Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Christopher Newman

Relational Format



The fashion industry, like most business in general, has been heavily impacted in recent years by the introduction of online social media. Social media has changed the way in which people not only communicate, but also how firms advertise and reach their consumer. The purpose of this research was to explore the ways social media impacts fashion consumption, specifically among the female, college-age demographic. Secondary research was used in the initial stages of the process to gather information prior to conducting primary research. Both qualitative and quantitative research was then conducted. The primary method for collecting qualitative data was personal interviews with the target demographic. Next, quantitative data was administered through surveys distributed via convenience sample to approximately 100 participants. Results indicated that nearly all college students are active on social media. The primary motivator for using social media is to stay in touch with friends. Therefore, positioning a business as a friend on these sites, rather than solely a professional company, is beneficial. Additionally, there are four critical social media outlets currently dominating the market: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. It would largely benefit businesses to focus on creating a presence on these sites. While Facebook and Twitter have been mainstays for quite some time now, Pinterest and Instagram allow significant opportunity for business growth and innovation. Implementing Pinterest to a marketing strategy perhaps permits the greatest opportunity to increase sales due to its complete visual nature and direct linkage to purchase sites. Exploring how social media is impacting business and noting its significance is crucial for a company to stay at the forefront of competition. The implications of this research provide fashion retailers with a guideline for mastering social media usage.

Included in

Marketing Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.