Volume 12 Issue 2 2016


Mr. M. Awais Mehmood
PhD Scholar, Dept. of Management Sciences, Bahria University, Islamabad.

Dr. Faisal Aftab
Director ORIC, Bahria University, Islamabad.

Dr. Hafiz Mushtaq
Professor, Dept. of Management Sciences, Bahria University, Islamabad.

Abstract Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) are shaping their operational approach in a more business-oriented manner due to the intensification of competition to recruit quality students. This requires the adaption of various marketing communication tools to develop, sustain and improve brand image. The invention of Web 2.0 technologies has offered many such options to organizations including social media (SM) that is being now used by many (HEIs) to connect with their stakeholders especially students. The specific objective and purpose of this study are to investigate the use of SM marketing in the higher education sector in Pakistan and its perceived impact on the admission of students. It is a qualitative study based on an inductive approach where in-depth interviews were conducted with the university’s administrators responsible to manage the SM activities. The interviews were transcribed using NVivo to determine content type placed online by the HEIs in Pakistan, benefits accrued, and their perceived impact on student admission. Also, the ethnography technique was used to find the type of content on SM being placed by the Pakistani HEIs. The study illustrates that Facebook and Twitter are the most commonly used social media accounts by the Pakistani HEIs. The content placed on SM by the Pakistani HEIs includes announcements, admissions, events, community messages, promotional messages, achievements, greetings, endorsements, and job/internship opportunities. Through this content, HEIs can better engage with their students, obtain necessary feedback, correct any misperceptions and help in career building. These benefits are consequently contributing directly and indirectly to the elements considered important by students for selection of HEIs as highlighted in students’ preference theories(Soutar & Turner, 2000; Maringe, 2006; Mangan, Hughes, Davies, & Slack, 2010). Implications: This study will help the HEIs to understand common benefits they can accrue through their SM use and its potential in facilitating their admissions process. The study will also let the managers of SM in HEIs know of ways to optimize their usage of SM that will consequently help them better gauge the identified benefits and ultimately help in achieving desired objectives about students’ recruitment.
Keywords Social Media Marketing, Web 2.0, Facebook, Twitter, Higher Education Marketing, Students’ Admission
Year 2016
Volume 12
Issue 2
Type Short Report
Recognized by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, HEC
Category "Y"
Journal Name IBT Journal of Business Studies
Publisher Name ILMA University
Jel Classification -
ISSN no (E, Electronic) 2409-6520
ISSN no (P, Print) 2416-8393
Country Pakistan
City Karachi
Institution Type University
Journal Type Open Access
Manuscript Processing Blind Peer Reviewed
Format PDF
Paper Link
Page 137-152