Social media platforms provide prospective international students with ready access and exposure to information relevant to international higher education institutions and their respective brand images. We examined the extent to which social media engagement and electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) activities shape prospective students’ perceived brand image of institutions and, subsequently, their enrolment intention. Findings from a sample of 445 prospective students in Vietnam indicate the indirect effect of social media engagement on enrolment intention via eWOM-seeking activities and perceived brand image. Compared with their postgraduate counterparts, prospective undergraduates’ perception of an institution’s brand image is more strongly influenced by their eWOM-seeking activities on social media. In contrast, the direct influence of perceived brand image on enrolment intention is stronger for prospective postgraduate students. The findings from this study enrich the higher education literature and have implications for higher education providers in relation to developing engagement strategies with prospective students through social media platforms.