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Title: Marketing private higher education : social media's share of voice in online search
Authors: Lee, DSM 
Lam, R 
Keywords: Social media
Search engine
Private higher education institutions
University information search
Digital marketing
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Academic Conferences Ltd
Source: 3rd European Conference on Social Media (ECSM), Ecole Management Normandie, France, Jul 12-13, 2016, p. 168-173 How to cite?
Abstract: The use of social media and internet search engines has an increasingly important role along the decision making process of students for their choices of higher education institution. Moving away from traditional media, students research information from search engines to aid the evaluation of alternatives from various online touch points including official university websites and social media sites. A recent survey done by University of Massachusetts indicated that almost 100% of institutions have employed some form of social media as part of their marketing and branding strategy. Therefore, the interplay between search engine and social media poses a challenge for higher education institutions in resources allocation, especially for private institutions where their operations are not partially or fully subsidized by the government. The aim of this study is to investigate the extent to which social media sites appear in online search results of private higher education in a highly competitive market - Hong Kong. The research design of this study simulates sub-degree students' online information search of higher education alternatives using students' search keywords in combination with the name of private tertiary institutions in Hong Kong. Content analysis will be employed to investigate social media's share of voice among the online information search results. Furthermore, the association between search keywords and various types of social media websites will be examined. This study will illustrate the landscape of various online touch points in the private higher education domain and provides evidence for the role of various types of social media sites in influencing students along their decision making process. The study extends existing literature in two ways, firstly, by revealing the pre-eminent role of social media influencing students' choice of private higher education, and secondly, by exploring possible association between types of social media and internet search keywords in private higher education search. The findings of the study will provide implication to the private higher education institutions to optimize their digital marketing strategies to reach prospective students.
ISBN: 978-1-911218-01-2
ISSN: 2055-7213
Appears in Collections:Conference Paper

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