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User behaviour

New twitter analytics: how many people see your tweets?

1 Sep, 14 | by BMJ

Back in July, Twitter launched an impressive analytics dashboard that was only accessible by advertisers and verified users. As of last week, however, this wealth of data became available to the public.

A bit like Google Analytics for tweets, this new toolkit allows you to gauge the performance of each and every tweet you send. Twitter users can identify in real time which tweets are getting the most attention and therefore determine the best strategies for reaching their audience.

To view your Tweet activity dashboard, visit whilst logged into your account.

The first dashboard tab in Twitter analytics provides an overview of your tweets’ performance. You can find numbers for impressions, engagement, link clicks, retweets, favorites and replies. Twitter also offers measurement data for the previous 28 days so you can see how today’s performance compares to past performance.

Clicking on individual tweets also reveals more data, including the number of impressions over the past 24 hours, plus other valuable metrics like:

  • User profile clicks (clicks on name, @handle, or Twitter author profile photo
  • Retweets
  • Embedded media clicks (clicks to view a photo/video when applicable)
  • Detail expands (# of times a user clicked to view details of a tweet)
  • Favorites
  • Replies
  • Link clicks (clicks on URL or Twitter card)

As a bonus, all this data can be easily exported. The exported table data includes the full tweet text, the tweet permalinks, plus extra information like:

  • Timestamps
  • Hashtag clicks
  • App opens
  • Follows
  • Tweets emailed

In the next dashboard tab marked ‘Followers,’ marketers can track follower growth and extract important follower data.

You’ll see trends in your follower count displayed by a line chart and demographic data including:

  • # of followers in different locations
  • Your followers’ gender
  • Other accounts that your followers also follow
  • Your followers’ top interests
  • Your followers’ ‘unique’ interests

Picture3 Picture4

So, what does all this mean? Social media measurement just got easier. Twitter analytics can’t fail to help marketers measure social media performance and therefore become more adept at matching Twitter activities to business goals.

Neuromarketing: can science predict (and influence) our purchases?

23 May, 14 | by BMJ

In the 1950s, two scientists at McGill University accidentally discovered an area of the rodent brain now known as ‘the pleasure centre’. Given the opportunity to stimulate their own pleasure centres via a lever-activated electrical current, a group of rats pressed the lever over and over again, going without food and sleep, until many of them died from exhaustion.

Most humans are a little more complex than rats but we are still largely motivated by what makes us feel good, especially in relation to purchasing choices. In light of this, many major corporations are taking a special interest in understanding customers through the mechanics of the human brain. This is the emerging but fast-growing field of ‘neuromarketing’, which uses brain-tracking tools to determine why people prefer some products over others.

What is neuromarketing?

The concept of neuromarketing was developed by psychologists at Harvard University in 1990. For decades, marketers sought to understand what consumers were thinking but have relied on traditional techniques, such as focus groups and surveys. A major advantage of neuromarketing is that metrics are taken solely from brain imaging, removing the possibility of asking the wrong questions or participants not saying what they think.

In 2008, a team of scientists in Germany published a study showing how the brain unconsciously prepares our decisions: several seconds before we consciously decide what we’re going to do, its outcome can be predicted by looking at unconscious activity in our grey matter. “The researchers, from the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, told participants in the study that they could freely decide if they wanted to press a button with their left or right hands, whenever they wanted, but they had to remember at which time they felt they had made up their mind. They found that it was possible to predict from their brain signals which option they would choose seven seconds before they consciously made their decision.”

Although a nascent field, neuromarketing has been used by larger corporations for some time. In a study published in 2004 in Neuron, 67 people had their brains scanned while being given the “Pepsi Challenge”, a blind taste test of Coke and Pepsi. Half the subjects chose Pepsi, which produced a stronger response than Coke in the region of the brain thought to process feelings of reward. But when the subjects were made aware that they were drinking Coke, 75% said that Coke tasted better. Their brain activity also changed. The area of the brain that scientists say governs high-level cognitive powers, the lateral prefrontal cortex, and an area related to memory, the hippocampus, were now active, showing that the consumers were thinking about Coke and relating it to memories and other impressions. The results demonstrate that Pepsi should in theory have half the market share, but in reality consumers are influenced for reasons related to their experiences with the Coke brand rather than taste preferences.


