Social Media Presence and Practices of the Master's Program in Communications and International Public Relations
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the social media presence and practices of the master's degree program in Communications and International Public Relations at the National University of Science and Technology "MISIS" and to classify the activity based on the extant theories on social media strategy.
The research investigates what social media platforms are in use and what is the level of maturity of social media strategy. The aim is to evaluate the approach towards social media regarding integration and interactivity with stakeholders (scope), transparency (culture), and content production in terms of centralization (structure) and control (governance). A semi-structured interview was used as a research method. Also, engagement in the program’s English-language Facebook page was measured using the metrics in Facebook.
Results reveal that the main platform for communication in social media is Facebook, where the program has two pages, in English and in Russian. The target audiences are prospective students (English page) and potential partners (Russian page). Another actively used platform is VKontakte, which is used for communication with the program’s current students. Communication in social media has set objectives, resources, and policy but there is no long-term plan for the performance. The level of maturity of social media strategy is on diffusion stage. Social media platforms have been adopted as an integral element of communication and the approach towards social media is integrative, open, and flexible. The program seeks to interact with its different stakeholders via social media platforms and has enabled the content production also to current students. General guidelines and policy regarding topics that should not be discussed on program’s pages have been placed. Regarding program’s Facebook page (English), the produced content is mainly informative and engagement is relatively low. Findings provide useful information for further development of the program's social media strategy.