Twitter Celebrity Hotlist: August 2009


Source

The power to analyze behavior and sentiment on Twitter and translate it into trends and direction is limited only by our powers of observation and imagination. As you may or may not know, I have assumed the role of data analyst at PeopleBrowsr, in addition to the other ventures I’m running or advising. Recently, I published The State of the Airline Industry on Twitter, the first in an ongoing series of Twitter-centric reports. Soon, I will roll out additional reports covering various industries on a monthly basis. If you would like a custom report and analysis generated, please let me know.

The latest in the series captures the essence and vibrancy of celebrity engagement and conversations surrounding celebrities in the month of August 2009. Let’s start by defining “celebrity” as I believe it takes on a new persona and definition on Twitter and Social Media universally. While the majority of the individuals on the list of 60 personalities are representative of real world stars, we are also at the early stages of capturing and recognizing the genre of Internet Famous and micro celebrity. These ambitious personalities have created an online prominence that transcends into the real world fame. Expect the included percentage of the digerati to significantly increase over time, eventually rivaling some of the most visible and renowned household names. If you can think of individuals (either traditional or new celebrity) that we should keep on our radar, please let me know in the comments section.

Overall, we are in the early stages of witnessing what’s possible in Twitter as stars succumb to the seduction of direct fan engagement and the intoxicating allure of real-time response and interaction. Concurrently, fans are enticed and captivated by the prospect of earning the attention of and recognition from the very individuals who inspire them. For them, Twitter represents a direct connection to their idols.

The potential of course is significant as it empowers and strengthens relationships between celebs and followers and ultimately forges bonds in ways not possible prior to the proliferation of socialized media. This rich level of interaction is rekindling and reviving interest in traditional media (movies, music, art, television programming, sports, etc.) as consumers feel a more personal connection with the artist and their work. Perhaps most importantly, we can now connect with the real person behind the celebrity brand.

Social Media is also inspiring innovation in content creation and distribution as it serves as a catalyst for the creation and widespread adoption of new forms of content, consumption, and artistry. In many cases, new media represents a renaissance for stardom, linking individuals who might not have otherwise connected through outside mediums, while also creating new opportunities for everyday people to earn eminence in these new and equally valuable channels.

Influence is equalizing and some artists are able to self-create publicity and promotion simply by publishing Tweets. Direct engagement is also engendering a profound transformation in the professional relationship and arrangement between celebrities and publicists, as many are compelled to engage directly with fans and followers without the help of third-parties. In new media, the days of assistants and publicity agents responding to fan letters and emails are numbered. However, the role of publicity is still required, if not more prominent, as the opportunities for visibility have now multiplied because of new media. Most importantly, what we are witnessing in Twitter is the transformation of fandom into community and perhaps that is, in of itself, a profound phenomenon.

SHARE OF VOICE

Share of voice represents the level of individual presence in the conversations that transpire on Twitter. Much like measuring traditional market share in business landscapes, we are analyzing the volume of mentions, not sales or fan bases, for each celebrity compared to one another. On Twitter popularity and share of voice are directly linked to news and events as well as participatory episodes where conversations are sparked directly by personalities. For example, hip hop artist Soulja Boy often tops the trending topics list each time he hosts a live chat on uStream.tv and invites fans to connect via Twitter.

In the month of August, Miley Cyrus topped the charts with 256,000 mentions with Donnie Wahlberg of New Kids on the Block following with an impressive 189,000 references. Rapper Soulja Boy checked in at third with roughly 86,000 tweets, 100,000 behind the number two spot. Controversial gossip blogger Perez Hilton also earned a top spot on the list with 72,000 tweets. Kim Kardashian took the fifth spot with just over 68,000 tweets. What’s surprising however is that Ashton Kutcher, The King of Twitter as the media affectionately proclaimed, captured less Twitter attention in August than one might expect. He does, as you’ll see, lead the list for overall followers. But, as discussed earlier, Twitter attention and conversations are usually driven by a series of sparks. In August, Ashton only published 309 tweets compared to others who sent as many as 1,500 tweets that month. Expect interaction and events become a more significant factor as we continue tracking the industry.


