How South African open distance learning students use social media: a survey

  • Published March 2, 2016
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    Volume 14 2016, Issue #1 , pp. 71-78

Various studies have been conducted on the use of social media but there is a gap in the literature with regard to social media use in South Africa as well as the difference in social media usage between Generation Y and older students. Thus the main purpose of this article is to determine how open distance learning (ODL) students use social media and if age makes a difference in social media usage. An online self-administered questionnaire was sent to a sample of first year ODL students via email that consisted of a Likert scale that surveyed how they used social media. The results indicate that students mostly use social media for entertainment purposes. A slight difference in the use of social media by Generation Y students and older students are found. Generation Y use social media mainly for entertainment purposes whereas older students indicate that they use it more for information seeking purposes. By taking these results into consideration, organizations can develop more tailored marketing messages to the consumers in the different age groups. If they want to reach Generation Y with a marketing message it should be more entertaining. Whereas marketing message aimed at older students should be in the form of more informative messages

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