Original Research

Insights into Instagram use by Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges

Liezel Cilliers, Kim Viljoen
South African Journal of Information Management | Vol 25, No 1 | a1685 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v25i1.1685 | © 2023 Liezel Cilliers, Kim Viljoen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 March 2023 | Published: 23 December 2023

About the author(s)

Liezel Cilliers, Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Management and Commerce, University of Fort Hare, East London, South Africa
Kim Viljoen, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management and Commerce, University of Fort Hare, East London, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges use social media to improve their brand and connect with potential students and employers. While Instagram is the third most popular social media network in South Africa, little is known about the marketing strategy of TVET colleges on this social media platform.

Objectives: This article aims to investigate the use of Instagram as a marketing tool by TVET colleges in South Africa.

Method: There are 19 TVET colleges that have an Instagram account. All posts were collected from these 19 accounts for the period January 2019 to June 2020 and analysed using sentiment and descriptive analysis.

Results: Only 57% of TVET Instagram accounts were active, which means Instagram is the least utilised social media platform for marketing purposes among TVET colleges. TVET colleges use Instagram to connect with their followers, provide generic information, share what is happening on their campus and build their brand by exposing their achievements. Post sentiments were either positive or neutral.

Conclusion: There is no social media marketing strategy to guide TVET colleges, leading to the unprofessional and inconsistent use of Instagram as a marketing tool.

Contribution: The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) needs to compile a social media strategy to assist TVET colleges to engage and build relationships with all stakeholders.


Keywords

Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges; higher education; South Africa; Instagram; a marketing tool; policy

JEL Codes

A20: General; I23: Higher Education • Research Institutions; M31: Marketing

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education

Metrics

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