Date of Award

Fall 12-7-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Nicole Vaux

Second Advisor

Dr. Roger Mitch Nasser

Third Advisor

Brad Henderson

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate relationships between social media marketing, social media platforms, and student choice of higher education institutions. Through evaluating current research, this study addresses potential changes needed to ensure colleges’ and universities’ marketing and admissions teams are using social media in ways that increase return on investment (ROI) and attract students to institutions. Previous research exposed social media marketing as a relatively untested method of reach for students’ college choice; therefore, the study will be original in nature. Previous studies provided data from an admissions counselor’s perspective, notably, a study by Barnes and Jacobsen (2013), which examined familiarity, usage, and attitudes toward social media at four-year higher education institutions. Researchers posited higher education institutions were increasingly making use of social media tools to research and recruit students while noting evidence of enthusiasm and eagerness of admissions teams to embrace new communication tools. In addition, many higher education institutions continued the use of social media due to increasingly important role played in the 21stcentury world. As enrollment practices increased to keep up with enrollment demands, higher education institutions needed to design social media marketing, which would contribute to student choice (Moogan, 2011). Colleges and universities that applied marketing to the recruiting process experienced improvements and showed to be effective in reaching enrollment goals (Kotler & Fox, 1985). Continued evaluation and processing of marketing results will continue to provide colleges and universities the ability to target and reach prospective students.

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