Dr Mackenzie was already presenting a poster at the conference detailing his research on social media activity around the 2018 event in Glasgow. This had shown that hundreds of tweets were ‘lost’ through ‘hashtag drift’ by delegates not using the official hashtag #RCGPAC.
In Liverpool this year (24-26 October) there was a total of 3,878 tweets posted by 814 tweeters, with 5,732 retweets. Overall, 139 (17%) tweeters received 80% of retweets while 349 (43%) tweeters received no retweets from 484 tweets posted.
The analysis was based on a search for ‘rcgpac’ which will have picked up #rcgpac and @rcgpac, adding in #rcgpac19 and #rcgpac2019. Overall 3,029 (78%) tweets included the correct hashtag, posted from 502 accounts.
38% increase in use of #RCGPAC
This was a major increase on last year's figures when there were 2,184 tweets using the hashtag, posted by 378 accounts, with a further 909 tweets posted without the hashtag (vs 849 for 2019), leaving a total of 71% of tweets using the hashtag compared to 78% in 2019.
Dr Mackenzie is a former public health consultant now training as a GP in South East Scotland, with an academic interest in the use of social media around medical conferences.
He said: ‘Tweeting can capture the main messages from a conference for a wider audience. However, almost a third of #RCGPAC tweets in 2018 omitted the hashtag, lessening impact.’