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1. @mileycyrus – 255,938
2. @donniewahlberg – 188,778
3. @souljaboytellem – 86,140
4. @perezhilton – 72,562
5. @kimkardashian – 68,547
6. @aplusk – 66,722
7. @theellenshow – 39,128
8. @stephenfry – 38,325
9. @petewentz – 35,478
10. @ashleytisdale – 34,967
11. @therealjordin – 33,799
12. @mitchelmusso – 32,923
13. @paulaabdul – 26,791
14. @lancearmstrong – 25,477
15. @rainnwilson – 23,433
16. @britneyspears – 22,703
17. @mrskutcher – 21,900
18. @ryanseacrest – 21,681
19. @kirstiealley – 21,316
20. @rustyrockets – 19,053
21. @the_real_shaq – 17,885
22. @wilw – 15,257
23. @thatkevinsmith – 15,111
24. @moonfrye – 13,286
25. @heidimontag – 13,213
26. @mariahcarey – 12,118
27. @jimmyfallon – 11,972
28. @oprah – 11,096
29. @sevinnyne6126 – 10,950
30. @questlove – 10,877
31. @michaelianblack – 10,585
32. @alyankovic – 10,001
33. @wossy – 9,417
34. @greggrunberg – 8,906
35. @denise_richards – 8,468
36. @johnlegend – 8,103
37. @tonyrobbins – 7,884
38. @jimjonescapo – 6,789
39. @chelsealately – 6,789
40. @spencerpratt – 6,424
41. @mchammer – 6,132
42. @eonline – 4,891
43. @cassieventura – 4,380
44. @gossipgirl – 4,161
45. @levarburton – 3,942
46. @pennjillette – 3,577
47. @nickswisher – 2,993
48. @ryansheckler – 2,847
49. @thisislilwayne – 2,774
50. @50cent – 2,774
51. @chriscornell – 2,628
52. @johncleese – 2,555
53. @snoopdogg – 2,409
54. @adventuregirl – 2,336
55. @hodgman – 2,117
56. @lennykravitz – 2,044
57. @robcorddry – 1,533
58. @paulfeig – 1,387
59. @justjared – 876
60. @nottinafey – 292

TOTAL FOLLOWERS

In examining the status of celebrities by followers, it comes with no surprise that Mr. Ashton Kutcher ranks at the very top. In many ways, Ashton is responsible for raising the global awareness and adoption of Twitter, as well as  inspiring other celebrities to embrace the vibrant network. Ashton, along with the now legendary race to 1 million followers, has finally tipped the attraction of Twitter beyond the older demographics that originally defined its importance. Teenagers are now flocking to Twitter in the hopes of not only connecting with their heroes, but also experimenting with prospects of flirting with and possibly earning a taste of micro celebrity themselves. I will publish a separate post on this subject shortly…

The top three spots cumulatively represent over 10 million followers, with each earning over 3 million followers each. Ashton, as mentioned above  is number one with almost 3.8 million followers in August. Ellen DeGeneres is in hot pursuit with 3.5 million. And Britney Spears, who was among the original contestants in the race to 1 million, followed closely behind Ellen with 3.48 million followers.

The separation between the top three and those residing in the next several spots was at least one million followers. In fact, in August, the “2 million follower club” only housed nine members (in order of followers), Kim Kardashian, Ryan Seacrest, Shaq, Oprah Winfrey, Demi Moore, Miley Cryus (who’s currently MIA from Twitter), Jimmy Fallon, Lance Armstrong, and Ashley Tisdale. An interesting observation is that the average number of followers for this current grouping of celebrities totals over 1 million at 1,304,518 exactly.

