The role of social media in university brand strategy; an exploration

This source preferred by Chris Chapleo and Helen O'Sullivan

Authors: O'Sullivan, H., Chapleo, C. and Garcia Garcia, M.

Start date: 27 April 2016

Kaplan and Haenlein (2010: 61) describe social media as “a group of Internet based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.” The proliferation of social media has instigated a revolution in the communications field (Killian & McManus, 2015). Facebook, Twitter… and other social networks sites have been integrated in people’s daily lives and have changed the way people communicate and make decisions.

As social media usage increases, so do consumer expectations of brands. Nowadays it is not enough for universities, or other organisations, to simply undertake activities; they also need to communicate them, interact with their stakeholders and increase their recognition and support in the digital environment. Despite of their growing importance within society, educational institutions research base on social network usage within this context is relatively insufficient (Knight & Kaye, 2016).

This research takes account that the social media environment is continuously evolving, and investigates attachments to social media overall rather than attachment to a specific platforms.

The work fills a gap in academic literature by understanding: • How communication management on social media can help to strengthen the brand • Which stakeholders should be addressed by universities’ communication in social networks • What content contributes most to strengthen brand engagement through social networks.

We apply a qualitative method through Delphi panel as it is an appropriate technique to address new research or little explored issues. Experts can contribute their knowledge to issues that are academically incomplete.

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