There is no bigger star on the planet right now than Lady Gaga, and her idol status was further confirmed this week when it was revealed that she now has more than 20 million Twitter followers. This makes the singer the first Twitter user to rack up this many followers, and puts her two million above her closest rival, teen idol Justin Bieber.
Katy Perry has the third biggest Twitter following, with 15.7 million fans intently checking her 140 character-long thoughts, and Shakira is fourth with 14.5 million.
The fact that 20 million people follow Lady Gaga on Twitter is impressive enough but even more so when you consider her fan bases on other social networking sites – at the last count, 48 million fans liked Gaga on Facebook (the largest following on any anti Gaga page is just a few hundred, FYI) and more than 800,000 people have added her page to their circles on Google+.
Gaga’s success has taken her from a pop star to a global brand, and in terms of advertising, the chance to reach a combined fan base of nearly 67 million people (which is five million more people than the entire population of the UK) with a well timed and strategic status update or tweet is a great opportunity for those pushing the Gaga trademark.
So what can this success be put down to?
Unlike many other identikit stars, Lady Gaga has a definable off the wall identity which comes through in all aspects of her life, from her performances to her clothing choices, and her most loyal fans really buy into this, even nicknaming themselves Little Monsters.
Many celebrity Twitter feeds are used simply to push products and are updated by a PR representative, making them feel impersonal and unengaging. Gaga updates her Twitter feed and Facebook page herself, an unusual feat for a star so big. This gives fans a glimpse into her personal thoughts and also means that they are more likely to be receptive to the odd “new album” tweet or marketing focused status.
A recent Facebook posting by the superstar demonstrated perfectly how to engage fans online – show your personality, don’t always push products and remember your audience and what they want to hear.
When Gaga wrote “Listening to HAIR, singing into hairbrush. I think I forgot I’m a pop singer for 5 whole minutes + then remembered I GET TO TOUR THIS SHIZ!” more than 50,000 people clicked the like button, nearly 4,000 people commented and 574 shared the status update on their own Facebook wall.