The Influence of Social Media Engagement on Prada's Brand Image

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Prada utilising Brand Engagement on Social Media to improve its Brand Image: A Study on European Consumers’ Perception


The purpose of the current study was to examine the perceptions of European consumers regarding brand engagement on social media and whether there is an influence of social media brand engagement on Prada’s brand image. The research specifically examined the influence of “social media-based brand communities” on engaging active European consumers with fashion brand image, and more specifically on the brand Prada. Moreover, the study examined consumers’ desire and intention to purchase fashion luxury products. The research adopted the quantitative cross-sectional method by conducting the questionnaire survey method with target European consumers to analyse the purpose of the study. The findings overall confirmed that that social media engagement has significant influence on the post-brand image, brand social media engagement activity, cognitive absorption, flow, brand equity (also including loyalty), and purchase intention of consumers towards Prada’s fashion luxury products. The findings indicated that social media engagement activity does impact on the positive image building of Prada. Post Brand Image, Cognitive Absorption, Flow, and Brand Equity) have statistically significant and positive relationship with Purchase Intent indicating thereby indicating that there is positive influence of “social media-based brand communities”, as a communication tool on EU consumers’ desire to purchase Prada products. The results also confirmed that post brand image is positively and statistically associated with social media brand engagement intention thereby indicating that consumers with the higher the post brand image (after social media engagement activity) have likely greater ““Brand Social Media Engagement Intent”ion”. Consumers who reported higher brand social media engagement (by showing intention to like the pages, comment, and share the posts) have higher purchase intent of Prada luxury fashion products. Lastly, European consumers do consider social media as the right channel for Prada to promote their luxury fashion brands and YouTube and Facebook are the most popular platforms with European consumers that had moderate to high engagement with brands online.

Keywords: Social Media, Brand Engagement, Brand Identity

Table of Contents

Abstract. ii

List of Tables. vi

List of Figures. vii

Chapter 1: Introduction. 1

Background of the Study. 1

Statement of the Problem.. 1

Research Aim and Objectives. 2

Research Questions. 3

Significance of the Study. 3

Definitions of Key Terms. 4

Summary and Structure of the Research. 4

Chapter 2: Literature Review.. 5

The Concept of Luxury and Luxury Brands. 5

Social Media Brand Engagement. 6

Engagement Theory. 6

Brand Engagement on Social Media. 7

Interactivity on Social Media. 8

Content (Advertising) Choice. 8

Social Media and the Luxury Fashion Industry. 9

Social Media, Community Engagement and Consumer Buying Behaviour. 13

Brand Equity and Brand Image. 13

Cognitive Absorption. 13

Cognitive Flow.. 16

Purchase Intent 18

Social Media Engagement Intention. 18

Brand Communities and Community Engagement 19

Summary. 21

Chapter 3: Research Methodology. 22

Research Method and Design. 22

Target Population and Sampling. 22

Research Instrument. 22

Data Analysis. 23

Validity and Reliability. 24

Ethical Considerations. 24

Summary. 25

Chapter 4: Analysis of Results. 26

Introduction. 26

Demographics of the Participants. 26

Social Media Usage. 29

Social Networking Sites Usage. 33

Interaction with Brands on Social Media. 34

Interaction with Prada on Social Media. 38

Analysis of Research Questions/Hypotheses. 39

Hypothesis One. 39

Hypothesis Two. 41

Hypothesis Three. 43

Hypothesis Four 44

Hypothesis Five. 44

Summary. 45

Chapter 5: Discussion and Conclusions. 46

Discussions. 46

Practical Implications. 49

Conclusions. 50

References. 52

Appendix: Questionnaire Survey with Prada Consumers from European Countries. 61

List of Tables

Table 1: Data Analysis Plan. 23

Table 2: Demographics of the Survey Participants. 27

Table 3: Social Media Usage of Participants. 30

Table 4: Participants’ Social Media Activities. 33

Table 5: Interaction with Brands on Social Media. 35

Table 6: Interaction with Prada on Social Media. 38

Table 7: Hypothesis Testing One – Paired t-test 40

Table 8: Hypothesis Two – Main Regression Analysis. 42

Table 9: Hypothesis Two Regression –Regression Analysis with Sub-Components. 42

Table 10: Hypothesis Four – Relationship between Post Brand Image and Brand Social Media Engagement 43

Table 11: Hypothesis Four – Relationship between Brand Social Media Engagement and Purchase Intent 44

