Designing and testing a social media framework for higher education
LE3 .A278 2020
Bachelor of Business Administration
The following thesis examines the performance of Acadia University’s Instagram account using a social analytics software, then applying the results to a modified framework designed to understand the building blocks of higher education institutions (HEIs) on social media. This framework is based upon two previous studies and was modified in order to appropriately represent elements of the social media environment that are important to HEIs and relevant on Instagram. These elements are as follows: identity, sharing, perceived reputation, groups, presence, conversations, and relationships. Previous studies have found that the social media pages of HEIs are lacking in structure and strategy. This study was conducted to gain a level of understanding of the previous literature, followed then by primary data collection using an Instagram analytics software with regard to Acadia University’s account to measure its relative success based on the framework compared to competitors. A range of tools were used within the software to measure each block of the framework, such as measuring the effectiveness of types of posts based on visual cues. This assessment of Acadia’s use of Instagram demonstrated that the adapted framework proposed in this thesis is useful in evaluating social strategy as it pertains to HEIs. The results highlight Acadia University’s strengths, such as holding a good perceived reputation as well as facilitating groups between related accounts on Instagram. However, the institution did not perform well in terms of presence or the relationships built between its own official account and others. Future research could examine the results of utilizing a social analytics tool and the designed framework on social media platforms other than Instagram, or on measuring the data for a longer period of time (e.g., a complete academic cycle).
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