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Fas Assignment 3 Final 1 Matthew Smith 11024125

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A comprehensive assignment associated with social media and internet marketing. \'Does the Oxford Brookes Business School Facebook page engage with students?\'

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Fas Assignment 3 Final 1 Matthew Smith 11024125

  1. 1. U55001Foundations for Academic Success Assignment 3 – Final How Do Business Schools Use Facebook to Engage With Students? Name Matthew Smith Student Number 11024125 Seminar Leader: Jacqui O’Rourke Word Count: 2698 Report Submission deadline: Monday Week 9 26th March via drop box in Simon Williams Undergraduate Centre 1
  2. 2. Assignment 3How do Business Schools use facebook to engage with students?Statement of Originality ...................................................................................................... 3Executive Summary ............................................................................................................ 4Terms of reference.............................................................................................................. 4Introduction/background ..................................................................................................... 6Literature Review ................................................................................................................ 7Methodology........................................................................................................................ 9Findings & Discussion ...................................................................................................... 10Conclusion ........................................................................................................................ 17Recommendations ............................................................................................................ 18References ........................................................................................................................ 19Appendices ....................................................................................................................... 21 2
  3. 3. Statement of OriginalityStudent No. 11024125 Student Name Matthew SmithModule No. U55001 Module Title Foundations for Academic SuccessSeminar tutor’s name: Jacqui O’Rourke Extract from the Student Conduct Regulations: 2.2.1 Students shall comply at all times with the provisions of the Regulations for Candidates taking Assessments. In particular they shall not commit impersonation, collusion, plagiarism, falsification, duplication, submit the work of others as their own, or otherwise cheat in any assessment. Explanation of terms used in the Student Conduct Regulations: Impersonation means taking an assessment on behalf of another student, or allowing another person to take an assessment on your behalf. Collusion means producing assessed work by working with another person who you have not been authorised to work with by the Module Leader. This includes, but is not limited to, allowing another student to copy your work. Falsification means presenting invented data, for example claiming that you have conducted interviews or sent out questionnaires when you have not, or altering or making up your results. Plagiarism means submitting the work of someone else as if it were your own. When you include someone else’s ideas in your assignment, you must provide a reference in the text. If you copy someone else’s words (a quotation), you must show clearly in the text how much was copied by using speech marks. It is not enough just to list your references at the end of your assignment. Guidance on the correct use of references can be found on www.brookes.ac.uk/services/library, and also in a handout in the Library. Duplication means submitting work for assessment which has been assessed before, either in this University or elsewhere, without acknowledging the extent of the previous submission. If you do not understand what any of these terms mean, you should ask your Module Leader to clarify them for you. The full regulations may be read in the Library, or accessed on-line at http://www.brookes.ac.uk/regulations/sturegs.html STATEMENT OF ORIGINALITY Except for those parts in which it is explicitly stated to the contrary, this work is our own work. It has not been submitted for assessment for credit previously at this or any other academic or professional institution. Student signature: Matthew Smith …Date 7/3/12 CHECKLIST: Please check the following statements are true and initial each box. We have included a full reference list using the Harvard style of referencing MS We have provided Harvard style references for all the ideas, empirical evidence and other materials we have used in the main body MS of this piece of work We have used quotation marks and referenced all passages (including page numbers) taken word for word from my source material MS We can make available evidence of the originality of our work, including notes, photocopies, drafts, primary data and computer files MS We completed this work without any unauthorised help MS 3
