Social Media and Education: Universities’ Instagram uses as an integrated marketing tool

This study aims to explore the Instagram’ uses as an integrated marketing communication tool in the educational field. The researchers started from the following question:s: How universities in the UAE utilize social media (more specifically Instagram) to manage their brand image and interact with their worldwide audiences? And how followers react to the universities’ activities? This article encloses an exploratory study based on both quantitative and qualitative content analyses to address its research purposes. The sample included a total of 9840 posts belonging to three universities’ Instagram pages: UOS, AUE and ZU. Authors concluded that the three universities included in the sample placed more emphasis on product/brand-related posts than on non-product/brand -related items. Data revealed also that users ‘comments fall under four broad categories: Loving, questioning, criticizing, belonging and sympathizing. Positive comments focused on product/brand related posts by admiring the cultural and entertainment events that were marketed through Instagram, while the criticism was small in terms of comments’ number and all revolved around issues related to the improvement of the places.

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