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Social media

Dark social: should publishers be afraid of the dark?

13 Nov, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Have a look at any website’s analytics and ‘direct traffic’ will appear as a source alongside referrers such as Google, Facebook and Twitter. It is widely assumed that this ‘direct traffic’ is made up of users bookmarking the site or typing a site’s URL directly into a browser. However, will many readers really type out a long article URL? Isn’t it more likely that the link has been shared in a private network, such as instant messengers or email, rather than typed?

As email clients and instant messaging platforms such as Skype are not recognised as referrers, links clicked on within these networks have had referral data stripped and therefore show as ‘direct traffic’. Known as ‘dark social‘, this is the more mysterious type of traffic, where links are shared in a private yet social way.

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Going native: the right way forward for advertisers?

5 Nov, 13 | by Deji Sodipe, Digital Intern

Earlier this year we introduced the concept of native advertising, which in the context of the advertising world, is still a relatively new concept. In the space of a few years it has developed from a burgeoning and beneficial idea to what many believe will be the advertiser’s tool of the future. Initially picked up and tested by leading digital platforms, such as Google and Youtube, native ads are now a totally integrated part of online browsing.

Social networks in particular have assimilated native ads more than any other platforms, specifically with Facebook’s suggested posts and Twitter’s promoted tweets and users:

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Redefining impact – altmetrics now on journals from BMJ

21 Oct, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

In growing numbers, scholars are moving their daily work to the Internet. Online reference managers, such as Zotero and Mendeley, have grown in popularity, the latter claiming to store over 470 million articles (substantially more than PubMed). In addition, as many as a third of scholars are on Twitter and a growing number cultivate scholarly blogs.

As a result of the increasing scholarly use of social tools like Twitter, Facebook and Mendeley, there is a need to track scholarly impact on the social web by creating new filters. The call for new metrics has been answered by a group of researchers who have dubbed the movement as  ‘altmetrics‘.

In support of this year’s theme for Open Access Week, ‘redefining impact’, BMJ has introduced the Altmetric widget across all articles published in BMJ’s portfolio of journals.*

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The backlash to Klout: How much value do we place on social media influence?

20 Sep, 13 | by Deji Sodipe, Digital Intern

When Klout launched in back in 2009, no one could have predicted the extent to which it would polarize public opinion. This analytical tool, which measures your ‘social influence’ by way of a numerical score, has proved to be the marmite of the social media world. Its staunch advocates devotedly post content to increase their ‘Klout score’ whilst its detractors question the validity of its scoring system. Whatever your opinion, it’s clear that social influence is something that is causing more and more people to sit up and pay attention to their online profiles.

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BMJ podcasts now on SoundCloud

13 Sep, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

We are excited to announce that all podcasts from The BMJ and our specialist journals are now available on SoundCloud.

The idea behind SoundCloud is similar to YouTube – anyone can post their audio and share it really easily online. Whether through widgets on blogs and websites, or via posts on Twitter, Facebook or other social media sites, SoundCloud users can interact with what they are hearing better than ever before.

You can comment at a specific point in the track to add your thoughts to the discussion, share the podcast with your friends and followers, and see which podcasts or ‘sounds’ are most popular. Users can choose to listen online, or download apps to listen via their smartphones or tablets.

First launched in 2007, some 12 hours of audio are now uploaded to SoundCloud every minute. As of July 2013,  the social sound platform had over 200 million active users per month across the web and mobile. BMJ will be joining the likes of the Guardian, the BBC, NPG and many more who have already established a presence on the network.

http://podcasts.bmj.com

 

Instagram: niche social network or brand platform?

9 Aug, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Even if you don’t use the online photo-sharing social networking service that is Instagram, you’ve probably encountered an Instagram image somewhere online. Instagram’s calling card is the photo filter; a digital layer that gives the appearance of professional editing to a standard photo.

With the new addition of video capability on Instagram in June, it’s a good time to talk about how companies are using this rapidly growing platform for business purposes. After all, Instagram already has a built-in audience with 130 million monthly active users, liking on average 1 billion photos each day.

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Are brands the new publishers?

2 Aug, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Traditionally, brands have interrupted consumers to talk about their product. Whether we’re reading a magazine, watching TV,  or browsing online, the advert that inevitably appears is an unsolicited marketing message from a brand that we may or may not care about.

