Facebook as a marketing tool to inform South African millennials on social issues
Mdletshe, Thenjiwe Slindile
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Social networking is the use of dedicated websites and applications to interact with other users sharing interests, activities, backgrounds or real life events. The use of social media has been predominantly reported among young adults, accounting for about 93% of all users. Social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Skype are member based Internet communities that permit users to share views, perceptions and ideologies. Social media influences youth development, most especially among the millennials who invest approximately seven hours per day with media. More so, the social media shapes the millennials perception, ideology and principles. Bearing this in mind, this tool can serve as an effective tool for bringing both social awareness among youths and the society at large. Therefore, this study sought to determine how Facebook can be used as an effective social awareness tool among millennials. The current study focused on Facebook as it has the highest number of subscribers globally, and also due to its wide acceptance among South African Millennials in tertiary intuitions. Questionnaires were distributed to a total of 400 undergraduate students. These included 150 students from the Durban University of Technology, 125 from the Mangosuthu University of Technology; and 125 from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The study revealed that millennials are digital natives and their lives are basically lived through the internet and technology. Based on the findings the majority of millennials spend between at least two to well over six hours every day on social media. This proves that Facebook as a social network can be used to reach out and provide much needed information to millennials.