Paper Details
Title Unfolding Utilization of Functional Blocks of Social Media in Building Brand Equity in Higher Education Institutes

The purpose of this research was to explore how HEIs are using Social Media (SM) as a marketing communication tool and to understand their branding focus through SM. It was investigated by understanding the utilization of functional blocks of SM by HEIs, which are believed to contribute towards elements of brand equity. Utilization of functional blocks of SM was studied through theoretical lens of honeycomb framework of SM. This study used qualitative methodology, based on inductive research approach. The data was collected via Netnography method, based on six months usage of SM accounts of seven selected HEIs of Pakistan, out of 225, which exhibited active SM presence. HEIs were found using nine different content types on SM. The content types that showed highest utilization of functional blocks, i.e. endorsements and promotional-messages, were amongst the least preferred content types of HEIs. However, their most preferred content types, i.e. event coverage & announcements, showed lowest engagement level, and were seen contributing towards lower stages of brand building i.e. brand image and awareness only, thus reflecting a myopic focus of HEIs in terms of their brand building through SM. Findings of this study will enable HEIs to revisit their content preference on SM based on the desired branding objectives. This research has extended theoretical knowledge regarding SM Marketing in context of HEIs. Further, it has extended comprehension of various functional blocks of SM, in organizational context, based on literature review.
Keywords: Social Media Marketing, Brand Equity, Honeycomb Framework, Higher Education Institutes.

Pages 26-41
Volume 10
Issue 2
Part 1
File Name Download (210)
DOI 10.30543/10-2(2021)-3