Table 12: Relationship between Social Media Platforms and Brand Engagement 45

Table 13: Chi-Square Tests - Relationship between Social Media Platforms and Brand Engagement 45

List of Figures

Figure 1: “Companies Have Some Misperceptions Regarding Why Consumers Interact With Them via Social Sites”. 19

Figure 2: Gender of Participants. 28

Figure 3: Age Group of Participants. 28

Figure 4: Country of Residency of Participants. 29

Figure 5: Frequency of Using Social Media. 31

Figure 6: Most Used/Frequently Used Social Media Websites/Platform.. 32

Figure 7: Most Frequently Accessed Devices for Using Social Media. 32

Figure 8: Reasons of Using Social Media. 33

Figure 9: Participants’ Social Media Activities. 34

Figure 10: Favourite Brands. 36

Figure 11: Followership of Brands on Social Media. 36

Figure 12: Types of Brands Followed on Social Media. 37

Figure 13: Reasons of Interacting with Brands on Social Media. 37

Figure 14: Currently Like/Subscribed to any social media page/channel of Prada’s. 39

Figure 15: Social media platforms of Prada’s visited in past 1 week. 39

Chapter 1: Introduction

Background of the Study

The way people communicate today with each other has drastically altered since the presence of social media. This has also caused brands to revolutionise the methods by which they represent themselves to the public and the manner the public perceives them (Clasen, 2015). On March 21, 2005, the PEW Research Centre started collecting social media data (Pew Research Centre, 2017). At the time, only five percent of American adults were accessing social networking sites (Pew Research Centre, 2017). By November 2017, PEW estimated that seven out of ten adults used social media for varying activities (Pew Research Centre, 2017). As of 2017, Facebook held the majority share of social media activity. Within in a one month period, it is estimated that 42% of users’ social media activity was conducted on Facebook (Pew Research Centre, 2017).

According to Hainla (2017, p.4), “consumers interact with Facebook posts on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis, making social media an ideal platform for brands to foster close relationships with their consumers by engaging them and improving the brand image”. Because social media functions in assisting at the input and output ends of the sales funnel – attract and delight stages – it facilitates customer attraction as well as retention and thus community involvement. And because 71% of consumers who have a good interaction with a brand on social networking websites more likely tend to recommend the brand to others (Hainla, 2017), it is all the more significant to investigate the community aspect of social networking websites’ “interactions between consumers and brands”.

Instagram is another social media platform which has ultimately changed the market especially fashion industry from how it operated in the past (Hope, 2016). For example, it has altered the way the brand images in which brands choose celebrities and models to represent them (Hope, 2016). Celebrities and models are therefore chosen by fashion brands on how relevant they are on social media or how much they are in the spotlight, providing for a better, more engaging story for the public.

Statement of the Problem

Brand engagement is an emerging and growing interest of almost all luxury fashion brands on social media. Kumar et al. (2010) stated that “engagement is the creation of a deeper and more meaningful connection between the company and the customer” (p. 297). According to Ferrer (2016), Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms has provided fashion brands with a tool to be engaging consumers to influence the brand image and identity. It has given publics a brand’s exclusive insight into their functionality, triggering emotion in people just as a normal story would (Ferrer, 2016). How do brands engage with their publics now that they have a new platform such as social media to utilise? Fashion journalists have found that famous fashion brands such as Prada and Burberry etc. posts Facebook and Instagram pictures of behind-the-scenes at photo shoots and runway shows (Hope, 2016). Emma Parlons, an employee at Push PR, stated in an article that Burberry’s posts are compared to, a walking, living magazine, (Hope, 2016, para. 25) because they give the public a peek at exclusive photos such as a perfume photo-shoot. Actions such as these create a personal interaction that keeps people wanting more. The large number of subscribers and followers on the Prada’s official networking sites, like Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter etc. can indicate desire of buyers for online (via social media) interaction with brands they love.

This study sought to explore social media as a component of society which is altered not only from the perspective of how people interact with one another but also, how it has allowed luxury fashion brands to build stronger relationships with their public. The engagement theory and relationship management theory provide the theoretical framework of this work which is latter presented in chapter 2 literature review.