1. @aplusk – 3,778,464
2. @theellenshow – 3,496,041
3. @britneyspears – 3,480,582
4. @kimkardashian – 2,514,112
5. @ryanseacrest – 2,433,803
6. @the_real_shaq – 2,376,782
7. @oprah – 2,333,711
8. @mrskutcher – 2,146,519
9. @mileycyrus – 2,115,282
10. @jimmyfallon – 2,099,368
11. @lancearmstrong – 2,077,717
12. @ashleytisdale – 2,031,465
13. @mariahcarey – 1,783,439
14. @50cent – 1,762,874
15. @souljaboytellem – 1,668,493
16. @eonline – 1,625,453
17. @chelsealately – 1,620,765
18. @petewentz – 1,591,856
19. @mchammer – 1,540,286
20. @perezhilton – 1,524,611
21. @rainnwilson – 1,504,961
22. @tonyrobbins – 1,428,620
23. @thatkevinsmith – 1,390,081
24. @wilw – 1,367,757
25. @pennjillette – 1,355,782
26. @johnlegend – 1,333,071
27. @levarburton – 1,322,238
28. @alyankovic – 1,320,214
29. @michaelianblack – 1,286,746
30. @paulaabdul – 1,267,045
31. @lennykravitz – 1,262,223
32. @adventuregirl – 1,232,757
33. @jimjonescapo – 1,215,956
34. @denise_richards – 1,209,800
35. @moonfrye – 1,183,672
36. @greggrunberg – 1,157,317
37. @chriscornell – 1,149,016
38. @gossipgirl – 1,106,032
39. @ryansheckler – 1,095,415
40. @robcorddry – 1,094,003
41. @questlove – 979,500
42. @nickswisher – 929,752
43. @paulfeig – 903,726
44. @stephenfry – 795,684
45. @heidimontag – 632,138
46. @rustyrockets – 584,832
47. @snoopdogg – 479,882
48. @spencerpratt – 469,747
49. @wossy – 422,144
50. @justjared – 410,589
51. @nottinafey – 390,926
52. @sevinnyne6126 – 359,428
53. @therealjordin – 356,638
54. @mitchelmusso – 324,008
55. @kirstiealley – 287,064
56. @johncleese – 252,519
57. @cassieventura – 214,717
58. @donniewahlberg – 96,616
59. @hodgman – 94,233
60. @thisislilwayne – 2,610

TOTAL TWEETS

When compared to followers, total tweets painted a very different picture. Of course celebrities are “in-demand,” often too busy to tweet regularly. In August, the top two spots for total tweets are actually not actually published by celebrities per se, but by the personalities and vehicles that document the industry and the activities of the celebrities on and off this list. The “queen” of media, Perez Hilton took the top spot with almost 1,500 tweets followed by E! Online with 946. Averaging the number of tweets across the board, we see that our celebrities aren’t too quiet, but not overly communicative either, coming in at just under 9 tweets per day or 255 for the month.

1. @perezhilton – 1,488
2. @eonline – 946
3. @questlove – 865
4. @souljaboytellem – 850
5. @kirstiealley – 819
6. @justjared – 735
7. @donniewahlberg – 608
8. @adventuregirl – 597
9. @petewentz – 506
10. @wossy – 474
11. @mchammer – 443
12. @kimkardashian – 432
13. @therealjordin – 396
14. @mrskutcher – 366
15. @aplusk – 309
16. @mitchelmusso – 308
17. @lancearmstrong – 289
18. @mileycyrus – 287
19. @rainnwilson – 264
20. @stephenfry – 263
21. @denise_richards – 259
22. @spencerpratt – 248
23. @heidimontag – 230
24. @jimjonescapo – 229
25. @moonfrye – 213
26. @greggrunberg – 211
27. @michaelianblack – 202
28. @wilw – 194
29. @johnlegend – 193
30. @cassieventura – 190
31. @ryanseacrest – 180
32. @thatkevinsmith – 167
33. @sevinnyne6126 – 162
34. @paulaabdul – 161
35. @tonyrobbins – 112
36. @hodgman – 95
37. @chelsealately – 83
38. @jimmyfallon – 83
39. @theellenshow – 80
40. @ashleytisdale – 79
41. @chriscornell – 77
42. @alyankovic – 71
43. @robcorddry – 71
44. @paulfeig – 56
45. @gossipgirl – 50
46. @the_real_shaq – 48
47. @rustyrockets – 45
48. @britneyspears – 38
49. @snoopdogg – 38
50. @pennjillette – 37
51. @johncleese – 34
52. @levarburton – 20
53. @50cent – 17
54. @mariahcarey – 16
55. @lennykravitz – 14
56. @nickswisher – 14
57. @ryansheckler – 12
58. @thisislilwayne – 10
59. @oprah – 3
60. @nottinafey – 1