The field has generated a great deal of controversy, especially in the media. Critics warn of the threat of marketers finding the mythical ‘buy button in the brain’ and deem the field ‘creepy science’, ‘mindreading,’ and the ‘misuse of scientific knowledge’. Some consumer advocate organisations, such as the Center for Digital Democracy, have criticised neuromarketing’s potentially invasive technology. Jeff Chester, the executive director of the organization, claims that neuromarketing is “having an effect on individuals that individuals are not informed about.”

While the emerging field does provide valuable information about the consumer mind, it does not give marketers a “window into the subconscious” or access to a consumer “buy button.” Rather, it is a valuable new tool for market researchers, and definitely one to watch.

Dark social: should publishers be afraid of the dark?

13 Nov, 13 | by BMJ

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.


Lightbeam for Firefox: find out who’s tracking you online

29 Oct, 13 | by BMJ

As the internet continues to evolve, issues surrounding privacy remain a common cause for concern. There is growing anxiety among internet users of how their online activities are tracked for commercial purposes. The business model behind this is generally to aggregate a large number of users in order to sell that audience’s aggregate attention, usually in the form of advertising.  After all, “If you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.”


“He who refuses to learn deserves extinction” – Guardian Changing Media Summit 2013

5 Apr, 13 | by BMJ

There were a number of key themes at this year’s Guardian Changing Media Summit — an annual conference which brings together a mixture of CEO and director level executives responsible for commercial, creative and digital strategies.

Most significantly, it was clear that publishers are beginning to see more opportunities than threats from digital technologies and much time was spent discussing the innovative monetisation of digital products.

Death of Journalism


Followerwonk: analyse your Twitter followers for free

8 Mar, 13 | by BMJ

If you’re looking to connect with people in a particular niche on Twitter, Followerwonk could be just the tool for you. It’s currently free to search Twitter biographies, compare users and analyse followers of multiple accounts, so try it out before subscriptions kick in.

What can I find out about my followers?

By linking a Twitter account to Followerwonk, users can run a number of different analytic reports for free. Below is a list of the most useful for strategically growing a following and connecting with ‘influencers’ in a specific area:

  • Influence scores – how influential are your followers?
  • Follower counts – how many followers do your followers have?
  • Mapped locations – where are your followers located? (see below) more…

The Future of Digital (according to Google)

1 Mar, 13 | by BMJ

Richard Robinson, Director at Google, kicked off this year’s Technology for Marketing and Advertising event with a keynote presentation on the ‘Future of Digital’.

Project Glass

He reeled off some impressive statistics relating to three main areas of development:


  • There are currently 2.4 billion users of the Internet worldwide. This figure was 1.8 billion 18 months ago and is expected to reach 5 billion by the end of the decade. He described this growth as the ‘democratisation of technology’. more…

Elsevier reveals new layout for Article of the Future

25 Jan, 13 | by BMJ

The Article of the Future project is Elsevier’s “never-ending quest to explore better ways to create and deliver the formal published record”.

In the latest phase of this ‘quest’, the project team have worked with more than 150 researchers, authors, publishers and editors to come up with multiple prototypes for a new article design, with each one tailored to a specific subject area.

Following previous changes to improve in-article navigation and readability, all ScienceDirect articles have now been transformed using an interactive HTML5 format. Click here to see one in action.


Mendeley: reducing the lag in research impact analysis

9 Aug, 12 | by BMJ

Mendeley, the free reference manager and academic social network, has released an Institutional Edition for research and impact analysis and signed up a number of leading academic establishments along the way.

Announced on Monday, Mendeley Institutional Edition (MIE) is a module developed to give librarians and heads of library insight into the way researchers work and use their library collection at document level. By offering the MIE to their end users, institutions can seemingly stimulate their productivity and gain real-time feedback on the usage of library content.


Kinect: a surgical revolution?

27 Jun, 12 | by BMJ

Following on from a previous post exploring video games in health care, one gaming technology in particular has generated a lot of interest in the past few months. Kinect, the motion sensing input device by Microsoft, enables users to control and interact with their computer without the need to touch a game controller.

Last month, Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital began trials of a new device that uses a Kinect camera to sense body position. Just by moving his arms, a surgeon can consult and sort through medical images, such as CT scans or real-time X-rays, whilst operating.


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