  4. 4. Executive SummaryHow do Business Schools use Facebook to engage with students? The purpose of thisreport was designed to see how successful the Oxford Brookes University Business schoolFacebook page was for current and prospective students. Following the brief, literature wasexamined, offering information surrounding Facebook, the problems with social media,marketers limitations when it comes to social networking, supporting students enteringunfamiliar environments, students lack of academic engagement on social networking sitesand the debate on what is considered most valid form of measurement towards a Facebookpages performance. Methods of research were studied to ensure quantitative and qualitativedata would be collected. Research ethics into each method was also investigated to ensuredata collection was morally correct for the student as well as giving valid, accurate andreliable results. The research strategies used in this report included a flow-chart survey,online survey and detailed competitor analysis, which provided validity in terms of results.Data analysis from the research results explores the majority of negative responses made byBusiness students at Brookes University and reviewing of quantitative information on studentrecommendations towards the Facebook page. Finally more effective competitor usage ofFacebook as an online marketing tool, compared to Brookes Business School was analysed.This revealed a variety of differences in relation to promotion and awareness of theiruniversity Facebook pages and the features implemented in order to become more individualrather than just the whole of Business. Recommendations for improvements for theFacebook page were drawn from the findings and discussions, to ensure the BrookesBusiness School marketing department could create more effective engagement withstudents. 4
  5. 5. Terms of referenceThe purpose of this report was to assess the effectiveness of the Oxford Brookes BusinessSchool Facebook page and discover which aspects require development for both the benefitof the university, current and future students. The report is focusing on the marketer’sexpectations from the Facebook page and the students’ responses through conductingprimary and secondary research to assess performance. The report will outline theBusiness School’s current social networking usage in comparison to its’ competitor businessschools in terms of posts, updates and features, to provide an understanding of studentsrequirements and or expectations from the University pages. In addition, by carrying outmarket research the report aims to establish how the Business School marketing departmentcan improve its strategy in engaging with students from the metric results taken fromexamining the appropriate pages. The report will have limitations through the marketresearch conducted, due to constraints such as time, budgetary, reliability and legalities. WC: 155 5
  6. 6. Introduction/backgroundAssessing the effectiveness of the Business School’s use of Facebook to engage withstudents is dependent upon a number of different variables. The Oxford definition of effectiveis ‘Powerful in effect; producing a notable effect; effectual.’ (Oxford English Dictionary,2012). Understanding what the Business School intends to achieve from the page isfundamental in assessing its effectiveness. The strategy for the Business School’s use of theFacebook page is to connect with students through providing: ‘news, events, articles, videosand links about education, business, entrepreneurship and anything that would fuel yourthinking and provide you with actionable information for your personal and professionaldevelopment’ (Facebook: OBU Business School, 2012). In this report, the effectiveness ofthe page was measured through studying the number of Facebook ‘Likes’, regularity ofposts, displayed content, student awareness of the page, comparison to other UniversityBusiness Schools and whether this influences university choices among applicants. A flowchart survey, online survey and competitor analysis was used as part of our primaryresearch as this provided sufficient generalisability and triangulation, in order to provide validand reliable results. 6
  7. 7. Literature ReviewThe growth of technology over the past decade has encouraged businesses to consider theirmarketing strategies in accordance to consumer behaviour. The development of the internetand communications has ‘pushed’ marketers into the world of social media to promote theirbrand and products or services portfolio to customers. Developments in social technologies,under the heading Web 2.0, has directly impacted the ways in which consumers respond tocommunication delivered from organisations. Social media can be defined as to ‘employmobile and web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms via whichindividuals and communities share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content.’