Learning Objectives: The use of social media, specifically Twitter, to communicate key information from medical conferences (aka 'live-tweeting') is a relatively new strategy to reach a global audience. In 2016, the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) Social Media Task Force instituted a plan for additional session specific hashtags to better identify specific conversations thus increasing the impact of both the conference and selected sessions. We investigated the usefulness of this approach on the social media reach of the Critical Care Congress. Methods: Symplur Analytics were used to investigate social media metrics for the Critical Care Congress. These metrics included the number of tweets and users, and the impressions or views of the hashtag. Results: From the 2015 to 2016 Critical Care Congress (CCC), there were significant increases in total tweets (4,374 vs 14,358), participants (625 vs 1693) and views of the conference hashtags (6,352,787 vs 19,608,057). In 2016, 8 of 11 session specific hashtags had data available. They focused on nutrition, neurocritical care, ARDS, mechanical ventilation, hepatic failure, trauma, research networks and immunological aspects of critical care. The median number of tweets for these session specific hashtags were 127 (25-75% IQR 86-289), median participants of 38 (25-75% IQR 29-70), and a median number of impressions of 189,594 (25-75% IQR 37,226-363,012). Between 10-50% (median 10%) of the top participants in these session specific hashtags were "new users" (with <100 followers), while none of the top participants in the CCC hashtags used in 2015 or 2016 were "new users" by this definition. Conclusions: Participation in social media and number of tweets increased significantly between the 2015 and 2016 CCC. The use of session specific hashtags does not appear to hamper growth of social media presence when used to live-tweet a conference. Additionally, session specific hashtags may allow a voice for newer social media users to better participate in session-specific discussions.
Szakmany, T., Harwayne-Gidansky, I., Ackerman, A., Riordan, B., Lough, M., Duprey, M., … Carroll, C. (2016). 49: USE OF SESSION-SPECIFIC HASHTAGS TO ENHANCE THE REACH OF THE CRITICAL CARE CONGRESS IN SOCIAL MEDIA. Critical Care Medicine, 44, 99. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.ccm.0000508767.99664.b3