n Journal of Contemporary Management - Digital natives and information sharing on social media platforms : implications for managers

Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1815-7440



Digital natives are increasingly using social media platforms to share information with their peers. As such, they have become an important market segment for marketing managers who want to capture and retain them through their social media activities. In this study, we examine how trust and ease of use of social media platforms amongst digital natives' virtual communities in South Africa influence information sharing with their peers. In addition, we focus on the mediating role of social media use intention in these peer-to-peer relationships. Further, we discuss the implications of this study for managers. We collected data from 150 respondents in South Africa and used Smart PLS software version 2.0 for variance-based partial least squares structured equation modelling (PLS-SEM) to analyse our data. Drawing on the Use and Gratification Theory, we demonstrate that social media ease of use is a significant antecedent and tool that influences digital natives' desire to use social media for information sharing. The insights from this study suggest that managers need to ensure that they use social media platforms that are user-friendly if they want to attract and retain digital natives. This study makes a significant contribution to the social media use in a management context by providing practical recommendations to marketing decision-makers.

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