(Kietzmann et al., 2011). One element of social media is social networking, which Ellison elal. (2007) describes as being an area where individuals can present themselves, articulatetheir social networks/interests, and establish or maintain connections with others. Therelevance and impact of this strategy is the difficulty in engaging with the audience(students) for marketers such as the Brookes Business School and differentiating againstother pages (competition).Facebook is the largest multilingual social networking site on the Internet.See (below) reference from Facebook, (2012a),Fact Sheet – Facebook, (2012).About FacebookFounded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stayconnected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters tothem.StatisticsWe had 845 million monthly active users at the end of December 2011.Approximately 80% of our monthly active users are outside the U.S. and Canada.We had 483 million daily active users on average in December 2011.We had more than 425 million monthly active users who used Facebook mobile products in December 2011.Facebook is available in more than 70 languages.Grosseck et al. (2011) suggests that 1 in every 13 people on earth use Facebook. In fact,72% of online 18 to 29 year olds use social networking websites (Lenhart et al. 2010). Fromthis secondary research this emphasizes the potential for modern marketers within business.Facebook prides itself on its worldwide audience and can be presented as making marketersjobs easy but limitations and problems occur through the management of the socialnetworking site. Verbal word-of-mouth isn’t the only method of positive/negativecommunication anymore. The advancements in technology provide a platform whereby thereputation of a business can become jeopardised if marketed without thorough marketresearch and analysis. Jalilvand et al. (2011) summarises that electronic word-of-mouth(eWOM) communications is a positive or negative comment made by future, current andexisting customers about a brand. Many multinational co-operations are increasing theirinvestments in recruitment, to constantly monitor for any negative online posts. Palmer(2010) suggests that Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have become enemies of brands, dueto the lack of features available to marketers to build unique pages, compared to websitesfor example. The relevance of this to the report is that social media needs continuousmanagement to sustain consumer engagement. What Palmer (2010) found is a fundamentalelement in this report; what can the Business School do to create a point of difference andreally ‘target’ students? Overall marketers struggle to differentiate their Facebook pages andcreate that exposure.Universities are adopting the same approach towards the development of social media andFacebook to segment, target and position (STP) to students (Kotler & Armstrong, 2001).Roblyer (2010) explains that Faculties which see teaching as establishing a relationship withstudents may view social media as an efficient and engaging way to communicate. In 7
  8. 8. addition, DeAndrea (2012) believes Facebook and social networking sites have the power toguide students entering an unfamiliar social environment. This is extremely relevant in termsof the brief - prospective students to the university. This suggests that if the Facebook pageprovided the right information, communication channels and supported that transition for thenew students entering university, this would build more of an engaging page.Alternatively, the ethics surrounding University involvement in social media activities is undercontroversy within literature. Hewitt & Fortes (2006) investigation of student and facultyrelationships discovered that 1/3 of students did not believe faculties should be present onFacebook at all. Hewitt et al. (2006) suggest that faculties and students should not networkand should remain separate. Clemmit (2006) found that students need private time/spaceand so use social networking for this purpose.Neil Selwyn (2007) studied 909 students and their Facebook profiles to discover 76% hadactive Facebook profiles and of all the posts, comments, updates, 4% were academicsubjects surrounding the university experience. The relevance and impact of this is that itsuggests that students view social networking as fundamentally ‘social’ between friends andany academic intrusion is needed if a piece of information was required about a module forexample . For the Brookes Business School Marketing Department this information needs tobe taken into account when trying to engage with students – something purposeful andunique needs to be at the centre of the page for students to engage with it. Linking back tothe idea that marketers don’t market anymore, consumers control what should be marketed.‘The events of the last decade have not been those that gave power to the marketer. Ratherthey were those that empowered consumers’ (Deighton et al., 2009)Current literature associated with the research brief explores the benefits and limitation ofwhat social media can provide for businesses, but can you measure the success of aFacebook page by just a ‘like?’ Jim Sterne (2010) suggests social media success is notfound in how many people receive your message; it’s found in the responses, comments,forwarding and discussions to friends and is made by the individuals who received the post.Hanna et al. (2011) explains that existing metrics of a sales increase for a business or thebasic social media metrics such as Facebook ‘Likes’, only provide a fraction as part ofevidence for the justification of a pages success. 8
