Universities globally are showing increased interest in the potential of social media as a marketing recruitment tool. This paper explores how and why potential postgraduate business students looking to study internationally use social media in their educational decision-making process. Due to a lack of existing research, this study adopted an exploratory approach, gathering data through in-depth interviews with 12 postgraduate international students at an Australian university. The findings indicate that besides Facebook and YouTube, students are using blogs in their study search. The two most common reasons for social media usage are finding out about student life and reading reviews from former students. In the decision-making process, social media is mostly used in the information search and evaluation stages. Students’ use of social media also varies across source countries. Our findings are a good information source for education marketers who need to engage more actively with social media.
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Journal of Marketing for Higher Education / Vol. 25, No. 2, pp.287-312