Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 2, 2021

What do hashtags afford in digital fashion communication? An exploratory study on Gucci-related hashtags on Twitter and Instagram

Olga Karamalak EMAIL logo , Nadzeya Kalbaska and Lorenzo Cantoni
From the journal Semiotica

Abstract

Being enmeshed in a digital environment, we daily produce internet-mediated texts – encompassing several different semiotic codes – accessible on a global scale. Posts on different networks usually contain hashtags, which can be understood as affordances or behavior opportunities. These affordances allow specific actions both from the part of the writer and the reader. They can also be “behavior triggers,” which invite certain behavior online (e.g., to like, share, comment) or offline (e.g., to buy items of a specific brand). Digital fashion communication experts should take into consideration these affordances to pursue their goals in the activities related to marketing, promoting, creating engagement and communicating either about a brand or a brand item. While there is general research on reasons to hashtag and on the functions they perform, there is a gap in what hashtags “mean” and “do” in the fashion domain. The objectives of this paper are threefold: 1) to give an overview of the history of hashtags; 2) to present the affordances of hashtags, while creating a general table of affordances from the addresser’s perspective, based on the literature overview; 3) to perform a qualitative analysis of hashtags on Gucci official Twitter and Instagram accounts during a given time span and on other Gucci-related hashtags posted by common users. The choice of the brand is due to Gucci’s focus on active digital communication practices. Results can be valuable for both researchers and industry professionals involved in digital fashion communication.


Corresponding author: Olga Karamalak, HSE University, Moscow, Russian Federation, E-mail:

References

Alhabash, Saleem & Mengyan Ma. 2017. A tale of four platforms: Motivations and uses of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat among college students? Social Media + Society 3(1). 1–13.10.1177/2056305117691544Search in Google Scholar

Berendt, Bettina & Christoph Hanser. 2007. Tags are not metadata, but “just more content” – to some people. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM), Menlo Park, CA, March 26–28. International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence.Search in Google Scholar

Biddle, Sam. 2011. How the hashtag is ruining the English language. Gizmodo. http://gizmodo.com/5869538/how-the-hashtag-is-ruining-the-englishlanguage (accessed 8 October 2019).Search in Google Scholar

Breslin, John, Alexandre Passant & Stefan Decker. 2009. The social semantic web. Heidelberg; New York: Springer-Verlag.10.1007/978-3-642-01172-6Search in Google Scholar

Bruns, Axel & Jean E. Burgess. 2011. The use of Twitter hashtags in the formation of ad hoc publics. Paper presented at the European Consortium for Political Research conference, Reykjavik. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/46515/ (accessed 8 October 2019).Search in Google Scholar

Chaffey, Dave & Fiona Ellis-Chadwick. 2019. Digital marketing, 7th edn. London: Pearson.Search in Google Scholar

Daer, Alice R., Rebecca Hoffman & Seth Goodman. 2014. Rhetorical functions of hashtag forms across social media applications. In SIGDOC 2014: Proceedings of the 32nd annual international conference on the design of communication. New York: Association for Computing Machinery.10.1145/2666216.2666231Search in Google Scholar

Erz, Antonia, Ben Marder & Osadchaya Elena. 2018. Hashtags: Motivational drivers, their use, and differences between influencers and follower. Computers in Human Behavior 89. 48–60.10.1016/j.chb.2018.07.030Search in Google Scholar

Gibson, James J. 1979. The ecological approach to visual perception. Boston: Houghton-Miffin.Search in Google Scholar

Goodwin, Elana. 2015. How hashtags evolved and changed the way we communicate. Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/uloop/how-hashtags-evolved-and-_b_6795646.html (accessed 8 October 2019).Search in Google Scholar

Halliday, Michael A. K. 1978. Language as social semiotic: The social interpretation of language and meaning. Baltimore: University Park Press.Search in Google Scholar

Haugen, Einar. 1972. The ecology of language. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Heyd, Theresa & Cornelius Puschmann. 2017. Hashtagging and functional shift: Adaptation and appropriation of the. Journal of Pragmatics 116. 51–63.10.1016/j.pragma.2016.12.004Search in Google Scholar

