When a post moves off your blog's home page—no matter how spectacular it was—it stops getting visitors.
What if it happened to be a post you were particularly proud of? But maybe all your readers were on vacation the week it came out. Or you wrote it just one month after you started blogging, so only three people read it.
And one of them was your mother.
Attract new readers to your old blog posts with social media 'teasers'
You can use Twitter and Facebook to bring new life to old posts if you package them up in irresistible teasers. Every reader you entice through a teaser, with a link to a past post, is a potential new subscriber. At the very least, if she likes what she sees, she'll stick around and dig deeper into your site.
Because you have intrigued her.
Your problem, though, is that on Twitter and Facebook, everyone is promoting their blog posts. You are just another voice clamoring for attention.
Some people think they can rise above the noise by shouting:
Read my post on how to choose a hosting service!
Others just write a dull recap:
How to Get More Twitter Followers (yawn)
But when you promote a blog post on social media, you must do more than just announce the topic. Your teaser has to catch the attention of busy people and make them interested enough to click through—all in a quick nanosecond of time.
5 'Twitter teasers' that get more click-throughs
The same principles that apply to headlines work for teasers. But a teaser with unique copy—a question or something else— can get an even better response.
1. Start a story and stop in the middle.
Fiction writers end each chapter with a scene that makes us turn the page to find out what happens next. Your Twitter or Facebook update is just a mini-version of that.
Recent example on Twitter:
Man scribbles idea for love button, gets embarrassed, then...
This was a post about—well, I won't tell you, but don't you want to know the end of the story?
2. Make your reader curious.
Propose a question that makes your followers so curious that they just have to know the answer, which, naturally, your blog post will answer.
Does who you hang out with on the Twitter playground have anything to do with your learning style?
Do women give more to charity than men?
3. Use a little old-fashioned fear.
As humans, we are afraid of many things. One of the biggest fears is that we will be seen as not very smart.
These 5 writing mistakes will make you look stupid. Do you make any of them?
4. Go against conventional wisdom.
If your post challenges something we have always thought was true, if you introduce a little controversy, we will sit up and listen.
Customer surveys can hurt business.
Everyone writes about the benefits of asking your customers the right questions. So how can customer surveys hurt us? I wanted to know, so I clicked through.
5. Mention someone famous.
Refer to someone people know and/or respect.
Chris Brogan told me to write this.
Just be careful that you are talking to the right audience. Now, in talking to the Twitter crowd, throwing out Chris Brogan's name works.
But in a workshop for realtors, I used this example and got a few puzzled looks.
Lesson: a person who is "famous" to you is not necessarily someone others would recognize by name.
This teaser tweet used both the famous name (a "celebrity" in the social media world) and the curiosity factor (what in the world did Brogan say to her?)
When the reader clicked through, the full headline was, Chris Brogan Told Me to Write This: Ten Guilty Pleasures.
In it, I took up a challenge Chris threw out in a post. He was talking to bloggers who complained about how hard it was to come up with post ideas. In the post, he listed 100 topics we could write about. I picked the topic of "Ten Guilty Pleasures."
Did Chris really tell me to write it? Well, yes he did. (Me and about 50,000 other bloggers.)
How about you?
Have you experimented with different types of teaser tweets to get more readers for your blog posts? Do you think this strategy could work for you? Do you have other ideas?