Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the student rental industry’s use of social media as an industry specific research study, as well as attempting to gain an insight into their return on
investment (ROI) measurement specifically attributed to social media. The paper will extend the research conducted by McCann and Barlow (2014) on the “Use and measurement of social
media for SMEs” as industry specific research to explore ROI measurement and social media use within particular industries.
Design of the study An extensive review of literature was assembled to comprehend previous research on social media use and measurement in business in general as well as specifically in SMEs. A survey was conducted as primary research within the student rental industry in Lincoln to explore the ROI measurement methods currently used, as well as the primary reasons for using social media in marketing.
Findings Student housing companies use social media extensively for marketing purposes, despite many deeming multiple platforms to not actually be very useful. Only 57 per cent of student rental companies surveyed measured the ROI of their social media, with the majority using analytics to do so which do not account for qualitative content.
Keywords Social media, student rental companies, ROI, measurement, SME
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