Senior Honors Projects, 2020-current

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

5-8-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

School of Communication Studies

Advisor(s)

Chang Wan Woo

Abstract

This study provides insight into factors that influence audience engagement behaviors on the official Facebook pages of higher education institutions. Many current and prospective students at universities, as well as recent alumni, are looking at Facebook as a way to gather information and build trust with colleges. Similarly, organizations such as universities see social media as the most effective way to reach their publics and build relationships with them. However, there is little literature that illustrates what factors such as inclusion of pictures, hashtags, hyperlink and even size and region of university affect audience engagement on Facebook. A content analysis was conducted, analyzing posts from 12 different universities from four regions in the U.S. over a two-week period. Results indicate that the region that the university resides in has an effect on what content topic receives the most engagement on a post. This study provides suggestions for ways to universities to strategically improve their online presence in order to reach the maximum number of target audience members.

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