Revista Española de Investigación
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Social media advertising efficiency on higher education programs

Mayo 2020, Vol. 24 nº 2

Rebeca Cordero Gutiérrez and Eva Lahuerta Otero

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to examine the different results and the level of success obtained with advertising campaigns developed on Facebook to promote postgraduate programs to awareness and engagement.

Design/methodology/approach – This study combined the data envelopment analysis technique to measure advertising efficiency with multidimensional scaling (MDS) representation, thus offering alternatives for practitioners and organizations on how to evaluate social advertising performance.

Findings – Investments on social paid advertising are an affordable and effective way both to promote postgraduate programs and engagement with prospective students. Facebook advertisements maximize visibility, which improves social and online positioning and encourages student recruitment.

Practical implications – Higher education institutions can efficiently promote their programs with a minimal social investment contributing to dissemination and engagement. Compared to other forms of traditional or digital advertising, social media ads can be efficient and affordable with wider segmentation and targeting options. Moreover, results are immediate and measurable and campaigns can be instantly modified to better suit the audience’s requirements.

Originality/value – This study is unique as it offers a new, alternative way of measuring efficiency, in addition to the classic ratios of payment models in digital advertising that combine clicks and impressions, on a sector there are few empirical studies. Moreover, it can be easily applied to many other sectors in public and private organizations.

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