With today’s strong emphasis on social media, today’s celebrity — and everyone else– seem to be under extreme pressure to have high rankings/followers from around the world via twitter and facebook. Stars like that damn Justin Bieber, Kim Whoredashian, and Lady Gaga and more get praise for having millions upon millions of fans, which record companies and beyond find to be extremely valuable. But, many followers are being revealed as being nothing more than a rouse. And, it’s not just limited to celebrities because even regular folks are clambering to have their followers and facebook friends reach epic numbers. For some, having a bunch of virtual friends has replaced their desire to have real-life friends. But that’s another topic for another day. But, according to Forbes.com things are not what they seem (are they ever?).
According the business publication, a new app has come out that can quantify celebrity accounts, and here’s the breakdown:
Seventy percent of Lady Gaga‘s 28.4 million followers are either fake (47%) or inactive (23%). Rhianna, with 23 million followers, fared even worse with 84% of her followers either fake or inactive. Of Ashton Kutcher’s 11.9 million followers, 79% were fake or inactive, while 69% of Kim Kardashian’s 15.8 million registered as either fake or inactive. More than three-quarters (76%) of Justin Bieber’s 26.7 million were found to be fake (38%) or inactive (38%).
This shocking revelation is particularly interesting because often times fortune 500 companies pay top dollar for tweets about their products based off the large mass of followers a public figure have collected. According Vulture.com, Kim collects upwards of 10k a tweet from companies like Shoedazzle.com. The pay rate for endorsing companies like Old Navy, Toyota, Best Buy, and American Airlines is determined by the size of a celeb’s following and how that group responds to his tweets with shares and retweets. But with this new report coming to light, it’s starting to make sense how some brands that have large social media presence failure to translate those followers into sales.
Just check today’s billboard charts and compare artists sales to how many followers and “friends” they have and you’ll see there are some glaring similarities that can’t be ignored. Without mentioning names a few recording artists, who have millions of twitter followers can’t even sell 500k copies of their new projects. And with people putting so much stock into followers these days a booming industry of third party companies have emerged offering people from all walks of life a mass amounts of followers for a relatively small price.
As a social media consultant for many up and coming artists I frown on this practice because it helps no one to inflate numbers. You’re only setting yourself up for disaster that way. Currently @Gyantunplugged.com has over 7500 followers, which seems like small potatoes to my other blogging brethren. However, I’ve discovered that my followers are more active and authentically original than most. And personally I would much rather have real supporters and followers who help me by enjoying and expanding my little engine of a blog over fake or inactive people who do nothing but add hype — and nothing more.
Will the social media craze continue with everyone aiming for as many followers as possible, authentic or not, sure. But at least now companies have a barometer to guide them to the truth so they don’t end up wasting time and money on fake celebrities and their faux followers.
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