Analysis of social media use by European plastic surgery societies: A missing link for #PlasticSurgery
Nischwitz SP, Luze H, Rauch K, et al. Analysis of social media use by European plastic surgery societies: A missing link for #PlasticSurgery. PLoS One. 2021;16(10):e0258120. Published 2021 Oct 14. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0258120
Purpose: The field of Plastic Surgery is prominent on social media around the world. Board certified plastic surgeons and societies of plastic surgery play a role in providing accurate, evidence-based information to the public, patients, and colleagues. The aim of this study was to explore the use of social media by European Plastic Surgery Societies.
Methods and materials: A retrospective analysis of the presence and activity of European Plastic Surgery Societies on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram was conducted between December 12th 2018 and December 12th 2019. The results have been compared to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Results: Twenty, eleven and nine European societies yielded an active account on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram respectively. Only seven European societies had an account on all three platforms and were therefore considered polypresent. The amount of followers of those seven societies was significantly higher than of the others (p-value = 0.02). Their activity yielded significantly more posts on Facebook (p-value = 0.02). The American Society of Plastic Surgeons had more followers on all three platforms than all European societies combined.
Conclusion: Social media are still rather unexploited by European Plastic Surgery Societies. A tendency towards increased visibility can be observed, yet a higher penetration is required to further educate and engage through social media. The quantitative data provided serve as reasonable foundation for further studies and a guide for growth of #PlasticSurgery.