A netnography of a university’s social media brand community: Exploring collaborative co-creation tactics

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This research explores the nature of collaborative co-creation in a university-initiated social media brand community (SMBC). SMBCs provide significant opportunities to enhance student experiences by facilitating the co-creation of value and brand meanings. However, little is known about what makes organization-initiated SMBCs successful. A netnographic analysis of an exemplary Facebook brand page of an Australian university results in the emergence of four key tactics demonstrated in the collaborative co-creation processes: (1) integrating school/student artifacts in visual narratives; (2) co-authoring student/staff brand stories; (3) co-delivering student services; (4) twisting and playing the school sub-cultures. These findings suggest that a university’s physical community and existing reciprocal relationships provide the contexts of co-creation in the SMBC. Also, the pivotal role of university marketers in inspiring and empowering students and employees to engage in the co-creation process is supported. Further, students are found to adopt various technological and ideological features of social media to personalize their co-creation experiences. This study provides higher education practitioners with a basis for actionable social media strategies and advances understanding of SMBCs in an education services context. In addition, the study demonstrates how netnography can be adopted by practitioners to deepen their understanding of student experiences. © 2017 Korean Scholars of Marketing Science
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-164
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2017


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