Brand engagement on Facebook : an analysis of UKZN Pietermaritzburg student habits.
Duma, Mathabo Castalea.
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Facebook is a type of social media platform that is used by millions of people around the world to engage in peer-to-peer conversations. Brands also use this platform to share their interests, thoughts and opinions with their consumers. Mostly, this is due to the high increase of social networking sites globally, so brands are now turning away from traditional forms communication to new types of integrated marketing communication. Additionally, studies have shown that the youth are heavy users of the Internet and online social networking sites however, little data exists on the use of the Internet and online social networks, including Facebook, in the global South. The main objective of this study is to explore how the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal's students use Facebook to interact with brands. In particular, the study explores the perceptions on brand engagement on Facebook, the ways in which Facebook helps facilitate sharing and the types of brands students choose to share with their network. An explanatory sequential design was adopted as a mixed method technique to understand the interplay between branding concepts and social media. Findings revealed that students use Facebook to engage with brands however, results show that there is a shift from using Facebook to using other platforms such as Instagram, concluding that students preferred to engage with brands with Facebook in combination with other platforms.