Research Aim and Objectives

The aim/purpose of the current study is to examine the perceptions of European consumers regarding brand engagement on social media and whether there is an influence of social media brand engagement on Prada’s brand image. The research specifically examines the influence of “social media-based brand communities” on engaging active European consumers with fashion brand image, and more specifically on the brand Prada. Moreover, the study will examine consumers’ desire and intention to purchase fashion luxury products. The research adopted the quantitative cross-sectional method by conducting the questionnaire survey method with target European consumers to analyse the purpose of the study. The research specifically intends to address the following research objectives:

Exploring the influence of social media brand engagement of consumers on Prada’s brand image.

Determining the influence of “social media-based brand communities”, as a communication tool on EU consumers’ desire to purchase Prada products

Examining whether Prada can positively influence the perceptions of consumers towards the brands, by actively engaging them on their social media

Examining whether Prada can increase consumers’ intention to purchase luxury goods by utilising social media platforms

Understanding whether potential target European consumers consider social media as the right channel for Prada to promote their luxury fashion brands and which social media platform is the most preferable among consumers and effective for targeting consumers.

Research Questions

Based on the research and aim objectives, the current study intends to answer the following research questions:

RQ1: What is the influence of social media brand engagement of consumers on Prada’s brand image?

RQ2: What is the impact of “social media-based brand communities”, as a communication tool on EU consumers’ desire to purchase Prada products?

RQ3: Can Prada positively influence the perceptions of consumers towards the brands, by actively engaging them on their social media?

RQ4: Can Prada increase consumers’ intention to purchase luxury goods by utilising social media platforms?

RQ5: Do potential target European consumers consider social media as the right channel for Prada to promote their luxury fashion brands? Which is the most effective or preferable platform to use?

Significance of the Study

Today, many fashion luxury brands are using social networking sites and smart phone apps to promote their products to existing and prospective customers. Especially, when users engage themselves in social media, an advertiser does not know how advertising will affect users. Simply too many messages, advertisements, and events can have a negative impact on social media users. Thus, it would be meaningful for advertisers to create social media brand engagement ads so that users can engage with social media pages. In such a case, investigating how advertising affects users will be very important for marketing. As more brands begin to engage with audiences using social media, some brands have developed strategies and tactics to engage with their audiences online. The current study offers the insights into the perceptions of European consumers regarding brand engagement on social media and whether there is an influence of social media brand engagement on Prada’s brand image.

Definitions of Key Terms

Social Media: Social media or social networking websites can be understood as the online social networks or platforms which provides the users to present themselves using their profiles, interact with other users, and establish or maintain connections with others. Social media is also one of the powerful platforms for advertisers today to engage their consumers with their brands (Ellison, Steinfield and Lampe, 2007).

Brand: Brand can be defined as the name or identity associated with the one or more products of the company that is used to define the image or character of the items associated with the brand (Keller & Kotler, 2016).

Brand Engagement: Brand engagement can be defined as the process through which consumers develops relationship and attachment with the brand through means of advertising, interaction, or other means like the years of reliable service. Consumers can develop the attachment with the brand either through rational, emotional or through both ways.

Brand Identity: Brand Identity is defined as the consumers’ outward perceptions associated with brand which is generally associated with brand’s name, packaging, slogan, brand mark, or communications.

Brand Image: The perceived image and value of brand by consumer.

Summary and Structure of the Research

There are five chapters in this research. In this chapter, the researcher presented introduction, background, problem, aim and objectives along with the research questions. The chapter also presented the significance of the study as well as outlined definitions of some of the key terms used in the study. The second chapter presents review of current literature on luxury brands, social media, engagement, and brand equity or image. The third chapter presents the methodology adopted for addressing the study’s objectives. The fourth chapter presents findings of the questionnaire survey while the fifth chapter provides the discussions on findings surrounding the research questions and hypotheses, presents the implications and recommendations, and concludes the findings.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

This chapter presents the literature review on social media engagement and brand image. The chapter is divided into three main sections. The chapter begins with discussing the concept luxury brand and brand image associated with luxury brands. Following that, the chapter discusses the social media engagement concepts and theories and how they are associated with social media brand engagement. Lastly, the chapter presents the social media, community brand engagement, and consumer buying behaviour related to social media.

