Social Media for Global Education: Pearls and Pitfalls of Using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
J Am Coll Radiol. 2018 Apr 1. pii: S1546-1440(18)30194-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2018.01.039. Thomas RB1, Johnson PT2, Fishman EK1.
CTisus.com is a website created in 1999 as an educational resource for body CT diagnostic imaging. The site’s mission is to provide free resources to the medical community across the globe. On average, 20,000 people from more than 125 countries visit the website each month. Social media has been used since 2009 as the primary tool to build brand awareness, drive new users to the website, and engage with the users. The three social platforms CTisus uses are Facebook (Facebook, Inc, Menlo Park, California, USA), Twitter (Twitter Inc, San Francisco, California, USA), and Instagram (Facebook, Inc). Each platform distributes information differently using text, images, and a combination of both text and images. The popularity of each social platform varies in different age groups and industries. CTisus shares content via all three venues with the goal of reaching a wide audience that has different learning styles and communication preferences. The relative effectiveness of these sites are monitored weekly through Google analytics (Google, Menlo Park, California, USA) and the built-in analytics tools each social platform provides (Fig. 1), and user engagement information drives quality improvement of the content. This editorial provides an experience-based analysis of these social media platforms for distributing educational medical information worldwide.