solution in the copy…but without revealing what it is!
Some examples might be:
- “Want To Sell Your House For $100,000 Over Asking? Do This 👇”
- “Is Your House Not Moving? This Might Be Why….”
- “Stop Doing THIS Thing If You Want To Sell Your House Over Asking”
Unlike the first formula, you’re not spelling out the value or tips you’ll provide. Instead, you’re piquing their curiosity so they click that “Read More” button to find out exactly what you’re talking about.
Headline Type #3: Subverting Expectations
The third type of formula is an expectation-defying headline formula.
You may have seen this classic expectation-defying headline, as it’s been around for ages.
Maybe you’re familiar with the example of “They Laughed When I Sat Down At The Piano, But When I Started To Play!” which was an ad that was created all the way back in 1926 by John Caples.
As you can see, this headline formula has been around for nearly one hundred years.
But it’s REALLY been popularized in recent years with online media’s heavy focus on clicks and virality.
You’ve probably seen BuzzFeed articles that end with things like, “and you’ll never guess what happened next” or, “what happened after will blow your mind”.
Essentially, headlines that subvert expectations are all about creating a one-sentence plot twist.
You set up an expectation in the first part of the headline, and then you pull the rug out from under your readers with the second part.
This might look like:
- Top [#] Tips From [A Surprising Source]
- I.e. Five Job Interview Tips From A Hostage Negotiator
Another strategy might be promising a certain result, but using an objection that you commonly receive tacked onto the end.
- “How To Create Content That Sells (Even If You Got An 5 In English)”
- Or, “How To Sell Your House For $100,000 Over Asking (Even Without A Renovation)”
It’s all about getting your readers to think, “Wait a second…what’s she going to tell me here?!” by ending your headline with something they weren’t expecting!
Headline Type #4: Calling Out The Reader
The last one is call out headline formulas.
And a quick disclaimer, you want to use these with caution.
These headlines work by invoking a pain point in your audience in the most direct way possible.
And when you hit the nail on the head, they’re extremely effective.
But if you miss the mark with your messaging, they can seriously fall flat.
This is why we preach the importance of honing your marketing messaging by doing ideal client avatar interviews.
If you’re not crystal clear on the pain points your ideal client is experiencing, this type of headline won’t be effective, so make sure you know your avatar inside out.
Some examples I might use in my real estate coaching business could be:
- “Stop Posting Just Listed, Just Sold Posts”
- “You’ll Never Reach 7 Figures By Relying on Referrals, Here’s Why”
Another way would be to phrase it as a provocative question. Maybe you ask your audience, “Are You Brave Enough To List Your House In The Winter?”
There are a million different ways you could do this, but it has to be geared towards the specific pain points and desires of your ideal audience.
Pro Tip: When you’re using the “calling out” headline formula, you want to use as much empathy and care as possible.
You don’t want to sound too preachy or judgmental.
But I do believe there’s a place for brutal honesty in your marketing. Just make sure you’re doing it from a place of love for your ideal clients.
Whether you opt for a headline that promises value, induces curiosity, subverts expectations, calls out your reader, or even a headline that’s a hybrid of the four – these formulas are guaranteed to bring in results, every single time.
You’ll find yourself getting MORE engagement on your content (because people are actually reading it!) and saving time when it comes to creating real estate content for social media.
And if you’re ready to dive deeper into building a powerful marketing machine for your real estate business, download our Listings Lab Method Guide to start effortlessly attracting more leads than ever before (without feeling sleazy or fake!).