Spring Meeting Twitter Activity Hits More Than 5 Million Impressions

By Edward R. Mariano, MD, MAS    Apr 18, 2017

ASRA is conducting a research study of social media usage. Click here to take the survey.

You may be familiar with an ASRA blog post from about a year ago in which I explained “Why All Doctors Should Be on Twitter.” With ASRA’s latest spring meeting Twitter activity, a case is being made for all meeting attendees (and nonattendees) to be on Twitter as well. Twitter activity for the Spring meeting topped 3 million impressions from April 1-9, with total activity using the #ASRASpring17 hashtag currently topping 5 million!

A total of 487 people participated in Tweeting the meeting using the #ASRASpring17 hashtag for the 180 days preceding April 8th at midnight (the actual meeting days were April 6-8, 2017). During this timeframe, there were 4,056,435 impressions and 3,132 tweets, according to Symplur.com, a healthcare social media analytics company that tracks hashtag activity on Twitter.

These numbers are significantly higher than both the 2016 and 2015 meetings combined. Those meetings are the subject of recent a Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine article discussing methods of increasing meeting-related Twitter engagement. The article was authored by several of ASRA’s Website & Social Media Committee members and active Twitter users.

ASRA’s growing social media activity is a point of pride for the Website & Social Media Committee, headed up by Eric Schwenk, MD, from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. In addition to this standing committee, a meeting-specific group of Tweeters (the “Social Media Team”) was established to help lead the conversation. Attendees were encouraged to follow these individuals to get the latest updates on meeting logistics, participate in relevant discussions, and gain further insight into topics presented at the meeting. Tweets ranged from a variety of pre-meeting messages inviting people to meet on site to posts about specific session content throughout the meeting to follow-up activities and links to relevant resources. In case you missed it, the two-part transcript of the Twitter activity can be found here: Part 1, Part 2.

New this year was a series of Facebook Live interviews held in the Exhibit Hall during breaks conducted by Dr. Schwenk and ASRA faculty member, Raj Gupta, MD, former Website & Social Media Committee Chair. Drs. Gupta and Schwenk also head up ASRA’s popular Regional Anesthesia and Pain Podcast (RAPP), which recently produced an audio transcript of the Facebook Live interviews.

In addition, the group is conducting a survey of Twitter and Facebook usage among meeting attendees to determine usage patterns and obstacles to the use of social media among physician anesthesiologists and pain medicine specialists. If you attended the meeting and have not completed the survey yet, it only takes a few minutes.

Take Survey

Not only does the use of Twitter among physicians provide benefits in terms of staying aware of medical knowledge and techniques, but it may have other benefits such as increasing citations of quality articles. According to ASRA Social Media Team member and Chair of the new Accessible Pain Education SIG, Kellie M. Jaremko, MD, PhD, a major benefit of researchers’ Twitter use is “increasing public awareness of science and its benefits” In addition, nonattendees are able to engage in conversations about relevant topics throughout the meeting in spite of not being physically present.

In concluding their article for RAPM, the authors state that “the use of Twitter at the annual spring meetings of ASRA contributes to the scientific discussion and meeting experience for both attendees and nonattendees.” This statement remains true for the 2017 meeting as well.






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