Social media in higher education: understanding how colleges and universities use Facebook

Adam Peruta, Alison B. Shields

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


This study provides an understanding of the current social media landscape for higher education institutions. While it is recognized that consistency in school branding across all communications with stakeholders is important to attract and retain students, relatively little work has been done to determine specifically what type of content should be included in a school’s social media campaign, nor has there been an investigation as to the relative frequency of the content. The authors use content analysis to examine Facebook posts from 66 top US colleges and universities and engagement from their constituents on these posts. Results show that there are significant differences in engagement received on posts across institution type. Additionally, media type and posting frequency are factors that contribute to engagement. This study provides direction on how university social media managers can better manage their social media content to improve engagement and increase the reach of their posts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-143
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Marketing for Higher Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017


  • Facebook
  • Higher education marketing
  • online branding
  • social media marketing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Marketing


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