Winandy, M, Kostkova, P, de Quincey, E, St Louis, C and Szomszor, M (2016) Follow #eHealth2011: Measuring the Role and Effectiveness of Online and Social Media in Increasing the Outreach of a Scientific Conference. J Med Internet Res, 18. e191 - e191. ISSN 1438-8871

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Background: Social media promotion is increasingly adopted by organizers of industry and academic events; however, the success of social media strategies is rarely questioned or the real impact scientifically analyzed. Objective: We propose a framework that defines and analyses the impact, outreach, and effectiveness of social media for event promotion and research dissemination to participants of a scientific event as well as to the virtual audience through the Web. Methods: Online communication channels Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and a Liveblog were trialed and their impact measured on outreach during five phases of an eHealth conference: the setup, active and last-minute promotion phases before the conference, the actual event, and after the conference. Results: Planned outreach through online channels and social media before and during the event reached an audience several magnitudes larger in size than would have been possible using traditional means. In the particular case of eHealth 2011, the outreach using traditional means would have been 74 attendees plus 23 extra as sold proceedings and the number of downloaded articles from the online proceedings (4107 until October 2013). The audience for the conference reached via online channels and social media was estimated at more than 5300 in total during the event. The role of Twitter for promotion before the event was complemented by an increased usage of the website and Facebook during the event followed by a sharp increase of views of posters on Flickr after the event. Conclusions: Although our case study is focused on a particular audience around eHealth 2011, our framework provides a template for redefining “audience” and outreach of events, merging traditional physical and virtual communities and providing an outline on how these could be successfully reached in clearly defined event phases.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: social media; social media networks; web conferencing; marketing
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Computing and Mathematics
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2016 10:46
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2016 08:46

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