Clark, M., Fine, M. and C. Scheuer (2016)
Journal of Marketing for Higher Education

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The landscape in consumer marketing is changing due to the rise in popularity of social media. This shift has also affected how higher education institutions build relationships with their stakeholders. This study explores how social media engagement impacts relationship quality between the university and one of its key stakeholder groups, students. Data were collected via an online survey and analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test, regression, and the Kruskal-Wallis test. Results indicated a positive association between students following a university via social media and the perception of having a high-quality relationship with their university and that following a university on multiple social media sites leads to an even higher perception of relationship quality. The results provide important and timely implications for both universities and higher education marketers. Our findings suggest that higher education marketers should invest resources in social media communications to form high-quality relationships with their stakeholders.


Social media, relationship quality, social exchange theory, commitment, trust