Consumer research often highlights that most of these marketing messages are indeed irrelevant to our interests and needs. Coupled with the increasing control a consumer has over the marketing they receive (opting-out of telemarketing and direct-mail; unsubscribing from email; skipping TV ads) this has become a cause for concern for brands.

The Red Bulletin from Red Bull

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Metrics 2.0: who will be the ‘Google of altmetrics’?

14 Jun, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

At last week’s SSP conference in San Francisco, those of us interested in Altmetrics were rather excited to see representatives from each of the major products come together in a session entitled ‘Metrics 2.0: It’s about Time…..and People’.

First up was Andrea Michalek of Plum Analytics (who kindly shared her slides here). She revealed a sneak preview of work being done with the The Smithsonian, one of Plum’s first customers. Their product, PlumX, is being used to collect data (usage, captures, mentions, social media, citations) in order to generate reports on publication activity in support of research evaluation.

She explained how in scholarly communications, the same article can be published in multiple locations on the web (e.g. publisher website, PubMed Central, Mendeley). Fortunately, Plum collects and displays the counts from each of these individual locations, allowing users to get a full view of the engagement surrounding a particular article, video, presentation etc. Indeed, she stressed the importance of tracking the impact of all aspects of output, not just the article. She spoke of these ‘2nd level metrics’ and used the example of an author who blogs about his/her research. more…

Flipboard: a help or hindrance to publishers?

17 May, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

In the past month, almost 1 million new magazines have appeared on Apple’s iPad. Rather than heralding a long-awaited comeback from traditional publishers, nearly all of these collections of articles, photos and social-media updates are the handiwork of ‘armchair editors’, using a new tool from the social magazine app, Flipboard.

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How can publishers take advantage of Pinterest?

19 Apr, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

This week, Nature Publishing Group announced they had reached 35,000 followers on Pinterest. Given that they had just 127 followers at the end of 2012, this is phenomenal growth. How did they achieve it, I hear you ask? When asked the secret to their success on Twitter, @NatureBlogs replied: “best tip is to continuously update the boards with new images. We make daily (if we can) updates”.  So, given the effort and resource needed to maintain this level of engagement, what can publishers expect in return? Do follower numbers translate into traffic to journal websites?

NPG on Pinterest

Over a year ago, I wrote an introductory blog covering the basic mechanics of Pinterest and the impressive growth it had experienced:  it is still the fastest standalone website to surpass the 10 million mark. Now with more than 48 million users, Pinterest is one of the most popular social networks on the web. So, how can publishers get a slice of the action?

Add keywords

Pinterest is a popular site but it’s not nearly as saturated as Google search results. While it’s true that most people prefer to browse Pinterest than search it, there are a significant number who want to discover something that hasn’t already been repinned many times, and search is where they do it.

With every image you post, you should include a clear description that people will enjoy reading. The key seems to be mentioning a keyword that reveals few results in Pinterest but is likely to be searched for often. This can help get the exposure necessary to be repinned and therefore reach more people.

Similarly, you can also take advantage of Pinterest’s popularity to get your Pinterest page into Google. Link to your pinboard from your website, during online promotions and from established social media channels to improve the chances of it showing up in Google search results.

Repin others

In a similar vein to Twitter’s retweets, build awareness of your Pinterest account by repinning others. Use both the search function and categories to find other pins relevant to your boards. When you repin another’s pinned picture, they will receive an email notification. Hopefully, they will follow the links to your account and see where you pinned their picture, giving you an opportunity to have them look through your boards. The obvious need here is to have boards that interest your new visitor to the point that they consider following your links to the site you are promoting.

Comment on pins

When you hold your cursor over a pinned picture you see the “comment” tab, the “repin” tab, and the “like” tab. When you make a comment is stays with the picture, so whatever you say has the potential to catch people’s attention and drive traffic. You might even consider some kind of “call to action” (if it’s appropriate). Again, Pinterest will notify the person who pinned the picture that a comment has been made and give them a link to respond to your comment.

Check your stats

Pinterest introduced a web-based analytics tool in March, allowing site owners to track users’ engagement with their sites on the social network.

The free tool allows site owners to track the number of pinners and pins collecting material from their sites, and the number of repinners and repins those initial pins received. Site owners can also track total impressions and reach on the network, as well as referral traffic, both in clicks and unique visitors, sent back to their sites. This is key in understanding your audience’s likes/dislikes, which will feed into the future selection of content to add.

Publishers with successful Pinterest profiles

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