The sheer thought of numbers, statistics, and crunching analytical information tends to give off a less than creative vibe. How many writers amongst us (you blog, therefore you write) are also avid number cruncher fans? Perhaps there are some, but for many, the thought of set-in-stone calculations sends a shiver up the spine. With income tax season in the air, maybe some of us shudder more than others.
Numbers, however, can be man’s (and woman’s) second best friend when it comes to traditional blogging and the social media world of microblogging.
Statistics, when well researched and credibly documented, can add oomph and character to a blog post. Consider the same information shared in two different sentences:
- A lot of dogs eat Waggy Pooch dog food.
- In a survey conducted by the American Pet Food Society, 76 out of 100 dogs preferred Waggy Pooch dog food, which is made in the U.S.A.
Something about the second sentence makes me want to learn more about the brand.
Using numbers and stats are likely to increase your blog traffic. Journalists and/or other members of the media tend to use resources that have proven fact-based statements in their posts. Consider:
- Pet industry growth is on the rise and seems to be recession-proof, with billions being spent to make Fido and Fluffy happy and healthy.
- The American Pet Products Association (APPA) predicts a 3.8 percent growth rate in the pet sector throughout 2012, with close to $53 billion in overall pet spending. Cost breakdown includes (in billions) $20.46 in food, $12.56 in supplies and OTC meds, $13.59 in vet care, $2.15 on live animal purchases, and $4.11 on other services like grooming, boarding, and pet hotels.
In the second example, I lightened the load of statistics by providing the breakdown with numbers and categories. This sort of analysis is more easily quotable, especially if you footnote your source (like APPA) at the end of the blog post.
Numbers aren’t only for statistics. A recent post on Ragan.com revealed the best times (and some fab resources) to tweet. Apparently the most traffic on Twitter happens in the 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. blocks of time, EASTERN TIME. Further, the blog post revealed that the best time of all to tweet is 5 pm. EST. The biggest takeaway for me was learning that “80 percent of the general U.S. population lives in the Central and Eastern time zones.”
Of course, there are a number of resources, links, and tools to help monitor and engage with social media times, but some of it is common sense. What content gets the most engagement with your followers and fans? Do your fans and friends reply to health topics more than pet food recommendations? Are they re-tweeting product reviews but not the fun things you and your dog did that weekend? Timing is important, but so too, is content. I remember one of my first “how to blog” books beckoning, “content is king.” So true.
This is not to say that blasting out ads at 5 p.m. eastern time every day or “follow me, please” will merit the desired results. Using numbers in content and to your advantage is key when coupled with fan-engaging information.
Now, back to my calculator….
About the Author: Carol Bryant is a writer, social media and PR guru, and frequent media contributor, having appeared on television, radio, and Oprah Radio’s Gayle King Show. She has traveled for over 18 years with dogs and is touted as a dog product and travel expert. A repeat DWAA nominee, she maintains the FIDO Friendly blog as well as her own, Fidose of Reality.