  9. 9. MethodologyThrough addressing the brief and understanding what social media provides formarketing departments and the concerns and limitations surrounding Facebook, twoprimary and one secondary research method were produced. In order to guaranteethe generalisability of the research findings, this intended research would be usingsurvey method to collect primary quantitative data (Zakaria, 2009). From this, aninteractive flow chat survey was built, which enabled the group to ask currentbusiness school students quantitative questions, surrounding the brief. Also Evans.J(2005) suggested that online surveys can be time-efficient, accessing data moreefficiently. Knowing this we decided to produce an online survey to increase thesample size. In addition the survey would provide primarily qualitative data to whichNahid Golafshani, (2003) suggest to be where the subject to familiarise themselveswith the research, to generate suggestions to which can be assessed. Lastlysecondary triangulation (Saunders, 2008) research was conducted to compare andcontrast two independent sources of data; a competitor business school Facebookpage with Brookes. All research methods selected have a relative 20-60 personsample size and validity was ensured due to only business school students beingstudied. 9
  10. 10. Findings & Discussion Number of students who use social networking. – 40 participants. 50 Number of students 40 40 30 20 13 10 7 0 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Other Social networking sites usedThe flow-chart survey results (see fig. 1.2) support the literature review associated withLenhart et al. 2010 findings that 72% of online 18 to 29 year olds use social networkingwebsites. The evidence Facebook published (2012) combined with the primary researchanalysis enforces the marketing potential for the Business School targeting students online.The students who answered ‘during’, for when they accessed theBusiness School Facebook page, provided these results: 9 Before. 14 During.Both findings combined suggest that the Business School Facebookpage did not have any involvement determining prospective student’sfinal university choices. 10
  11. 11. The small sample online survey provided quantitative data. This pie charts suggests thatFacebook is obviously the most popular social networking site among individuels, which linkswith the bar-chart research results mentioned. Social Networking Sites - Popularity Facebook Twitter LinkedIn 6% 31% 63% Have you ever visited the Brookes Facebook Page? YES NO 35% 65%Even though Facebook has the largest captive audience of a sample, 65% ofstudents are unaware of Oxford Brookes Business school’s Facebook page.These findings link back with literature produced by Kotler & Armstrong, (2001) with that theFacebook page would definitely benefit from having a better segmentation, targeting andpositioning strategy towards student preferences. 11
  12. 12. After qualitative research results had been analysed from the online survey (see fig. 1) tosupport the validity of the results.Analysing the data provides information to which states that the 35% of people who hadnever seen the page, 50% of these students did not know it existed. These findings couldbe supported by Hewitt & Fortes (2006) investigation of student and faculty relationshipsshowing that 1/3 of students did not believe faculties should be present on Facebook at all.This research analysis suggests that even though the Facebook page is a form of promotionfor the Business School, the promotion of the page itself needs attention. ‘Did you explore Oxford Brookes Universities Facebook page OR any other universities page before going? What was your reason for doing this? & which University?’ Promotion Competitions Course Info Meetings Ads Group Learning?From the brief, qualitative research had to be conducted to find out what recommendationscould be made in order to improve the Facebook page. The online survey results foundthese categories below were common responses and so were transferred into a chart foranalysis. Following directly on from 50% of students who hadn’t used the page whatsoever,quite clearly better promotion of the page was a major area for improvement. This linksdirectly with the relevant literature regarding Facebook’s vast audience, promotion of 12
  13. 13. Facebook pages and how targeting to specific students can be difficult. In addition moreavailable individual course information seemed to be a key element from the results, asrespondents commented: ‘nothing personal, the business department isbroad; I want individual purpose to go on the Facebook page’.Groups within the Facebook page was another aspect, which led to believe studentspotentially preferred personal university websites than that of Facebook; again linking withthe literature surrounding keeping faculty separate to social. The problem with studentsdesiring groups on Facebook is the limitations this gives to marketing departments.Facebook only provides a framework for users to present their pages, which links to theliterature from Palmer (2010) surrounding the lack of features for marketers.Competitions were mentioned from the result analysis. This would attract students to thepage more often through incentive schemes, creating more awareness through word ofmouth – linking back to the literature regarding