Viral Content on Social Media: Headline Tips by Upworthy

On Quora, Adam Mordecai, Upworthy’s editor-at-large and “loudest advocate for UpThings,” responded to this question: “What tools does Upworthy employ to test its headlines?”:

Here are his top five tips:

  1. Tell a story in your headline, but don’t give it all away. (This is what makes us so successful, though some people really hate it.)
  2. If you’ve got some heroes and villains, play them off each other.
  3. To optimize shareability you want to make sure everyone can feel comfortable sharing it. Think to yourself, “Would my mom share this headline?” If not, do something different. Unless you are only targeting a subgroup and don’t care about shareability.
  4. Don’t depress people so much that they want to give up on humanity. Negative headlines breeds negative shares.
  5. Don’t curse in your headlines. Moms hate it (and are the biggest sharers on the internet by a significant margin. Mothers With Children Under 5 Most Active on Social Media [STUDY]

For the rest of Mordecai’s tips, check out his full post on Quora.
You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter, @advodude.

*image credit:

Related Stories
Mediabistro Course

Instagram Marketing

Instagram MarketingStarting October 27, learn how to gain likes and followers on one of the most popular social media platforms! In this course, you'll learn how to develop an Instagram strategy that will make your profile stand out and gain new followers, tell a brand story through photos, and use your Instagram profile to drive your sales and business objectives. Register now!