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Why medical professionals should embrace social media

Friday 13 Nov 2020 {{NI.ViewCount}} Views {{NI.ViewCount}} Views

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Whilst the use of social media is popular internationally (4.14bn people worldwide1), the use of social media platforms varies due to factors such as age, gender and educational attainment. Statistically, older adults use significantly fewer digital applications and spend less time online than younger adults. They are therefore more likely to not use these platforms because they see them as being arduous and time consuming. As well as fearing that they will get things wrong.2

But we are here to help you learn how and why medical professionals should embrace social media.

First and foremost, using social media can increase the impact of your academic publications. There have been many papers published on the benefits of social media for citations of papers. Thelwall et al highlighted that ‘there is strong evidence that the use of these platforms increases citation counts, particularly on Twitter. They concluded that it would be reasonable to suppose that the use of social media may associate with increased citation counts.’3 These findings were corroborated by Eysenbach who found that 'Tweets can predict highly cited articles within the first 3 days of article publication.'4 As well as Hayon et al “the number of citations a urologic publication receives up to 3 years after release is positively associated with the number of mentions it has on Twitter. Twitter activity may be an early indicator of ultimate academic impact of an academic urologic paper.”5

Bayne & Davies, 2019, said it best "social media is good for you, your career, and your patients. Take advantage of the obvious benefits, mollify the traps when possible, and learn to live in the social media ecosystem."6

So now you know why you should use social media, the question is how?

As highlighted above, Twitter has the greatest positive impact for academic publications, we will therefore focus on this platform.

What if I don’t have a Twitter Account?

Don’t worry if you don’t already have an account, they are easy to set up and to get started. Check out the fantastic presentation by Stacey Loeb, Urologist, at ICS 2014 in Rio de Janerio. This presentation explains simply, how to set up your Twitter account, send your first tweet and how to fully utilise this platform!

Click Here to watch Stacey's presentation video

Click Here to download a PDF of Stacey's presentation

ICS 2020 - how do I promote my work during the meeting and build my presence on social media?

On your individual abstract page there are social media engagement buttons to automatically post your message and a link to your abstract page on all popular social media sites. Make sure you use the hashtag #ICSMeeting and @icsoffice so we can share and re-tweet. You can also use a button to quickly email the link to your colleagues and ask them to share too!

You could even record a 30 second video to promote your research and post to social media. In the message you explain the abstract and why its important to read. You can also share related published research and explain how it adds to it.

A range of branded social media images are available for download here which will make your posts stand out:

ICS 2020 Social Media images

Please share these on your chosen social media platform(s). Don’t forget to tag ICS into your posts @icsoffice and use the hashtag #ICSMeeting. ICS will share your posts with our followers – over 15,000 people worldwide!


  1. Social media - Statistics & Facts
  2. Why some older people are rejecting digital technologies
  3. Do Altmetrics Work? Twitter and Ten Other Social Web Services
  4. Can tweets predict citations? Metrics of social impact based on Twitter and correlation with traditional metrics of scientific impact
  5. Twitter Mentions and Academic Citations in the Urologic Literature
  6. Don't Be a Luddite: Urologists Benefit from Social Media.

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