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Jason Jensen, Kendra DeAngelis, Brian Fowler; Successes in Education Through the Use of Social Media. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):114.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The use of social media is at an all-time high, and it will continue to grow as more and more people connect through platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Social media as a whole allows for global interaction amongst users where they can share, create, and exchange their views and experiences. Although social media is bigger than it’s ever been, there has been a relative lack of social media accounts whose chief purpose is to post interesting and educational material, specifically in regards to ocular disease and oculoplastic procedures. We feel that there is an audience that is eager to engage, discuss, and learn. This paper draws on the authors’ experience with using social media as an educational tool and assesses whether the use of social media is a viable avenue for professionals or institutions to invest in.
We concentrated our efforts on posting general ophthalmology and oculoplastics content on four different social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for the duration of 1 year (June 2016-June 2017). Content consisted of multiple areas of ophthalmology, covering basic corneal anatomy to rare specific diseases. We gauged interest by tracking parameters such as number of “likes” to the page, number of followers, video views and subscribers during that year.
Instagram has garnered the most attention and has been very essential in the growth of our other social media platforms. We showed a rapid and consistent growth from 2 to 7,144 followers. On Facebook we had approximately a 99% increase in the total number of page “likes” (450 likes to 896 likes). Additionally, our most popular post on Facebook during this period reached 69,422 people per Facebook analytics. As for Twitter, we saw a percent increase of 91.8% (62 followers to 763 followers). On YouTube, we currently have 6 videos posted with 28,713 views and 126 subscribers.
There is a large audience on social media for individual physicians or institutions to interact with. Social media presents an easily accessible option to share interesting cases with other professionals and educate the public about various ocular conditions.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
An example of an educational post on Instagram.
Number of followers gained on Instagram from June 1, 2016 - March 1 2017.
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