Ever noticed how many headlines on the Web have numbers in them? If you look at lists of the most popular articles on social sites like Buzzfeed – or even more traditional sites like 3 Reasons to Share Numbers in Your Enterprise Social NetworkForbes – it’s not unusual to see more than half of them feature a number.
Editors and authors have no doubt discovered, either by design or by happy coincidence, that including numerals attracts more clicks. Do a Google search for numbers, headlines, and clicks, and you’ll discover reams of articles touting the eye-catching characteristics of digits.
If you work with numbers of any kind (and in our information age, who doesn’t?) and use an enterprise social network (ESN), you can learn from their experience – and apply it right inside your own organization. Here are three good reasons to get into the habit of sharing numbers and data via your ESN.
1) Numbers attract attention
Usability guru Jakob Nielsen has confirmed in eye-tracking studies that numerals “stop the wandering eye and attract fixations, even when they’re embedded within a mass of words.” Why? First, he says, they’re rarer than letters and stand out because of their different shape. Beyond that, numbers also promise facts to fact-starved audiences, like little beacons of hope in a sea of verbiage.
2) Numbers offer proof, credibility, and authority
If you’re already using your enterprise social network to communicate with coworkers, customers, and partners, adding numbers and data to prove the points you make will increase the credibility of what you say. Ultimately, every post you make can help build your personal brand and increase the authority you wield in the organization.
3) Numbers start the conversation
Even if the numbers you share show negative results or are inaccurate, they allow others to respond and provide feedback to improve results or accuracy. And you build your reputation as a collaborator and open communicator – someone who’s willing to take a risk for the greater good.
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