Universities in social media – Recipients’ expectations and the published contents

- Agnieszka Chwiałkowska, M.Sc.

Research carried out by the author in 2013, which covered all 59 public universities listed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education showed that Polish public universities are more and more eagerly resorting to social media as a channel for communication with the environment of students and they are currently active in social media and especially on Facebook, where 81% (48 units) have their official profiles. Also other research projects show that the activities of a university in social media influences the image of the university especially among students – according to them student candidates admit that the presence of universities in social media and information published on their official Facebook profiles and the manner of interaction with users had an impact on their final decision on the choice of a university.

At the same time it is possible to notice a research gap in the area of expectations of main target group for messages of universities published in social media, that is, students, with regard to the form and content of these messages from universities. It is also possible to notice a clear lack of qualitative analyses of activities taken up by Polish universities in social media.

For this reason the author has decided to continue the above-mentioned research in order to learn more about the described phenomenon, that is, the presence of universities on social media platforms. The author has defined the following detailed goals for the research: identification of the expectations of students (who in Poland are the main recipient of universities’ messages in social media) and employees with regard to the presence of the university in social media; identification of student’s preferred methods of communication with the university; Learning about the students’ assessment of the activities of universities conducted in social media; Qualitative analysis of contents published by universities in social media.

The research was conducted in two stages – in the first stage interviews with students, doctoral students, student candidates and university employees were conducted. In the second stage social media profiles – 48 Facebook profiles of Polish universities and top 20 profiles of foreign universities in the ranking of popularity of universities’ activities in social media, according to Top 100 social media colleges and universities 2013 ranking.

Agnieszka Chwiałkowska, M.Sc., Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland – doctoral student at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, at the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Management and at University of Vaasa (International Marketing Research Group). She is specialized in social media marketing for profit and non-profit organizations, as well as in relational marketing, generation Y and crowdsourcing (both in Polish and English language). She conducts numerous workshops and trainings on the above-mentioned subjects. She takes part in conferences associated with the subject of new media both in Poland and abroad. She took part in a scientific apprenticeship programme at Hanken School of Economics (Helsinki, Finland), where she conducted research on B2C relation marketing. She studied at foreign universities – Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences (Steyr, Austria) and LAUREA University of Applied Sciences (Espoo, Finlandia).

 DOI: 10.14611/minib.13.03.2014.05

Contact: a.chwialkowska(at)wp.pl

MINIB, 2014, Vol. 13, Issue 3
Resize of Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white Available in Open Access.

 

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