Social media and resource mobilisation for COVID- 19 pandemic related initiatives in Zimbabwe
Social media has transformed communication processes in society and presented individuals and organisations with a myriad of platforms to access and disseminate information, exchange views and opinions, network and form online communities. Studies have proven the effectiveness of social media use in different settings. One area in which social media has played a critical role is in mobilising resources for charitable causes. With the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc throughout the world and affecting livelihoods of individuals and families as well as economic fortunes of countries around the globe, social media has played a significant role in the mobilisation of resources for various COVID-19 related social causes. Through the lens of the social influence theory, this study examined how social media was utilised to promote, mobilise, drive support, and persuade the public to donate towards COVID-19 related charitable initiatives in Zimbabwe. The study also ascertained the prospects and challenges as well as the
effectiveness of social media in galvanising support for health pandemic related social causes. Methodologically, data was gathered through a combination of virtual ethnography and in-depth interviews. Overall, the study found that social media was effective in publicising charitable initiatives, inspiring the public to action and encouraging donations even in an economically unstable country.