October 6, 2023

21 Content Hooks For Social Media Posts (With Examples)

By Charles Miller

The hook is the most important part of any piece of content. That’s because if it doesn’t work, readers won’t even read the rest of the words.

When you write content, you basically have to do two things. First, you sell the value of reading the rest of it. Then, you deliver value in the body. When you don't nail that subtle sales pitch at the start, you lose readers. A lot of them.

Here are some hooks that I’ve seen work over and over again in my content and my clients' content...

1. Personal Results

Sharing personal results does three things. First, it attracts attention in general. If you lose X pounds or make X amount of money, that makes people get interested. Second, that interest is in you, not anybody else. Content about Jeff Bezos or other successful people often goes viral, and it can be a part of your content strategy, but if you never talk about yourself, your results will suffer. Finally, it makes people trust you, which leads to followers, customers, and clients.

Simple Example:

I’ve lost 31 pounds in the last 250 days.

Here are my top 12 fat-loss tips:

2. Client/Customer/User Results

This is the same as the first one but instead of talking about your results, you talk about your clients, customers, users, etc. If you’re an email marketer, you could talk about a client’s Black Friday sale. If you run a social media marketing SaaS tool, you could talk about how many followers your users have gained.

Simple Example:

I made my client over $10 million during BFCM.

Here’s how (so you can crush your sale next year):

3. Relevant Questions

People instinctively want to answer questions, and that’s especially true when the question is relevant to them and their desires. Asking one can be a solid hook.

Simple Example:

Want to start meditating but don’t know how?

Then follow my stupidly simple 10-step system:

4. List Titles

Lists take up lots of space on the timeline, are easy to consume, and give readers a bunch of different ideas to agree with, disagree with, or get value from. They’re a staple of almost everybody’s content strategy. You can use their titles as hooks.

Simple Example:

8 AI tools that will help you write better:

5. How-To Starters

If you create useful content (as opposed to just entertaining), your followers want to get some sort of outcome. That could be writing better, getting healthier, investing better, etc. How-to guides help them do that, and they have super simple hooks. You can play it straight with a basic title, or you can add a little style with a longer one (I’ll do that below).

Simple Example:

How to start a business in under 7 days (even if you have $0):

6. Story Starters

People love story posts. You can hook them just by starting to tell the story. There are three ways to do that. First, you can start from the beginning (that’s the conventional method). Second, you can start from the middle or end (this is often more interesting than starting from the beginning). Third, you can summarize the story into one or two sentences. Whichever you choose, you can start from the beginning after that.

Simple Example:

I built my SaaS from $0 to $100k/mo in under a year.

Here’s how I did it (so you can do the same):

7. If, Then

Starting with an “if” statement calls a certain kind of person out and makes them especially interested in the content. Then, the “then” statement leads them into the rest of the content.

Simple Example:

If you sleep less than 7 hours a night, read this:

8. Steal This

People love the idea of “stealing” strategies, content, business models, etc. It makes them feel like they’re taking a shortcut, even if they’re really just getting inspiration from someone/something else.

Simple Example:

You don’t need to think of an original business idea.

Here’s how to steal one and make it your own:

9. Statistics

People love statistics. I’m not totally sure why, but they just do. When you cite them, readers tend to pay attention. That’s especially true when the statistic is relevant to their interests.

Simple Example:

87% of content creators suffer from imposter syndrome.

Follow this simple 7-step system to beat it:

10. Quickies With Optional Keywords

No, not that kind of quickie. I mean hooks that are just two or three words long and use an alluring keyword. Some examples are “unpopular”, “unconventional”, “weird”, and “underrated”. Though many of these are somewhat overused, they still have a spot in your toolkit. Just make sure you don’t use them too frequently, and when you do, make sure you deliver on the promise of that word (e.g. if you say “unpopular opinion”, make it actually unpopular). You can also skip the alluring keyword and just play it straight. For example, rather than “weird copywriting tip:”, you could just write “copywriting tip:”.

