The Role of Social Media in Marketing: A Case Study of World Vision Rwanda


Rwanda is facing various challenges, and one of them is poverty. The government of Rwanda and social media organizations, both local and international, are concerned with this problem. In the process of reducing poverty, social media and partnerships are formed by the government and social media organizations. This research focused on the role of social media in marketing to achieve objectives. In particular, a social media organization, World Vision International, and how it partners with other organizations, both public and private, form a collaboration that reduces poverty in Rwanda.

Background of the Study

World Vision International, a non-governmental organization, which is working on an international level which was founded by Robert Pierce in 1950. It is an evangelical Christian relief development organization that w'orks as a humanitarian aid and advocacy institution working for the betterment of children, upliftment of families, and improvement of communities to overcome poverty and injustice. It has 44,000 staff across the world and works with approx. 100 million people living close to 100 countries worldwide. World Vision International, sometimes referred to as World Vision Partnership, consists of different World Vision offices from across the world, therefore forming a partnership on its own that is aimed at reducing poverty and advocating for justice. World Vision Rwanda is one of the World Vision International’s country offices and was established in 1987. World Vision Rwanda currently runs 17 projects and employs 215 staff members. One of the issues that will be explored is the role of social media in marketing.

Rwanda is a mountainous sub-Saharan country surrounded by East African countries with a population of about 13 million. This relatively small country faces major challenges including chronic poverty.

Various organizations, including government ministries, have over the years come together to address the problem of poverty in Rwanda. This research aims not only to contribute to the literature on poverty in Rwanda but also to add to the literature on the role played by social media in marketing and the development of Rwanda with an emphasis on a case study of World Vision International and its efforts to reduce poverty in Rwanda.

Problem Statement

Social media in marketing is used to advertise the activities of some institutions and other companies to sell their products at the local and international levels, but in Rwanda, social media in marketing is not properly used as it must be in recent times. In this chapter, the different types and characteristics of social media will be discussed. Since World Vision Rwanda works w'ith the government of Rwanda as a partner, this chapter will look at their social media strategy. The role played by international donors is explored in this research. One of the emerging questions is whether the intervention of international donors is helpful to societies, in terms of the “side effects” of these interventions. That is, how do World Vision Rwanda and its collaborating partners sustain development initiatives even after their projects have phased out?

Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study have been divided into two parts as general and specific objectives as depicted below:

13.4.1 General Objective

The general objective of the chapter is to study the role social media play in marketing in Rwanda with a case study of World Vision Rwanda along with the study of the nature of social media used by World Vision Rwanda and its partners in the process of addressing poverty in Rwanda.

13.4.2 Specific Objectives

The specific objectives of the study are as follows:

a. To examine the impact of social media in the creation of brand awareness of world vision in Rwanda

b. To assess the impact of social media on population relationship in world vision in Rwanda

c. To determine the impact of social media marketing on the reduction of poverty in the population of Rwanda.

The Scope of the Study

The scope of the study refers to the breadth of a study. This study will fall in the area of social media as a marketing tool in Rwanda, specifically world vision located in Nyarugenge District.

13.5.1 Geographical Scope

The study was conducted at world vision located in Kacyiru in Gasabo District, Kigali City, Rwanda.

13.5.2 Time Scope

In this research, the study will be conducted for 3 months, and secondly, the study will look for information of the last 5 years from 2017 to 2019.

Defining Social Media

According to Ranchod, there are various and sometimes opposing definitions of social media. Similarly, Seligman states that the concept of social media serves different meanings to different people. Social media ranges from being perceived as existing between the state and the market to being inseparable from the state. According to Howell and Pearce, the concept of social media reflects a variety of understandings of the relationship between the individual, state, and society.

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