Huang, Jeff, Katherine M. Hornton & Efthimis N. Efthimiadis. 2010. Conversational tagging in Twitter. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 21st ACM conference on Hypertext and hypermedia, Toronto. https://jeffhuang.com/Final_TwitterTagging_HT10.pdf (accessed 8 October 2019).10.1145/1810617.1810647Search in Google Scholar

Humphrey, Katie. 2012. Hashtags seep into everyday speech. Star Tribune. http://www.startribune.com/hashtags-seep-into-everyday-speech/173909961/ (accessed 8 October 2019).Search in Google Scholar

Ichau, Elke, Thomas Frissen & Leen d’Haenens. 2019. From #selfie to #edgy: Hashtag networks and images associated with the hashtag #jews on Instagram. Telematics and Informatics 44. 101275.10.1016/j.tele.2019.101275Search in Google Scholar

Java, Akshay, Tim Finin, Xiaodan Song & Belle Tseng. 2007. Why we Twitter: Understanding microblogging usage and communities. In WebKDD/SNA-KDD ’07: Proceedings of the 9th WebKDD and 1st SNA-KDD 2007 workshop on Web mining and social network analysis, 56–65. New York: ACM.10.1145/1348549.1348556Search in Google Scholar

Kalbaska, Nadzeya, Teresa Sadaba & Lorenzo Cantoni. 2018. Fashion communication: Between tradition and digital transformation. Studies in Communication Sciences 18(2). 269–285.10.24434/j.scoms.2018.02.005Search in Google Scholar

Karamalak, Olga A. 2016. Facebook birthday postings from a language ecology perspective in Russian, German, American English, and French. Journal of Language and Education 2(3). 71–81.10.17323/2411-7390-2016-2-3-71-80Search in Google Scholar

Kehoe, Andrew & Matt Gee. 2011. Social tagging: A new perspective on textual “aboutness. In P. Rayson, S. Hoffmann & G. Leech (eds.), Methodological and historical dimensions of corpus linguistics (Studies in Variation, Contacts, and Change in English 6). Helsinki: Research Unit for Variation, Contacts, and Change in English.Search in Google Scholar

Kiklevich, Alexander K. 2014. Dinamicheskaja lingvistika: Mezhdu kodom i diskursom [Dynamic linguistics: Between code and discourse]. Har’kov: Gumanitarnyj centr Publ.Search in Google Scholar

Kravchenko, Alexander V. 2007. Essential properties of language, or why language is not a code. Language Sciences 29(5). 650–671.10.1016/j.langsci.2007.01.004Search in Google Scholar

Kravchenko, Alexander V. 2017. Making sense of languaging as a consensual domain of interactions: Didactic implications. Intellectica 2(68). 175–191.10.3406/intel.2017.1864Search in Google Scholar

Lee, Eunji, Jung-Ah Lee, Jang Ho Moon & Yongjun Sung. 2015. Pictures speak louder than words: Motivations for using Instagram. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking 18(9). 552–556.10.1089/cyber.2015.0157Search in Google Scholar

Maturana, Humberto R. 1978. Biology of language: The epistemology of reality. In G. Miller & E. Lenneberg (eds.), Psychology and biology of language and thought, 28–62. New York: Academic Press.Search in Google Scholar

Maturana, Humberto R. & Francisco J. Varela. 1987. The tree of knowledge. Boston: Sahmbhala.Search in Google Scholar

McWhorter, J. 2012. Twitterish. New Republic. https://newrepublic.com/article/104238/twitterlanguage-writing-speaking (accessed 8 October 2019).Search in Google Scholar

Meltzer, Tom. 2012. How to say “hashtag” with your fingers: So addicted to Twitter you need to tag your every spoken word? Here’s how to add the social media equivalent of air quotes to your conversation. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/shortcuts/2012/aug/01/how-to-say-hashtag-fingers (accessed 8 October 2019).Search in Google Scholar

