Dissemination Deep Dive: Blogshots

Taking a closer look at how we store blogshots and user engagement with them on twitter.

Taking a closer look at how we store blogshots and user engagement with them on twitter. 

Muriah Umoquit, Internal Communications and Content Officer with Cochrane’s Communications & External Affairs Department, spent the last quarter looking at the newest Cochrane dissemination product, blogshots. Here she shares the results:

We have a lot of dissemination channels in Cochrane and many different audiences we’re trying to reach. Many of our dissemination products and pathways could use some tweaking and ongoing monitoring. To make sure we’re making evidence-based decisions, the Communications & External Affairs Department is tackling one communication channel or product a quarter. We’re calling this a Dissemination Deep Dive (DDD). We started our DDD in quarter three of 2016 looking at the newest Cochrane dissemination product: blogshots.

Blogshots were created by Cochrane UK as a way to summarize Cochrane Evidence with a picture for sharing on social media. A lot of work goes into creating, storing, and translating blogshots, but previously we did not have an understanding of users engagement with them beyond a few anecdotes. For example, after sharing them Cochrane Iberoamerica found their Facebook and Twitter accounts grow. Also, there was no central area to view all blogshots, which made it difficult to search through and it was not helpful to our translators.

Blogshot storage fixes
Working with Cochrane UK and the web team we made some fixes to some long standing storage issues. We have established a Cochrane Blogshot folder on Dropbox. Here blogshots are sorted by Cochrane Group with the PowerPoint and picture used – which has made the translation process easier, by providing translators with everything they need for translation in one place. The CD number is included in the file titles for easy searching. This folder is useful for internal purposes – take a look! Does your Group have blogshots there that you can share?

We also launched our Cochrane Tumblr account, which will be maintained by Cochrane UK. This makes the blogshots searchable by CD number and name and they are grouped by categories/tags. One month after launching, it had 1,460 page views with an average of six pages per session and 144 unique users. We’ll continue to promote the Tumblr account through the link in the bottom footer of all Cochrane pages and with a rotating news item on Cochrane.org, and monitor how it is being used.

Blogshot engagement on Twitter
Given the time frame of the deep dive, we focused on engagement on Twitter. We suspected that having some type of image with a tweet would get more clicks, likes etc. on average than a tweet without an image. It was however unclear how much impact having a blogshot with a tweet would have in comparison to just an image. Over a month we used the main Cochrane account to do tweets, tweets and a picture, and tweets with a blogshot. We controlled for the order presented, time of day, day of the week, and content of the tweet. We had five data sets with 15 tweets in total; 5 tweets with just text, five tweets with a picture, and five tweets with a blogshot. Our small-scale study suggested that sharing a blogshot on average almost doubles the click-throughs, likes, and retweets that you get over a text-only tweet. However, sharing a related picture with text in a tweet on average triples the click-throughs and likes, and doubles retweets. There are quite a few limitations to this outcome, however - the biggest one probably being our small sample size.

We hope that the Cochrane Community views this as a ‘proof of concept’ or ‘pilot stage’ for larger studies. This may be done by several people or groups working together and combining evidence, or several smaller studies done separately. Ideally it would also be good to have a sample of non-English tweets and perhaps a sample from a specialized audience, like a Review Group. If you’re interested, please get in touch! We’re happy to share our methods and full report so that your group can scale it up.

Overall lessons learnt

  • Take the time needed to look at issues: We’ve got lot of things already on the go and there are many potential dissemination products to tweak. Looking at one item per quarter made it more manageable for our workload and also gave us the time to really look into the issues.
  • Make evidence-based decisions: If healthcare decisions should be evidence based, then so should how we share the healthcare information to make those decisions! One easy first step is contacting support@cochrane.org with a gmail account to get access to look at the traffic to your Cochrane website.
  • Collaborate!: We had a lot of help doing this from Cochrane UK, and scaling up the Twitter experiment needs help from other groups. The Cochrane community has a wealth of skill sets so make use of it – check out Cochrane Engage if you haven’t already!
  • Rotate news items: We used to only have ‘fresh’ news item on Cochrane.org. Now we have news items or ads for our external newsletter, Tumblr account, Cochrane iPad Edition, etc. We change the publication date and move it to the front page of the website on a rotating basis – and watch the hits to what we’re advertising spike!
  • Share with an image: try to add an image on your social media posts: photo or blogshot, you should include something other than just text. . 

What’s next for the dissemination deep dive?
In Q4 we’re taking on podcasts. In 2017 perhaps newsletters and Facebook…but what else should we look at? We’d love to hear your feedback! Please let us know your thoughts by emailing me or attending the upcoming CommsNetwork Meeting at the Colloquium where the dissemination deep dives will be discussed further.

Muriah Umoquit
Internal Communications and Content Officer
Communications & External Affairs Department


4 October 2016

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