Indexed on: 16 Jul '14Published on: 16 Jul '14Published in: Journal of endourology / Endourological Society
To examine the use of social media within Endourology by reporting on its utilization during the 2013 World Congress of Endourology (WCE) annual meeting.Two social media platforms were analyzed for this study: Twitter (San Francisco, CA) and LinkedIn (Mountain View, CA). For Twitter, a third-party analysis service (Tweetreach) was used to quantitatively analyze all tweets with the hashtags #WCE2013 and #WCE13 during a 7-day period surrounding the WCE. Two reviewers independently classified tweet content using a predefined Twitter-specific classification system. Tweet sentiment was determined using sentiment analysis software (Semantria, Inc., Amherst, MA). Finally, the penetration of Twitter and LinkedIn within the WCE faculty was assessed by means of a manual search.During the study period, 335 tweets had the hashtag #WCE2013 or #WCE13. Content originated from 68 users resulting in a mean of 47 tweets/day and 4.9 tweets/contributor. Conference-related tweets had a reach of 38,141 unique Twitter accounts and an online exposure of 188,629 impressions. Physicians generated the majority of the content (63%), of which 55.8% were not attending the meeting. More tweets were informative (56.7%) versus uninformative (43.3%), and 17.9% had links to an external web citation. The mean sentiment score was 0.13 (range -0.90 to 1.80); 13.1%, 57.0%, and 29.9% of tweets were negative, neutral, and positive in sentiment, respectively. Of 302 WCE meeting faculty, 150 (49.7%) had registered LinkedIn accounts while only 52 (17.2%) had Twitter accounts, and only 19.2% tweeted during the meeting.Despite a relatively low number of Twitter users, tweeting about the WCE meeting dramatically increased its online exposure with dissemination of content that was mostly informative including engagement with physicians not attending the conference. While half of faculty at WCE 2013 had LinkedIn accounts, their social media footprint in Twitter was limited.