To “like” or “not to like”: the relation among Facebook, brand attachment and loyalty in Higher Education Institutions

  • Sara Santos Universidade de Aveiro
  • Carlos Brito Universidade do Porto
  • Ana Margarida Barreto Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Palavras-chave: Social media, Higher Education Institutions, Brand attachment, Loyalty


Social media marketing is assuming a growing importance in Higher Education Institutions (HEI). However, most of these institutions fail in terms of the results achieved. In fact, while some HEI pages have a significant number of fan interactions, others reveal very low engagement. This paper aims at understanding the relationship between HEI brand attachment and the engagement of students with the respective pages on social media. It is based on a quantitative research focused on Facebook. Answers were collected through a questionnaire self-administered to 1200 students from various Portuguese universities and polytechnic institutes. Data was statistically analyzed by structural equation modeling. The results show that students who follow the HEI Facebook page tend to have a higher level of the “consumption” of content on the Facebook page related with brand attachment and loyalty, while in students who do not follow the page this impact is only in attachment to brand (not loyalty). In this line, the study has significant theoretical and managerial contributions to understand the importance of social media in relation to brand attachment and loyalty in HEI.