Social positive, it has destroyed many businesses, some

Social media began in 1997 with the website Six Degrees
which allowed users to create profiles and then friend other users whom they
wished to. By the year 2000, over 100 million people had access to the internet
and social media was on the rise as people, more frequently, began using a
variety of chat rooms to make friends, date and discuss a wide range of topics.
It wasn’t until the year of 2003, after the creation of the social networking
website Myspace, that social media began to grow and attract more people
leading to the creation of Facebook in 2004, Twitter in 2006 and Instagram in
2010; to date, Facebook is the leading social networking site with around
2,070,000,000 monthly users, followed by Youtube with 1,500,000,000 monthly
users and Instagram with 800,000 monthly users. Over time, social media has begun
to influence and help develop a variety of different industries in the modern
world with its accessibility to large numbers of people, of all ages, at one
time. Social media has had a large influence on 3 trillion-dollar fashion
industry helping to promote products and boost profits. Even though on the surface
the impact of social media on the fashion industry may appear positive, it has
destroyed many businesses, some leading to violence. This is essay will address
the use of social proofing, choice of models, false advertising and racism within
the industry and how the use of social media has impacted it.

 

For this project, I used a range of sources from the internet
including articles from BBC news and Vogue. Founded in 1983, many of my
statistics are from the British Fashion Council, an organisation with ‘aims to
further the interests of the British fashion industry and its designer
businesses by harnessing and sharing collective knowledge, experience and
resources of the sector’.  

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In an era dominated by social media marketing, social media
has a positive influence on the fashion industry and holds the power to boost
profits for many businesses through the psychological and social phenomenon of
social proofing. Social proofing is where people assume the actions of others reflect
correct behavior in a given situation; this is arguably one of the largest psychological
triggers in marketing as, no matter how strong minded a person may believe they
are, social media has the power to impact without people being aware. In the
fashion industry, brands use it to their advantage in order to promote trends as
fashion is all about the visuals and trends. One way this is done is through
the use of celebrity endorsements as well as using social influencers to model
their products. Celebrity endorsements have been viewed as successful as, the fast
fashion retailer, Boohoo reported that its profits doubled after paying
celebrities to promote its products on Instagram to 16- to 24-year-old fans;
this demonstrates social medias positive impact on the industry through it’s ability
to boost profits. It is not only the fast fashion industry that has used social
media to boost the amount millennials spend on fashion as designer brands, such
as Dolce and Gabbana, casted bloggers, celebrity children and influencers, all
whom have a large social media following, to walk their fall 2017 show. According
to an article written by the BBC, Domenic Venneri, founder of digital marketing
agency Vokent, says his firm always looks at the social media profiles of
people before deciding who to use in a campaign. The industry uses their
platforms in social media to vastly promote their businesses to their followers
who, because of social proofing, buy into the brand, increasing profits.

 

 Even though the use
of social media influencers may appear to be positive, it can have a negative
impact on the modeling agencies. As stated by Vogue the focus has ‘shifted from
the quality of a model’s work to their ability to produce likes, clicks, and
online buzz’. Modeling agencies are beginning to suffer due to brands choosing
the influencers with a large following over professional models who work with
agencies as there following may often be a lot smaller. When this is done, basic
modeling skills like having a model walk can fall by the wayside and ultimately
the industry at large. However, one may argue that the destruction of modelling
agencies through the use of social media may have a positive impact on the industry
and society itself as it results in the focus on measurements and an idyllic image
of perfection beginning to fade as social media influencers are less restricted
by the modelling agencies themselves.

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