Marketing your university on social media: a content analysis of Facebook post types and formats

Adam Peruta, Alison B. Shields

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Many schools put a great deal of emphasis on their social media marketing strategies–updating and maintaining their social media channels with the purpose of building identity by connecting with prospective students and alumni. At a time when immediacy is seen as being prevalent to university marketing, social media is viewed as a viable method of communication between the institution and its constituents. The authors use content analysis to examine topics and formats of 5932 Facebook posts from top U.S. colleges and universities. Results show that there are content topics, such as athletics, that significantly increase engagement, while others have the tendency to lower engagement. Additionally, the format, like including user-generated content, is another factor that contributes to engagement. This study provides strategies on how university social media managers can better compose social media content to improve engagement, to better market their offerings, and to increase the reach of their posts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-191
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Marketing for Higher Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018


  • Facebook
  • Social media
  • content marketing
  • digital marketing
  • higher education
  • universities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Marketing


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