electronic word of mouth online (eWOM).With regards advertisements on the Facebook page wall the respondents commentedregularily: ‘the advertisements displaying jobs, events, schemes andlinks are very useful’. This suggests again with better promotion this can attract morestudents – this would benefit the business school and students. These comments came fromthe individuals who viewed the page as part of the online survey. This is linked with the NeilSelwyn (2007) study surrounding the lack of engagement by students towards academicinformation on social networking sites. But with more consumer awareness of the page anda closer relationship with business students these posts can become more noticeable.The quantitative results below highlight the importance of having Facebook for marketing theuniversity. This piece of information is relevant to the third bullet point on the research briefdetermining the extent to which Business School students used Facebook in making theirfinal university choices. Even though 42% of students said ‘yes’ with ‘betterpromotion’ on what new and current students require with regards information, thisshows the potential the Facebook page has. Facebook used for pre-UNI research 42% YES NO 58%Analysis of competetor Business Schools was required in order to understand how otheruniversities are engaging with their students, the methods they use to do this and if anyFacebook limitations are occuring. The university size is a limitation for this researchmethod, but displaying a comparison of equal ranking business school universities to OxfordBrookes, highlighted differences to build reccomendations for this report. 13
  14. 14. Further comparative secondary source analysis was developed. Edinburgh selected in this research method to compare with Brookes University. (Facebook, 2012b)1 2 3 14
  15. 15. The findings revealed that Edinburgh Business provides: (screenshot indicated above) A whole page on university website dedicated to social media by the Business School. Large amount of ‘Connect Here’ links – 1 &3 A Menu tab facility available for the purposes of social networking within the Business School - 2 The aim and objective to having the social networking facilities.– 1 Compared Brookes Business School only shows this small link on the right hand column of the University website (Link enlarged on screenshot) - linking with the question & answer lecture – brookes don’t seem to advertise the their Facebook particularly well: (Facebook 2012c) (see figures 1.3 and 1.4) Finally both the Edinburgh Business School and an overview of the Oxford Brookes Facebook page was analysed and differences were recorded for the second point in the research brief. The number of Facebook likes was just under three times that of Brookes, although the limitation of university size was taken into account. The number of photograph albums available on Edinburgh’s Facebook page was also significantly more than Oxford Brookes’. The three major finding which were found on Edinburgh’s compared to that of Brookes:  Quite clearly more social networking sites and university web links displayed  Ordering a prospectus  Exam details Overall the three headings highlighted above, link back to the primary research comments made by students surrounding the page: ‘Lack of individual purpose for the 15
  16. 16. page’. Edinburgh to a clearly takes into account more detailed student requirements. 16
  17. 17. ConclusionFrom the developments in this report between establishing appropriate research methods tothe analysis of research data, arguably the answer ‘no’ is suggested to the researchquestion. This is very much dependant on the results taken from the research methodschosen, taking into consideration the limitations of the report. Recommendations wasproduced from the literature examined and the benefits of social media and Facebook formarketers when targeting consumers. Measurement of any Facebook page is debated inliterature and the research and findings combined the number of likes, differences incompetitor universities usage and arguably the most importantly the comments from thetarget market – students. Methods of research and the ethics were studied to ensure thequantitative and qualitative strategies (flow-chart, online survey and competitor analysis)used where appropriate, for students and provided validity in terms of results. Overall theresearch findings and discussions presented an overview of the business schools Facebookpage and suggested how ‘ineffective’ this was. Further recommendations were made fromthe quantitative information taken from the negative responses made within the findings.Identified areas for improvement displayed the lack of individuality on the Facebook page(needed to become more course specific –grouped?), the lack of promotion and uniquenessof the page. Edinburgh’s (competitor) features implemented revealed the distinct differencesin advertising of the Business School’s Facebook page, to that of Brookes. Further researchwould be taken from the recommendations examined, for better student engagement. Word Count: 235 17
