Twitter and Fashion: A Quantitative Investigation of the Use of Twitter as an Interactive Tool by Luxury Fashion Brands
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The current study investigated the use of Twitter by luxury fashion brands to interact and engage with consumers. Fashion is a fast-paced, highly visual industry where social media are rapidly growing in popularity. Although there is existing research on marketing and communications in the fashion industry and social media use in various different industries, there is a gap in the literature related to the use of social media, specifically Twitter, in the fashion industry. The researcher used a convenience sample of nine luxury fashion brands randomly selected from the list of nominees for the 2012 Fashion 2.0 Awards. The period of data collection was Dec. 1-31, 2012. The researcher clipped all tweets posted by the brands during this period. Tweets were then coded into one of three mutually exclusive categories: "Non-Interactive","Brand Initiated", or "Brand Responsive." The researcher conducted mathematical calculations to develop sample profiles and ran a chi-square test of independence, a one-way ANOVA and correlation tests to address the following research questions: Do luxury fashion brands utilize Twitter as an avenue for communicating with current and potential consumers; how often do luxury fashion brands use Twitter as a form of communication; does each luxury fashion brand have a unique strategy for tweeting; and do the Twitter feeds of luxury fashion brands show the characteristics of establishing a dialogue with the public?
Based on the data, the researcher concluded that the sampled luxury fashion brands tweeted independently from each other because there was a significant difference in the level of interactivity and content of the tweets for each brand. This supported the conclusion that each brand had its own strategy for using Twitter as a communication tool. The researcher found a positive significant correlation between the number of tweets and the level of interactivity, but there was not a significant correlation between the number of tweets and the number of followers.
These findings could be used by communication professionals in the fashion industry to determine the amount of time and effort the company puts into the use of social media for communicating with consumers. The current study contributes to the body of academic research on social media, Twitter and communication strategies in the fashion industry.