Social media analytics: what is it and why is this important?
In this modern era, social media has been increasingly used in the field of urology (1) . Almost everybody will have some degree of engagement in different social media platforms. It is no doubt a good channel to disseminate urology-related information to the general public and healthcare professionals. However, how can we transmit the information more efficiently and effectively? This is exactly what social media analytics is about.
By gathering and analyzing data from different social media platforms, we will be able to understand how we can engage our audience more successfully in the dissemination of urological information. There are many different softwares that allow instant data extraction for subsequent social media analysis. They include Twitter Analytics, Google Analytics, Twitonomy, NodeXL, Symplur, etc.
Social media metrics are quantitative measures used to assess and monitor the performance and progress of social media activities. Impression is counted as the number of times a post is on screen for the first time. Reach is the number of people who see a post at least once. Engagement is the total number of interactions that people had with a post. These are the most basic form of data that allows us to understand more about the short-term impact of a social media activity (2) . No single measure has proven superiority over another, but most people would regard engagement as the most important and difficult metric to achieve.
How much impact a social media activity can achieve often depends on the influence and importance of the personnel involved within a social network. Social network analysis studies the structural relationships within a social network and we will be able to understand more about the users involved.
Such relationships and influence can be quantified using different centrality measures (2) . Eigenvector centrality measures how connected an individual is to other very connected people. Betweenness centrality quantifies the number of times a person acts as a bridge along the shortest path between two other people.
Closeness centrality is the shortest distances between an individual and other people. These centrality measures will be very helpful in identifying the key stakeholders and key opinion leaders within a community.
Appropriate use of social media analytics allows us to fine tune our strategy in the dissemination of urology-related information. If you want to learn about social media analytics, please read our article at European Urology Focus!.
- Gudaru K, Blanco LT, Castellani D, Santamaria HT, Pelayo-Nieto M, Linden-Castro E, Wroclawski ML, Bellote MC, Inarritu JM, da Silva RD, Gauhar V, Adwin Z, Teoh JY. Connecting the Urological Community : The #UroSoMe Experience. Journal of Endoluminal Endourology 2019; 2(2):320-e329.
- Teoh JY, Mackenzie G, Tortolero L, Rivas JG. Social Media Analytics: What You Need to Know as a Urologist. Eur Urol Focus 2019.