Corporate Eye

2 out of 3 People Who Follow Celebrities on Social Networks also Follow Brands

New research from The Nielsen Company reveals some interesting data related to the people who follow brands on Twitter and Facebook. According to Nielsen, “U.S. adult Internet users who follow a celebrity on a social networking site are four times more likely to follow a brand than the average American Internet user.”

To put it another way, 64% of U.S. adult Internet users who follow a celebrity on sites like Twitter and Facebook also follow a brand.

But there’s more!

Check out the following statistics from the Nielsen study:

  • Those 64% area also more likely to “offer advice and opinion to fellow online consumers.” As you might expect, much of this advice is related to movies, music, and television programs.
  • Those 64% are significantly more likely to use the Internet for financial transactions than the average U.S. adult Internet user.
  • 1 out of 4 of those 64% use the Internet for online banking and credit card account management.
  • The most popular categories purchased online by those 64% include clothing, shoes and accessories (18.2%), music (13.8%), and books (13.6%).
  • Top online activities of those 64% include emailing, paying bills, and social networking.

That 64% of U.S. adult Internet users is also more active than average American adult internet users in other ways:

  • 86% more likely to comment or post on social networking sites
  • 83% more likely to view consumer generated online video content
  • 67% more likely to visit a social networking site
  • 45% more likely to play online games.

Celebrities are brands, so it makes sense that brands in other industries can learn something from how celebrities use social networks to build audiences. At the very least, this study demonstrates that people who follow celebrities online are very active in the online conversation and are comfortable making online transactions. In other words, these are the kind of people who will buy your product online and talk about it online if they like it. For some brands, this could be a great audience to tap into in order to jumpstart word-of-mouth marketing and an online brand buzz.

Image: stock.xchng

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.