This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Social Media and Impacts of Frames on User Engagement in the Fashion Industry




Li, Zhiyuan

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Communication and Journalism


The purpose of this study was to understand how fashion brands use social media to engage social media users. In doing so, this study aimed to address the academic gap in understanding how major fashion brands use social media. To accomplish this goal, an exploratory content analysis was conducted to identify message frames six leading brands use in their Facebook posts. The findings include four major frame categories. Each category included sub-frames, yielding a total of 21. Second, this study aimed to examine how these message frames might influence user engagement by comparing user responses to different frames. The choice frame generated the highest total amount of user engagement, followed by the company-organized activity frame and the design-detail frame. The overall results indicated that the flattering, holiday, and expert frames had the top three highest percentages of positive high-level user engagement to all user engagement. This study had both practical and theoretical implications. From a practical standpoint, fashion PR practitioners can tailor the most suitable approaches to propose social media content based on their brands’ situations accordingly, to better interact with publics to evoke favorable brand attitude, increase brand reputation, and gain media attention. From a theoretical standpoint, this study extended the use of framing in PR research and provided new frames for use in examining social media interactions. Future studies should examine the message frame identified and developed in this study’s fashion brands’ Facebook posts, because findings in this study were exploratory.