TOTAL FOLLOWING

In Social Media, the act of the “follow back” is a form of reciprocity and recognition. While it is not a required act, it is dearly appreciated. In August 2009, Britney Spears stood above the rest following over 430,000 people, which is 378,000 more than the second spot, held by Stephen Fry who followed almost 55,000 people and 401,000 more than the number three spot held by MC Hammer with 31,317. The delta between the top three and the rest of the group is significant. The majority follow 500 or less with almost half following fewer than 100. This number surprised me however. Averaging the number of people that each celebrity followed, we uncovered an impressive aggregate of 8,903.

1. @britneyspears – 432,814
2. @stephenfry – 54,492
3. @mchammer – 31,317
4. @wossy – 3,966
5. @lennykravitz – 1,863
6. @adventuregirl – 1,246
7. @questlove – 1,135
8. @greggrunbeg – 605
9. @the_real_shaq – 567
10. @spencerpratt – 522
11. @perezhilton – 369
12. @chriscornell – 309
13. @donniewahlberg – 289
14. @tonyrobbins – 279
15. @hodgman – 276
16. @aplusk – 231
17. @souljaboytellem – 229
18. @robcorddry – 218
19. @heidimontag – 191
20. @snoopdogg – 180
21. @therealjordin – 158
22. @jimjonescapo – 153
23. @cassieventura – 145
24. @jimmyfallon – 142
25. @rainnwilson – 138
26. @johncleese – 136
27. @wilw – 125
28. @ryanseacrest – 124
29. @alyankovic – 115
30. @lancearmstrong – 115
31. @moonfrye – 112
32. @mrskutcher – 109
33. @sevinnyne6126 – 105
34. @levarburton – 97
35. @petewentz – 91
36. @johnlegend – 87
37. @thisislilwayne – 87
38. @kirstiealley – 82
39. @michaelianblack – 81
40. @ashleytisdale – 76
41. @justjared – 71
42. @thatkevinsmith – 69
43. @mileycyrus – 68
44. @paulfeig – 67
45. @kimkardashian – 64
46. @ryansheckler – 64
47. @nottinafey – 54
48. @mitchelmusso – 49
49. @eonline – 48
50. @denise_richards – 38
51. @rustyrockets – 32
52. @paulaabdul – 29
53. @theellenshow – 26
54. @mariahcarey – 23
55. @50cent – 17
56. @oprah – 17
57. @chelsealately – 16
58. @gossipgirl – 11
59. @nickswisher – 6
60. @pennjillette – 5

SENTIMENT BEFORE AND AFTER HUMAN SORTING

Similar to the Airline Industry report we published recently, it’s important to note that sentiment, as documented and categorized solely by software algorithms, often misleads the reader. When we apply a human filter to each instance, the results can be profoundly different and is often the case between a truly positive and negative state. In conversations regarding personalities, we observed a profound concentration of positive tweets after human sorting, which is truly distinctive to the celebrity segment and significantly higher than any other industry we’re tracking.

A personal brand, over a product for example, is naturally tied to the psychology of human interaction. When you tweet @ someone, you are, of course, recognizing or hoping to earn the attention of the person directly. In most cases, we’re observing that the positive recognition is linked to the prospect of reciprocity or support.

The sentiment captured and organized using a machine dictionary proves highly inaccurate. The unique machine and human-powered system we’ve built at PeopleBrowsr proves that in the business of perception management and influence, analyzing inaccurate data can prove ineffective, insular, and often futile. Manually analyzing activity provides us with a human perspective as well as empathy.

