(the relevance of the above picture will become clear near the end...
not that this pic needs justification)
In general, the title of the post is what all that rushed people are re-posting and all that their readers are consuming. Online marketers read the title, maybe a line or two until they get the gist and determine that it's probably entertaining to someone and re-post it. I know that the title and first couple of lines are all I'm reading, as they go by.
Regardless of the platform, we're all becoming Tweeters.
I don't want to participate. Doesn't mean I won't, though.
I would rather generate my own, original material and wait for the world to recognize my genius. Doesn't mean I will, though.
Here are several social-media-inspired conventions that I've discovered which are Guaranteed! To Put You At The Top of Google Search!
Titles should always start with one of the following...
a) The Top 10 reasons why/how...
(i.e. The Top 10 Reasons Why my Hangnail will Affect Your Day!
b) How to Achieve More...
(i.e. How To Achieve More Red Smarties in Every Box!)
c) Can You Guess What He Saw When...
(i.e. Can You Guess What He Saw When He Put On The Blindfold?)
d) This is shocking! My jaw hit the floor!
e) I couldn't believe what this person did...
f) What Google/Apple/The Government/Ellen Degeneres doesn't want you to know...
g) You will cry when you read...
(i.e. You will cry when you read this other author's terrible writing.)
h) You will never think of (insert noun) in the same way, once you read this.
i) What this man did after (insert action) will leave you stunned.
(i.e. What this man did after putting his finger up his nose will leave you stunned.)
j) I saw this and thought of you. I just had to repost it.
Remember, to get your message out to the maximum number of people, you are targeting re-posters (like yourself) and few read past the title, so what you post doesn't have to be relevant. Note the irony, but ignore readers. Those who actually read are the minority.
Seriously, this works. I once sent out a post titled "How Much Can Marketing Help Your Writing?" which got re-tweeted and posted 10 times more than anything I had previously written. Which is to say, it got re-posted about 10 times. It was a short little joke-piece which ended by revealing the obvious: that marketing can not help your writing. Compared to many of my previous, more genius-er rants it was not noteworthy. Sadly, it remains my most famous post.
If you are still determined to race down the fast lane of the information superhighway, here are my Top 8 Suggestions For Effective Posts...
1) Skip the intro paragraph. If you lead with something like, "Many years ago..." readers will skip that and, probably, the entire article. Of course, if you have no actual content, then create a long and boring intro paragraph so that people will read less and hit the re-post button sooner.
2) Replace your profile pic with that of a lusty, busty girl. Second best: cute kitten or GIF of baby dancing or throwing up.
3) Every time you refer to yourself or your novel, it has to be prize-winning, best-selling and/or number 1. Worst case: "Breakthrough!"
4) Exclamation marks!!
5) Quantity, not quality. Spam the world, Johnny.
6) Run out of material? Just make up titles and post those.
7) Find an author who resembles yourself except that he/she is much more highly motivated and effective as an online marketer and post everything they post, follow everyone they follow and leave comments wherever they leave comments. (I'm relatively certain that the legal system has not yet come up with injunctions against this type of stalking.)
10) Never list less than 10 items.
In conclusion: A.P.E. is actually a great primer. You should read it. Really.