Original Research

An integrated social media communication view on content marketing by South African non-profit sectors

Christelle Swart, Charmaine du Plessis, Elnerine Greeff
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 23, No 1 | a1366 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v23i1.1366 | © 2021 Christelle Swart, Charmaine du Plessis, Elnerine Greeff | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 December 2020 | Published: 16 July 2021

About the author(s)

Christelle Swart, Department of Communication Science, Faculty of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Charmaine du Plessis, Department of Communication Science, Faculty of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Elnerine Greeff, College of Graduate Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Organisations widely adopt social media to communicate with stakeholders, yet research into content marketing in the South African non-profit sector is sparse. It is concerned with consistently producing valuable and relevant content for social media. As it is generally associated with the field of marketing, limited research exists from a communication perspective. This perceived gap in taking a communication stance prompted this investigation into the ways in which these organisations attend to social media content aspects.

Objectives: The research objective was to acquire a broad understanding of content marketing on social media, unique to South African non-profit organisations. Key areas that were uncovered and statistically verified in an earlier quantitative study and how these are attended to in real life were explored.

Method: A qualitative approach was used to obtain in-depth insights into the use of content marketing. Semi-structured interviews were used as data collection method to explore non-profit sector’s approaches to social media communication, and to determine whether their efforts could be regarded as being integrated.

Results: The findings yielded valuable insights into the ways that non-profit sectors in South Africa practise social media communication. The benefits of using social media for communication is acknowledged, yet vital aspects such as sourcing content, considering stakeholders’ needs and demographics communication, using available planning tools and recognising employees as internal ambassadors are not considered.

Conclusion: The findings of this study highlight several key areas and topics that organisations should consider an integrated social media communication approach as alternative for content marketing in the non-profit sector.


Keywords

social media communication; content marketing; non-profit organisations; corporate brand; integrated social media communication

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