@50cent
Before Human Sorting Positive: 14% Negative: 2%
After Human Sorting Positive: 82% Negative: 5%

@adventuregirl
Before Human Sorting Positive: 22% Negative: 0%
After Human Sorting Positive: 73% Negative: 0

@alyankovic
Before Human Sorting Positive: 20% Negative: 1%
After Human Sorting Positive: 78% Negative: 4%

@aplusk
Before Human Sorting Positive: 21% Negative: 1%
After Human Sorting Positive: 78% Negative: 2%

@ashleytisdale
Before Human Sorting Positive: 36% Negative: 0%
After Human Sorting Positive: 91% Negative: 1%

@britneyspears
Before Human Sorting Positive: 26% Negative: 1%
After Human Sorting Positive: 89% Negative: 1%

@cassieventura
Before Human Sorting Positive: 19% Negative: 0%
After Human Sorting Positive: 90% Negative: 2%

@chelsealately
Before Human Sorting Positive: 22% Negative: 4%
After Human Sorting Positive: 88% Negative: 1%

@chriscornell
Before Human Sorting Positive: 22% Negative: 5%
After Human Sorting Positive: 84% Negative: 3%

@denise_richards
Before Human Sorting Positive: 25% Negative: 0%
After Human Sorting Positive: 79% Negative: 1%

@donniewahlberg
Before Human Sorting Positive: 28% Negative: 1%
After Human Sorting Positive: 92% Negative: 1%

@eonline
Before Human Sorting Positive: 14% Negative: 3%
After Human Sorting Positive: 87% Negative: 3%

@gossipgirl
Before Human Sorting Positive: 11% Negative: 0%
After Human Sorting Positive: 93% Negative: 0%

@greggrunberg
Before Human Sorting Positive: 17% Negative: 2%
After Human Sorting Positive: 80% Negative: 1%

@heidimontag
Before Human Sorting Positive: 27% Negative: 3%
After Human Sorting Positive: 85% Negative: 7%

@hodgman
Before Human Sorting Positive: 19% Negative: 0%
After Human Sorting Positive: 83% Negative: 3%

@jimjonescapo
Before Human Sorting Positive: 14% Negative: 4%
After Human Sorting Positive: 81% Negative: 4%

@jimmyfallon
Before Human Sorting Positive: 20% Negative: 1%
After Human Sorting Positive: 87% Negative: 1%

@johncleese
Before Human Sorting Positive: 13% Negative: 5%
After Human Sorting Positive: 89% Negative: 0%

@johnlegend
Before Human Sorting Positive: 23% Negative: 2%
After Human Sorting Positive: 92% Negative: 0%

@justjared
Before Human Sorting Positive: 14% Negative: 0%
After Human Sorting Positive: 67% Negative: 0%

@kimkardashian
Before Human Sorting Positive: 27% Negative: 1%
After Human Sorting Positive: 87% Negative: 2%

@kirstiealley
Before Human Sorting Positive: 21% Negative: 1%
After Human Sorting Positive: 87% Negative: 2%

@lancearmstrong
Before Human Sorting Positive: 22% Negative: 1%
After Human Sorting Positive: 91% Negative: 1%

@lennykravitz
Before Human Sorting Positive: 34% Negative: 0%
After Human Sorting Positive: 93% Negative: 0%

@levarburton
Before Human Sorting Positive: 17% Negative: 0%
After Human Sorting Positive: 91% Negative: 0%

@mariahcarey
Before Human Sorting Positive: 32% Negative: 1%
After Human Sorting Positive: 89% Negative: 4%

@mchammer
Before Human Sorting Positive: 20% Negative: 0%
After Human Sorting Positive: 86% Negative: 1%

@michaelianblack
Before Human Sorting Positive: 14% Negative: 3%
After Human Sorting Positive: 88% Negative: 3%

@mileycyrus
Before Human Sorting Positive: 31% Negative: 1%
After Human Sorting Positive: 89% Negative: 2%

