Social media marketing facilitated prospective students to communicate and collaborate to gather information relevant to higher education institutions and their respective brand equity. More complex and dynamic models focusing on customer-based brand equity often lack empirical support in higher education sectors, particularly from more than one country. Drawing from the elaboration likelihood model, this study empirically investigated how higher education institutions can develop brand equity using social media marketing. The quantitative findings from 936 undergraduates from Sri Lanka and Vietnam indicated social media marketing influences the brand equity of higher education institutions through brand credibility. Taking into the comparison between two emerging countries, Vietnamese students are more concerned about brand credibility through social media marketing activities to form brand equity compared to their Sri Lankan counterparts. The findings provide some practical implications for educational marketers to promote their higher education institutions.