  18. 18. RecommendationsFurther research would need to be investigated to see whether these recommendationswould be beneficial for the BS and students.Recommendations to improve the promotion of Oxford Brookes Business SchoolsFacebook page: Promotional leaflets handed out to Oxford Brookes prospective students on the university open days advertising the social networking facilities used by the Business School. Add QR coding to the promotional materials on these visit days. QR coding is a modern piece of electronic coding which would send students directly to the Facebook page via their mobile phone camera device - with an APP installed. This is a rapidly increasing marketing tool adopted by businesses for promotion. ‘MORE’ Facebook links Advertise on Facebook – invest capital within QR CODE (ABOVE) WORKS. – this the marketing budget towards online ‘exposure’, would send you to the real OBBS via social networking advertising facilities. FACEBOOK PAGE.Improve individuality and student purpose of the page: Through either having or simply installing the APP called: ‘SCAN’ on an Should seriously consider Creating iPhone for example, students would be separate Facebook Pages (Groups) for each able to hold up their camera and quickly be directed to the Facebook Oxford Brookes Business School course. page. Create a UCAS link with students finishing A LEVELS.Add competitions: Brookes Grab & Go vouchers or core text book to encourage students to go on the Facebook page. [Overall the Facebook page has to become more course specific to increase engagement.] Once this has been developed then the introduction on a Brookes Business School APP could be introduced. 18
  19. 19. ReferencesClemmitt, M. (2006), ‘Cyber Socializing’, CQ Researcher. 16(27), p.627–648.DeAndrea, D. Ellison, N. LaRose, R. Steinfield, C. Fiore, A. (2012) Serious socialmedia: On the use of social media for improving students adjustment to college.Social Media in Higher Education. Vol. 15. No.1 pp.15–23Evans, R. Mathur, A. (2005) The Value of Online Surveys. Emerald GroupPublishing Limited. Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 195-219Deighton, J. Komfeld, L. (2009) Interactivitys Unanticipated Consequences forMarketers and Marketing. p.4.Ellison, N.B. Steinfield, C. and Lampe, C. (2007) The Benefits of Facebook‘‘Friends:’’ Social Capital and College Students’ Use of Online Social Network Sites.Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. International CommunicationAssociation pp.1143Facebook (2012a) ABOUT FACEBOOK [Online]. Facebook PLC. Retrieved from: rdhttp://www.facebook.com/facebook/info [Accessed 3 March 2012]Facebook (2012b) EDINBURGH BUSINESS SCHOOL [Online]. Facebook PLC.Retrieved from: http://www.facebook.com/EdinburghBusinessSchool [Accessed 3rdMarch 2012]Facebook (2012c) OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY BUSINESS SCHOOL[Online]. Facebook PLC. Retrieved from: http://www.facebook.com/brookesBS[Accessed 3rd March 2012]Grosseck, G. Ramona, B. Laurentiu Tiru (2011) Dear teacher, what should I write onmy wall? A case study on academic uses of Facebook. Faculty of Sociology andPsychology. p.1425.Hanna, R. Rohm, A. Crittenden, V. (2011). We’re all connected: The power of thesocial media ecosystem. Marketing myths revealed. p.265—273Hewitt, A. and Forte, A. (2006) Crossing Boundaries: Identity Management andStudent/Faculty Relationships on the Facebook. p.1.Jalilvand, M. Esfahani, S. Samiei, N. (2011). Electronic word-of-mouth: challengesand opportunities. p.42.Kietzmann, H. Hermkens, K. McCarthy, I. and Silvestre, B. (2011), Social media?Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media. Vol. 54,ISSUE 3 p.241 19
  20. 20. Kotler, P. and Armstrong, G. (2001). Principles of Marketing. Vol 11. p.244Lenhart, A. Purcell, K. Smith, A. Zickuhr. (2010), Social Media & Mobile Internet UseAmong Teens and Young Adults. p.3.Oxford English Dictionary (2012) DEFINITION: EFFECTIVE [Online]. OxfordUniversity Press. Retrieved from:http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/59674?redirectedFrom=effective#eid [accessed 3March 2012]Roblyer, MD. McDaniel, M. Webb, M. Herman, J. Witty, J. (2010). Findings onFacebook in higher education: A comparison of college faculty and student uses andperceptions of social networking sites. p.135.Saunders, Mark N.K;Thornhill, Adrian. (2008)., Research Methods for BusinessStudents. [online]. Pearson Education UK. pp.155Selwyn, N. (2007). Screw Blackboard... do it on Facebook!’: an investigationof students’ educational use of Facebook . p.6.Sterne, J. (2010). Social Media Metrics: How to Measure and Optimize YourMarketing Investment. Business & Economics – p.xxviiiTaylor, H. (2000) Does internet research work? International Journal of MarketResearch, 42, 1, pp. 51–63.Zakaria, T. (2009). Better Education Management: How to motivate the furthereducation teachers in Bangladesh. pp.38-45. 20
  21. 21. AppendicesFig. 1 – Online survey – www.surveymonkey.com, (2012). 21
  22. 22. Figure 1.1– Survey Experiment user requirementsThe experiment involves the user (student): 1) Log onto Facebook & go on the OBBS page MOVE THE MOUSE TO EVERYTHING YOU MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH AND INTRACT WITH ON SCREEN. 2) Look over the page and explore without assistance 3) Write the best and worst features about the Facebook page.Figure 1.2 - Flow Chart Survey 22
  23. 23. Figure 1.3 – Oxford Brookes Facebook pageFigure 1.4 – Edinburgh Facebook page 23