@mitchelmusso
Before Human Sorting Positive: 27% Negative: 0%
After Human Sorting Positive: 90% Negative: 1%

@moonfrye
Before Human Sorting Positive: 18%
Negative: 2% After Human Sorting Positive: 85% Negative: 2%

@mrskutcher
Before Human Sorting Positive: 26% Negative: 1%
After Human Sorting Positive: 90% Negative: 2%

@nickswisher
Before Human Sorting Positive: 32% Negative: 5%
After Human Sorting Positive: 95% Negative: 0%

@nottinafey
Before Human Sorting Positive: 0% Negative: 0%
After Human Sorting Positive: 50% Negative: 25%

@oprah
Before Human Sorting Positive: 21% Negative: 1%
After Human Sorting Positive: 88% Negative: 4%

@paulaabdul
Before Human Sorting Positive: 39% Negative: 1%
After Human Sorting Positive: 93% Negative: 2%

@paulfeig
Before Human Sorting Positive: 20% Negative: 0%
After Human Sorting Positive: 95% Negative: 0%

@pennjillette
Before Human Sorting Positive: 14% Negative: 0%
After Human Sorting Positive: 94% Negative: 0%

@perezhilton
Before Human Sorting Positive: 19% Negative: 3%
After Human Sorting Positive: 84% Negative: 6%

@petewentz
Before Human Sorting Positive: 20% Negative: 2%
After Human Sorting Positive: 85% Negative: 2%

@questlove
Before Human Sorting Positive: 16% Negative: 3%
After Human Sorting Positive: 89% Negative: 1%

@rainnwilson
Before Human Sorting Positive: 17% Negative: 2%
After Human Sorting Positive: 84% Negative: 2%

@robcorddry
Before Human Sorting Positive: 18% Negative: 0%
After Human Sorting Positive: 95% Negative: 0%

@rustyrockets
Before Human Sorting Positive: 19% Negative: 1%
After Human Sorting Positive: 87% Negative: 1%

@ryanseacrest
Before Human Sorting Positive: 24% Negative: 1%
After Human Sorting Positive: 89% Negative: 2%

@ryansheckler
Before Human Sorting Positive: 20% Negative: 0%
After Human Sorting Positive: 87% Negative: 3%

@sevinnyne6126
Before Human Sorting Positive: 28% Negative: 1%
After Human Sorting Positive: 90% Negative: 1%

@snoopdogg
Before Human Sorting Positive: 28% Negative: 0 %
After Human Sorting Positive: 85% Negative: 0%

@souljaboytellem
Before Human Sorting Positive: 13% Negative: 5%
After Human Sorting Positive: 87% Negative: 2%

@spencerpratt
Before Human Sorting Positive: 18% Negative: 2%
After Human Sorting Positive: 90% Negative: 5%

@stephenfry
Before Human Sorting Positive: 18% Negative: 1%
After Human Sorting Positive: 89% Negative: 2%

@thatkevinsmith
Before Human Sorting Positive: 18% Negative: 2%
After Human Sorting Positive: 88% Negative: 2%

@the_real_shaq
Before Human Sorting Positive: 17% Negative: 2%
After Human Sorting Positive: 86% Negative: 2%

@theellenshow
Before Human Sorting Positive: 31% Negative: 0%
After Human Sorting Positive: 90% Negative: 1%

@therealjordin
Before Human Sorting Positive: 30% Negative: 1%
After Human Sorting Positive: 92% Negative: 1%

@thisislilwayne
Before Human Sorting Positive: 20% Negative: 5%
After Human Sorting Positive: 89% Negative: 5%

@tonyrobbins
Before Human Sorting Positive: 23% Negative: 2%
After Human Sorting Positive: 88% Negative: 1%

@wilw
Before Human Sorting Positive: 17% Negative: 2%
After Human Sorting Positive: 84% Negative: 3%

@wossy
Before Human Sorting Positive: 21% Negative: 1%
After Human Sorting Positive: 89% Negative: 3%


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ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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