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Effects of textual and visual information in social media on international students’ choice of study destination: A qualitative study on how forms of information in social media affect international students’ decision-making with regards to the choice of study destination
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Marketing.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Social media has become an important tool for communication and marketing, and proper use of visual and textual information is very influential in social media marketing. Research has gone a long way explaining how information content significantly influences decision-making, however, it still lacks the knowledge about how different forms of information (such as textual, visual and audio-visual) in social media affects decision-making.  The aim of this study was to identify the use of social media by international students for choosing study abroad destinations, as well as the forms of information content that have a greater influence in their decision-making process. To achieve the aim, a qualitative approach was applied to collect data through semi-structured interviews with fourteen international master students at Stockholm Business School in Sweden. This study shows that social media has a low influence on international students’ decision-making with regards to the choice of study destination; however, they use social media as a search tool to conceptualise and justify their choice, feel stronger about their decision, and to increase their confidence. This study suggests that social media could indirectly or subconsciously play a part in students’ choice of study destination as the students could be subconsciously affected by social media information, in particular, by visual and audio-visual information. Moreover, information contents such as videos that are more provocative, based on multisensory and emotional cues, could have a greater influence on the international student. Additionally, international students experience higher levels of trust when they feel that the content is authentic. Finally, the thesis concludes with theoretical implications and recommendations for further research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 34
Keywords [en]
Social media, international students, visual and textual information, conscious and subconscious, decision-making
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-158017OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-158017DiVA, id: diva2:1231111
Presentation
2018-05-31, Stockholm, 12:59 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-07-05 Created: 2018-07-05 Last updated: 2018-07-05Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf