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Fashion and social networking: a motivations framework

Dorothy Wu Nelson (School of Communication, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA)
Marguerite M. Moore (Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management, North Carolina State University Wilson College of Textiles, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)
Kristen K. Swanson (School of Communication, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Article publication date: 9 August 2019

Issue publication date: 12 September 2019




The purpose of this paper is to add to the literature concerning potential motivations that drive social networking sites (SNS) for fashion-related behaviors among millennial consumers using a Uses and Gratifications (U&G) perspective. Four SNS platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter – were examined.


The study presents a mixed-methods approach to develop and test a motivations framework among millennial consumers that will lead to practical understanding of both the existence of and impact of different motivations for engaging in SNS.


Unique motivations appear to drive use of the four examined platforms. Results indicate that a broad set of common motivations for SNS use among millennial consumers who exhibit an interest in fashion can be determined. Further, the results indicate significant differences among motivations within the respective platform types. Lastly, the results reveal common factors among three or more SNS platforms: “Fashion,” “Connection,” “Following” and “Pictures.” The ‘Entertainment’ factor was common among two SNS platforms.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations of the study are the limited sample and SNS selection. A broader representation of the millennial consumer behaviors would provide a more comprehensive picture of the motivations for using SNS platforms.

Practical implications

The study provides useful information for fashion marketers and researchers who can benefit from an updated understanding of SNS behaviors.


The study provides a relevant contribution to SNS research as well as understanding of millennial consumers. Additionally, it adds contribution to the U&G theory concerning new media platforms. It also delivers a replicable research design for other SNS platforms.



Nelson, D.W., Moore, M.M. and Swanson, K.K. (2019), "Fashion and social networking: a motivations framework", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 608-627.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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