Simple Example:

Underrated marketing advice:

11. Get X Without Y

This is a classic one in the sales copy world, but it works for content too. Promising to help someone get something (X) they desire is appealing. Promising to help them do that without having to do something (Y) they don’t want to do makes it even more appealing.

Simple Example:

How to lose 1 pound per week without giving up your favorite foods:

12. I Did The Hard Work For You

People don’t just want what they want. They also usually want it quickly, easily, and affordably. That’s why this hook is powerful. You tell them that you did the unappealing part, and they get more interested because they want to get the reward without doing the work.

Simple Example:

I spent $100,000 getting an MBA so you don’t have to.

Here are the ONLY 14 business concepts that you need to know:

13. Something 101

“101” is the number after a lot of university classes. It signifies that the class is introductory and foundational. You can use this as a hook when sharing a basic tip about a certain topic. This one has been a bit hit or miss for me, but it has hit enough times that it’s worth mentioning.

Simple Example:

Copywriting 101

14. Sharing News

Sharing news often gets great engagement. That news is usually positive, but it can be negative too. If you want, you can get right into the news without using a hook (e.g. “I got my dream job offer today.”), but hooking works well too.

Simple Example:

I have some amazing news to share:

15. Bold Claims

People love bold claims. They attract attention, create interest in the author, and make people want to read the rest of the content to see if you can back your bold claim up.

Simple Example:

Artificial intelligence will put 30% of people out of work by 2030.

16. Surprise

Most people consume tons of content every day. They see similar posts, one after the other, day after day, for years. That’s why surprising hooks often work well. They provide a pattern interrupt and make people interested.

Simple Example:

Writing is a useless skill.

Here’s why:

17. Pain

This is another classic sales copy one, but it works well for content too. If your brand is useful, you’re probably helping people solve a painful problem. Calling out that pain generates interest.

Simple Example:

Waking up tired every day sucks.

18. Humor

We don’t need an explanation on this one. People like laughing, and if you can make them laugh, that makes for a great hook. I’ve seen these do especially well when they’re self-aware and somewhat of inside jokes with a certain niche.

Simple Example:

How to go viral with ChatGPT:

Manually create content about using ChatGPT to create content, but never actually use it.

(This example kind of sucks because humor is difficult to turn into a one or two-line hook. It often takes longer and/or comes from photos/memes.)

19. Uniqueness

The best copywriters I know are obsessed with the term “USP”. That stands for “unique selling proposition”. Uniqueness attracts attention, followers, and customers. Do your best to find something unique about yourself and your offers, then use that uniqueness in hooks.

Simple Example:

I’m a professional writer, but I haven’t written a word in years.

Here’s how to build a writing career without actually writing:

20. Secrets

People like finding out secrets. I think the psychology is similar to “stealing” being appealing (we talked about that above). Hint at revealing a secret, and lots of people will pay attention.

Simple Example:

7 secrets that email marketing gurus don’t want you to know about (because if you did, you wouldn’t need to hire them):

21. Give Me X & I’ll Give You Y

I see these all the time on Twitter and LinkedIn. The key is making the X small and the Y much bigger so people feel like they’re getting an awesome deal.

Simple Example:

Give me 3 minutes, and I’ll give you a system for falling asleep in under 5 minutes:

Bonus: Combinations

As you’ve probably seen from the examples above, you don’t have to choose just one of these. Often, the best hooks combine multiple hooking principles into one. For example, you might hook with a personal result, then lead your readers into the body of the content with a list title lead. The possibilities are endless, so I won’t try to go over all of them. I bet you’ll get good at blending these the more you write.


Remember, even if you’re writing content and have no product or service to sell, you’re still selling, and you’re selling from the very first word you write. The beginning of your writing, also called the “hook”, grabs attention and sells the value of reading the rest of the post. Use these 20 templates to make that happen.

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