Meraz, Sharon & Zizi Papacharissi. 2013. Networked gatekeeping and networked framing on #Egypt. International Journal of Press/Politics 18(2). 138–166.10.1177/1940161212474472Search in Google Scholar

Merz, Michael A., Yi He & Stephen Vargo. 2009. The evolving brand logic: A service-dominant logic perspective. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 37(3). 328–344.10.1007/s11747-009-0143-3Search in Google Scholar

Muniz, Albert M.Jr. & Hole Jensen Schau. 2005. Religiosity in the abandoned Apple Newton brand community. Journal of Consumer Research 31(4). 737–747.10.1086/426607Search in Google Scholar

Paveau, Marie-Anne. 2013. Analyse discursive des réseaux sociaux numériques [dictionnaire]. Technologies discursives. http://technodiscours.hypotheses.org/?p=431 (accessed 8 October 2019).Search in Google Scholar

Rocamora, Agnès. 2017. Mediatization and digital media in the field of fashion. Fashion Theory 21(5). 505–522.10.4324/9781315099620-65Search in Google Scholar

Sarica, Federico. 2018. Marco Bizzarri and the Gucci revolution. Rivista Studio. https://www.rivistastudio.com/marco-bizzarri-gucci/ (accessed 8 October 2019).Search in Google Scholar

Schuhmacher, Lauren. 2013. How the #hashtag changed the way we communicate. Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lauren-schuhmacher/how-the-hashtagchanged-t_b_3407787.html (accessed 8 October 2019).Search in Google Scholar

Scott, Kate. 2015. The pragmatics of hashtags: Inference and conversational style on Twitter. Journal of Pragmatics 81. 8–20.10.1016/j.pragma.2015.03.015Search in Google Scholar

Scott, Kate. 2018. “Hashtags work everywhere”: The pragmatic functions of spoken hashtags. Discourse, Context & Media 22. 57–64.10.1016/j.dcm.2017.07.002Search in Google Scholar

Smith, Naomi & Anne-Marie Snider. 2019. ASMR, affect and digitally-mediated intimacy. Emotion, Space and Society 30. 41–48.10.1016/j.emospa.2018.11.002Search in Google Scholar

Srivastava, Prachi & Nick Hopwood. 2009. A practical iterative framework for qualitative data analysis. International Journal of Qualitative Methods 8(1). 76–84.10.1177/160940690900800107Search in Google Scholar

Tracy, Sarah J. 2013. Qualitative research methods: Collecting evidence, crafting analysis, communicating impact. West Sussex: John Wiley.Search in Google Scholar

Trant, Jennifer. 2008. Studying social tagging and folksonomy. A review and framework. Special issue. Journal of Digital Information 10(1). 1–44.Search in Google Scholar

Vander Wal, Thomas. 2005. Folksonomy definition and Wikipedia: Off the top [blog]. http://www.vanderwal.net/random/entrysel.php?blog=1750 (accessed 8 October 2019).Search in Google Scholar

Van Lier, Leo. 2004. The ecology and semiotics of language learning: A sociocultural perspective. Norwell, MA: Monterey Institute of International Studies.10.1007/1-4020-7912-5Search in Google Scholar

Yang, Lei, Tao Sun, Ming Zhang & Qiaozhu Mei. 2012. We know what @you #tag: Does the dual role affect hashtag adoption? Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 21st international conference on World Wide Web, WWW ’12, New York. https://www2012.universite-lyon.fr/proceedings/proceedings/p261.pdf (accessed 8 October 2019).10.1145/2187836.2187872Search in Google Scholar

Zappavigna, Michele. 2012. Discourse of Twitter and social media. London: Continuum.Search in Google Scholar

Zappavigna, Michele. 2015. Searchable talk: The linguistic functions of hashtags. Social Semiotics 25(3). 274–291.10.1080/10350330.2014.996948Search in Google Scholar

Received: 2019-10-28
Accepted: 2021-05-11
Published Online: 2021-11-02
Published in Print: 2021-11-25

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Downloaded on 1.12.2022 from frontend.live.degruyter.dgbricks.com/document/doi/10.1515/sem-2019-0114/html
Scroll Up Arrow