When Victoria’s Secret taped its annual fashion show earlier this month in New York City, I had the chance to interview some of the models about their use of social media.
U.S. model Chanel Iman, 20, is hooked on Twitter. She uses the microblogging service “all the time every day” to express herself, she says.
“I love Twitter,” she said. “I use Twitter just to get out my thoughts and opinions on my life … I really do it for my fans. But sometimes I’ll go through all my different tweets that I have tweeted and it’s like memory. It’s almost like a journal. It’s documenting my life and the different points that intrigue me.”
Iman has nearly 103,000 followers on Twitter.
Iman has avoided joining Facebook. Twitter satisfies her urge to share and it’s so darn simple to use, she says. “It’s easy, just a few words and a picture and you’re done.”
Iman also uses Tumblr, which has become a hot platform of late.
“Social media is a big part of our generation and how we connect,” Iman said. “I think it’s a great way to connect with people. I use it every day.”
On the go, Iman uses a touch-screen smartphone from Vertu, a maker of luxury mobile phones based in Church Crookham, England. Vertu is a unit of Finnish cell phone giant Nokia.
Behati Prinsloo, 22, of Namibia uses social media more for keeping in touch with friends than building her personal brand and interacting with fans.
“I’m not a really self-promotional person,” she said. “Facebook I use more to keep in contact with my friends back home because I’m so far away … I try to keep it for friends and people I know.”
She started using Twitter at the suggestion of Victoria’s Secret officials.
“At first, it was really weird,” Prinsloo said. “I was like – what do I say? ‘Hey, I’m walking down the street going to work.’ But you can use it for good. I hate on Twitter when people just say, ‘Hey, have a great day.’ I mean, use it good. Don’t fill up space on my BlackBerry. Give me something. I think it’s a great thing. If you use it right. It can be an advantage.”
Research In Motion’s BlackBerry is her smartphone of choice because she likes the physical keyboard. Prinsloo says she’s more comfortable with hard buttons than touch-screens.
Prinsloo also has a Tumblr page, which she uses to post personal photos.
Liu Wen, 23, of China has used a Twitter-like service in her home country called Weibo for about three years. Weibo is hugely popular in China and owned by online media company Sina.
She says she only started using Facebook a week before the Nov. 9 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show taping. “We can’t really use Facebook in China,” she said.
She is using Facebook to connect with her friends and fellow models in the East and West. Like Prinsloo, Liu isn’t much interested in using social media for self-promotion at this point.
As for mobile devices, she has both an Apple iPhone and a RIM BlackBerry.
Photos from the 2011 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.