Four Reasons to Use Social Media
Everyone knows social media is the place to find cute cat pictures and laugh-out-loud memes. But it’s also a space where serious discussions unfold and true interpersonal connections are cultivated — as many radiologists can attest.
In fact, radiologists are prolific users of Twitter and other social networks. It’s not surprising, really. Radiologists have always been on the cutting edge of technology.
Twitter activity during the Radiology Society of North America (RSNA) 2016 conference highlights the radiology community’s level of social media engagement.
The week of the conference, from Nov. 24 through Dec. 1, 2016, the hashtag #RSNA16 had more than 200 million impressions in nearly 40,000 tweets from about 8,600 participants, according to data Global Radiology CME (@GlobalRadCME) collected and shared from Symplur.
Also during the conference, the JACR®’s (@JACRJournal) tweetchat/tweetup on patient engagement generated almost 5 million impressions — the most of any #JACR tweet chat to date. That’s a lot of activity.
Still, some radiologists are reluctant to log onto social media. Their concerns include everything from finding time to get involved to saying the wrong thing in the internet’s eternal environment.
For radiologists who want to overcome their fears and learn how to use social media, Amy Kotsenas, MD, (@AmyKotsenas), neuroradiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., offered a simple piece of advice during an RSNA 2016 session on the topic — “Just do it.”
Kotsenas led the session with fellow social media masters Tessa S. Cook, MD, PhD, (@asset25), assistant professor of radiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia; Tirath Y. Patel, MD, (@TirathPatelMD), radiologist at Houston Radiology Associates in Houston; Saad Ranginwala, MD, (@SaadR), radiology resident at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio; and Neil U. Lall, MD, (@NULall), pediatric diagnostic radiologist and neuroradiologist at Ochsner Health System in New Orleans.
The team outlined four primary benefits radiologists often see as a result of their involvement in social media networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Figure 1.
1) Branding: Social media gives radiologists a platform to develop and control their personal brands. For instance, radiologists who are active on social media usually see their accounts appear prominently in Google search results, above rating sites such as Health Grades. As a result, when patients search their radiologists’ names on the Internet (as patients often Google their doctors), they will see their radiologist’s social media accounts first. There, they can access information the radiologist has personally collated and shared.
2) Informing: Radiologists can disseminate information on social networks to help their colleagues and patients. For example, radiologists who tweet during professional conferences can help distribute the information to colleagues who are unable to attend the conferences or particular sessions. Additionally, radiologists can share abstracts from peer-reviewed journals, such as the JACR, with their followers. By posting articles and tools through social media, radiologists can share knowledge with their colleagues and help their patients better understand the important role imaging plays in their care.
3) Connecting: Social media helps radiologists forge relationships with their colleagues, referring physicians, and patients. For instance, many radiologists have begun Twitter conversations with colleagues they have never met in person. These conversations often serve as icebreakers and catalysts for real-life meetings. Tweetups during conferences also have the power to bring radiologists, referring docs, and patients together for face-to-face encounters.
4) Learning: In addition to providing a place where radiologists can share information, radiologists can use social networks for educational purposes. For example, ACR (@RadiologyACR) tweets a new Case in Point (#ACRCaseinPoint) every day, which radiologists can use to test and improve their clinical knowledge. Radiologists can also find a lot of good clinical cases on photo sharing sites, such as Instagram and Figure1. And they can learn a lot from the articles their colleagues and others share on social media, including ACR Bulletin (#ACRBulletin) articles and Imaging 3.0 case studies (#Imaging3).
By Jenny Jones, Imaging 3.0 content specialist.