Social Media Engagement and Chinese international student recruitment accepted manuscript.pdf (372.94 kB)

Social media engagement and Chinese international student recruitment: understanding how UK HEIs use Weibo and WeChat

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journal contribution
posted on 03.08.2020, 09:45 by Yimei Zhu
Using a novel longitudinal methodological design, this is the first study to investigate how and to what extent UK higher education institutions (HEIs) use Chinese social media platforms to engage with users. The data was gathered from examining 163 UK HEIs’ use of Weibo public accounts in 2012 and 2018 and WeChat in 2018, combined with student data and university ranking data from secondary sources. The analysis demonstrates a positive association between HEIs’ social media engagement and increase in Chinese student numbers studying at those institutions, after taking into account of university reputation. This study identifies effective social media strategies to gain popularity with Chinese users. Interaction and public replies to followers may generate trust and electronic word-of-mouth to attract more users to follow HEIs’ social media accounts. The findings contribute to the knowledge in the field of higher education research in relation to cross-cultural communication and social media marketing.

History

Citation

Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 29(2):173-190. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/08841241.2019.1633003

Author affiliation

School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Journal of Marketing for Higher Education

Volume

29

Issue

2

Pagination

173 - 190

Publisher

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

issn

0884-1241

eissn

1540-7144

Acceptance date

11/06/2019

Copyright date

2019

Available date

23/12/2020

Language

English

Publisher version

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08841241.2019.1633003

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