The first thing that people see when reading articles and stories is the headline. With that being said, headline is the most important element of an article. But, how important is this element is to the readers? For starters, it catches people’s attention and interests. This short catch-phrase or sentence, has a significant role that may determine whether a possible reader would actually click on the article or just scroll away.
Last meeting, our professor shared his knowledge and insight on how to “Write an Impactful Headline for a Digital Naive”. He gave us numerous activities such as letting us create our own headline based on the media platform used, and discerning a fake headline from a real one. After the discussion, he gave a group activity regarding the different type of headlines and its effectivity depending on which social media platform you use. The platforms used are the following:
A total of three news stories were given to us; however, a choice of only one story should be given focus for a headline. Knowing that, our group chose the news story about the mayor’s prohibition of eating sandwiches outside the steps along the Cathedral of Santa Maria Dei Fiore or also known as, Florence Cathedral in Italy. Consequently, the whole monument area was drenched and as a punishment, those who will eat or drink will get sprayed by the ground keepers. From this, we were able to formulate headlines for each platform and tracked the audience’s response on each day.
After a week of observation, we found out which of the three social media platforms with different headlines was the most effective. With the help of the statistics written and recorded everyday, the result conveyed that the blog post from Wordpress gained the most views and interactions. With that, this shows that City of Food and Wine: Where not to take a bite of sandwich in Europe is considered to be the most effective headline.
However, the blog post was able to garner the most number of views and social media interactions not only because the Facebook and Twitter was used in gaining more of our audience’s attention but also because the blogpost headline article was easily spread around the world (see statistics results) due to the different tags used.
The results of the statistics per day of three different social media platform are as follows:
Facebook was at its peak on the first two days. It received a large number of audience on the the first day it was posted due to active publicity. However, it decreased but was still able to get some audience participation on the last remaining days having 86 likes, 50 shares and 7 comments in total.
Twitter was able to maintain an audience for the whole week but was on its highest point during the weekend where the tweet was first published. Then towards the end of the week, the tweet activity decreased because it was already covered by other tweets. Overall, the tweet garnered 31 likes, 13 retweets and 1 reply. In addition, according to the statistics provided by twitter, the tweet has also created an impression to 1,704 users.
The WordPress blog article’s viewers were slowly increasing starting at the middle of the week (Tuesday) and was at its peak during the last few days ( Thursday & Friday). The total statistics was 142 views and 169 social media interactions coming from the different parts of the world namely Philippines, Japan, United States, United Arab Emirates, and Canada.
As can be observed, the WordPress Blog gathered the highest percentage of audience interaction among the three with 62.3% (311). While, Facebook and Twitter got 28.7% (143) and 9% (45), respectively.
In conclusion, as seen from the results, the popularity of a certain social media platform does not solely dictate the readership of a certain news story. Just because a news story is shared on a popular medium such as Twitter or Facebook, it does not mean that they are guaranteed with a large amount of viewership. Social networks are there to help spread the reach of the article, but ultimately it is the headline that determines whether or not someone would click and read the entire story.