The Concept of Luxury and Luxury Brands

The concept of luxury was first coined in the Latin language with the word Luxus, which refers to indulging of the senses despite the cost (Christodoulides et al., 2009; Miller & Mills, 2012; Nueno & Quelch, 1998). Consequently, attitudes toward luxury are subjective in the sense that the luxury concept may generate positive consumer associations, such as good taste and quality, or opposing associations, such as bad taste and insignificance (Dubois & Laurent, 1994). Some luxury products have no clear functional advantages over competitive non-luxury products and are relatively too expensive in comparison to alternatives (Dubois & Duquesne, 1993; Dubois & Laurent, 1994). According to Nueno and Quelch (1998), the proportion between price and functional utility for luxury brands is low. Conversely, luxury was found to be associated with a ‘dream’ value (Dubois & Paternault, 1995), and exemplified beauty and art (Nueno & Quelch, 1998, Wiedmann, Hennigs, & Siebels, 2007). Consumers associate luxury with ‘class,’ which suggests that luxury items can represent cultural or symbolic values (Dubois & Laurent, 1994; Christodoulides et al., 2009). The display of luxury goods is used to provide consumers with prestige and esteem (Han, Nunes, & Dreze, 2010). Therefore, luxury goods satisfy both functional and psychological needs (Dubois & Laurent, 1994; Han et al., 2010; Wiedmann, Hennigs, & Siebels, 2009).

Early seminal works that explored the concept of luxury included: Rae’s 1834 (as cited in Fujiwara & Nagasawa, 2015) theories of the desire of accumulation; Veblen’s 1899 (as cited in Tak, Pareek & Rishi, 2017) investigation of the consumption habits of the wealthy; Keasbey’s 1903 (as cited in Heine, Phan & Atwal, 2016) conceptualization of prestige value; and Leibenstein’s 1950 (as cited in Kim, 2018) examination of the impact of conspicuous consumption on consumer demand. Contemporary marketing research explored luxury in terms of drivers of conspicuous consumption (Chaudhuri & Sitanath, 2006; Patsiaouras & Fitchett, 2012; Podoshen & Andrzejewski, 2012; Schaefers, 2014), consumer perceptions of luxury brands (Dubois, Czellar, & Laurent, 2005; Hennigs, Wiedmann, Behrens, & Klarmann, 2013; Kapferer et al., 2014; Wiedmann, Hennigs, & Siebels, 2007), and the management of luxury brands (Berthon, Pitt, Parent, & Berthon, 2009; Beverland, 2004; Cavender & Kincade, 2014; Kapferer & Bastien, 2009). A general consensus among the marketing literature has been that luxury refers to the high-level multidimensional value provided to consumers by various brand offerings (Berthon et al., 2009; Vigneron & Johnson, 1999). Academic literature on conspicuous consumption has offered insight on why individuals find value in the display of luxury goods.

Luxury brands are the products and services that represent companies whose line of products or services are of the premium or highest quality and price relative to their market (Dubois et al., 2005; Hudders, Pandelaere, & Vyncke, 2013; Truong et al., 2009; Wiedmann et al., 2007). Hudders et al. (2013) proposed the characteristics of luxury brands as having high quality, premium price, exclusivity, and uniqueness. Wiedmann et al. (2007) indicated that high quality luxury brands are prestigious, and encompass consumer psychological and physical values. Thus, consumers purchase luxury brands to satisfy symbolic and hedonic motivations (Dubois et al., 2005). Therefore, luxury brands are brands that offer products of a higher social value than traditional brands. The symbolic value of luxury brands can be used to satisfy an individual’s fundamental need for social stratification (Kapferer & Bastien, 2009). Luxury brands are used as signifiers of social class and wealth (Han et al., 2010; Kapferer & Bastien, 2009). Thus, luxury brands provide prestigious value by helping to socially differentiate their consumers from others (Dubois et al., 2005; Han et al., 2010; Wiedmann et al., 2007). Luxury brands also offer hedonic value to individuals through the experiential aspects of consumption (Kapferer & Bastien, 2009). Thus, luxury brands are often purchased for the psychological pleasure they provide (Dubois et al., 2005).

Social Media Brand Engagement

Engagement Theory

Public engagement is classified as “a psychologically motivated affective state that brings voluntary extra-role behaviours, characterised by affective commitment, positive affectivity and empowerment that an individual public experiences during interactions with an organisation over time” (Kang, 2014, p. 402). These three characteristics make engagement possible for a positive organisation-public relationship (OPR). The quality of OPR is determined by passion, commitment, and the willingness to invest oneself beyond what is required (Erikson, 2005, p. 14). Therefore, a positive OPR can be considered a choice. When a positive OPR is maintained, publics are more likely to exhibit supportive behaviour and positive attitudes, which in return creates positive reputations for organisations (Bruning, 2000, Ki & Hon, 2007; Yang, 2007; Hong & Yang, 2009), which is essential to keeping an OPR.

The three behaviour roles of engagement proposed by Kang (2014) include affective commitment, positive affectivity and empowerment. First, engagement as an affective commitment is a reflection of the public’s emotions toward an organisation (Meyer & Smith, 2000, p. 320), determined by the amount of effort put into being involved with the organisation. Affective commitment helps to maintain proper OPR. Second, positive affectivity involves the passion and excitement (Wellins & Concelmen, 2005, as cited in Kang, 2014, p. 402) an organisation has. Other researchers consider it to be reflective of similar feelings such as persistence, vigour, energy, and enthusiasm (Macey & Schneider, 2008). These feelings produce motivation for engagement through empowerment. People who are empowered produce positive outcomes such as “high efficiency in their achievements, high levels of energy, and effort in learning” (Kang, 2014, p. 403). The antecedents of public engagement are satisfaction and trust (Kang, 2014).

Satisfaction is not only the key determinant of positive OPR, but additionally is a determinant of “short and long-term” organisational success (Kang, 2014). It is important to maintain a satisfying relationship because without the ability to please the publics, an organisation will not have the opportunity to engage with them (Kang, 2014). The behavioural outcomes organisations are looking for include “positive word-of-mouth (WOM)” and “loyalty”. The earliest description of WOM communication is a way to communicate with consumers about specific products and services (Westbrook, 1987). Various researchers have looked for the reason behind why WOM occurs. Gremler, Gwinner, and Brown (2001), found that if customers trusted an organisation, their positive WOM was high. Additionally, a well-established and maintained reputation increased positive WOM (Hong & Yang, 2009). Loyalty is a second behavioural outcome organisations strive for and is considered paramount to relationship management efforts (Fournier & Yao, 1997, as cited in Kang, 2014, p. 405).

Researchers have found that when organisations have engaged with their publics, there has been an increase of positive behavioural intentions from their publics and an increase in positive outcomes for an organisation (Kang, 2014). Therefore public engagement must be incorporated into public relations practice for positive results. However, in order to reach this positivity, the public must be motivated in a particular way (Breakenridge, 2008; Solis, 2010). This led Breakenridge (2008) to realise that the engagement theory has gained new relevance in recent time because of presence of social media and influence of social media on brands utilising it to interact and engage with their consumers.

Brand Engagement on Social Media

Engagement refers to someone responding to your post, encouraging them to do something (Social Media Consultant, 2016). For example, Facebook's “Like”, “Comment”, and “Share” are typical examples of engagement. Interactive Advertising Bureau/Radar Research (2012) investigated the following three factors for participation: (1) Advertising engagement, (2) Content engagement (3) Audience engagement. Advertising engagement increases the level of engagement when the audience interacts with the advertisement. Content engagement is engaging your audience with engaging content. And Audience Engagement represents who interacts with the ads. These forms involve cognitive, physical, and emotional participation. This can also be found in uses and gratification theory. Internet users can freely select desired content at desired time and place. One can also express one’s opinions freely and positively or negatively. In other words, it can be said that the audience can use the Internet more actively than when using the existing mass media. Morris and Ogan (1996) proposed to conceptualize the “Internet as a mass media”. They pointed out new arrangements between the sender, the message and the receiver. In a nutshell, on social media, the boundary between sender and receiver is gradually disappearing. In the past, it was a one-sided, linear arrangement called “Sender → Message → Receiver”. Morris and Ogan (1996) argued that a new arrangement would be possible on the Internet. For example, on Facebook, one can reprocess and retransmit information like “Sender → Message → Receiver → Resender (Share) → Message → Another Receiver”. The audience will choose from a myriad of content to get the information they want or to satisfy their diverse needs, and then move on to the position of active participants who will evaluate the information or produce information directly. This deep engagement will also have an impact on the ads that appear on Facebook.

Interactivity on Social Media

Social media is the most actively interacting media. Interactivity is a measure of the potential of the media to influence the media (Jensen, 1998).Interactivity is also a marketing concept that involves the interaction between consumers and producers (Leckenby & Li, 2000). These social media interactions cause more people to interact more.

Liu (2003) conducted a survey to evaluate the interaction of websites. According to this research, interactions have three correlations but consist of distinct dimensions: “active control, two-way communication and concurrency”. Through this study, we can learn more about online interactivity. However, the interaction with the user may be negative or positive. Due to this real-time interaction, many advertisers prefer social media advertising, but advertisers should be cautious because there are already too many ads on the social media.

In their study, Song and Zinkhan (2008) conducted two experiments to study the interactivity with the web pages. The authors examined the factors that enhance the perception of users regarding the interactive function of a website. “The results of Experiment 1 indicate that message type (i.e., how a personal message is) is the strongest predictor of interactivity perceptions. The results of Experiment 2 show that the level of message personalization increases, interactivity perceptions and site effectiveness are enhanced (linear relationship)” (p.99). Interaction is the biggest feature of social media. Such an interaction can lead to user participation, allowing the user to view a particular advertisement. However, as a result of this study, users interact only with ads that can attract their attention, so advertisers will have to create ads with users' interactions in mind.

Voolverld, Neijens, and Smit (2011) analyzed survey and global brand websites to investigate real and perceived interactivity. As a result, this study found that interactivity positively affects web sites as a whole. Incorporating interactive features “alone” to the web pages did not suggest that the consumer can interactively perceive the website. Rather, first, when an interactive Web site becomes familiar to a consumer, consumers insist that they can recognize an interactive Web site. The researchers also argued that it is necessary to adjust the interactive function to the needs of consumers. And that, if there is a unique interaction, it can contribute to the interaction with the consumer. Therefore, interaction is very important in the Internet age. In particular, unique interactions can lead to consumer engagement. For example, in the case of an ad game, a consumer can be entertained, so consumers can naturally engage in an advergame. Also, one can engage in the advertisement through “Like”, “Comment” and “Share” on Facebook.

Content (Advertising) Choice

The purpose of advertising is to form consumers' perceptions and positive attitudes toward products or brands, and to induce behaviors such as purchase intentions. In other words, advertising induces consumers' attention. There are a lot of ads on Facebook. When consumers are immersed on Facebook, they will be naturally interested in products or brands that have a deep relationship with them. However, even if an advertisement of a product of interest is displayed at times, if the message is long or tedious, it may be difficult to attract the user's attention. So, when creating an ad, an advertiser should set an accurate target and produce an ad that matches the target.

The Internet can be used as a variety of advertising channels. In particular, social media is often used as an advertising channel because it has a real-time response. According to Shimp and Andrews’ (2013) research, online advertising includes banner ads, search engine ads, video ads, pop-ups, websites, email ads, and mobile ads. And the main features of the Internet are real-time interactivity and active users (Song & Zinkhan, 2008; Liu, 2003).Thus, advertisers should strive to make social media ads interactive. Advertisers can identify which features are interactively recognized and use the interactive features recognized by the ads (Voorveld, Neijens, & Smit, 2011; Song & Zinkhan, 2008; Liu & Shrum, 2002). Advertisers want to provide interactions because they can be a tool for attracting potential customers. Also, advertisers must always be checked with their content. As mentioned earlier, according to the Goh and Ping’s (2014) research, studies related to branded games (called advergames) have found evidence that high interactivity in advertising can have a positive influence on “brand and purchase intentions”. To sum up, based on the engagement theory mentioned above, advertising can enhance the engagement of consumers and then maximize the effectiveness of advertising (Wells, Moriarty, & Burnett, 1992).

Social Media and the Luxury Fashion Industry

Since its emergence, social media has become a positive and essential asset for various industries by altering the way organisations have communicated and formed relationships with their publics (Kontu & Vecchi, 2014). According to Kontu & Vecchi (2014), “luxury fashion brands were reluctant or unable to develop strategies and allocate resources to effectively engage with the new media” (p. 235) when it first became popular. Hempel (2014), however, indicated that “companies such Free People have launched their own Instagram feeds, which they say have generated much more user engagement (in the form of likes and comments) than other social sites” (para. 8). Despite the lack of academic literature, the luxury fashion industry has become familiar with the significance and impact of social networking sites and hence more brands have taken the initiative to incorporate it into their organisational identity.

Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) pointed out towards six groups of social media taxonomies currently exist, one of which being popular social media networks like “Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest”. These channels made it possible to post blogs, share content, post images and videos, etc. According to Workman and Caldwell (2007), channels such as Pinterest or Instagram have been the most preferable in the luxury fashion industry because luxury fashion is largely centred towards the visual presentations and aesthetics. However, the largest and most established social media channel is Facebook, which engages 70% of all users on social media,

January 19, 2024


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