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Online Celebrity Fans More Likely to Follow Brands
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Online Celebrity Fans More Likely to Follow Brands

There’s no doubt that a celebrity endorser is a valuable asset to a brand – during this year’s Oscars telecast, 4 of the 10 most-watched commercials featured a celebrity spokesperson. On the Internet, this trend continues as advertisers increasingly leverage social networking and celebrities to attract consumers. On  Twitter and Facebook, celebrities can have fans and followers in the millions – actor Charlie Sheen, for example, recently joined Twitter and in just three days set a new record for fastest to reach a million followers – further proving the power of celebrity.

Celebrities can be valuable to advertisers, but so too can the people who follow them on social media websites. According to The Nielsen Company, 64 percent of adult U.S. Internet users who follow a celebrity also follow a brand – this means the celebrity follower is four times more likely to follow a brand than the average U.S. adult online.  Additionally, Nielsen found that such fans are also more likely to offer advice and opinion to fellow online consumers. This is particularly the case when it comes to entertainment topics where 32 percent of celebrity fans online provide advice on movies (making them 44% more likely than the average online user to do so), and 28 percent provide guidance on music (56% more likely) and television programs (34% more likely).

Topics Online Celebrity Fans/ Followers Most Likely to Provide Advice On

(U.S. Adults Online)

Category % of Celebrity Fans/Followers Index
Movies 31.7 144
Music 28.1 156
Television Programs 27.6 134
Websites / Internet Content & Services 24.3 147
Food & Beverages 19.0 127
Electronics 18.5 147
Computer Hardware/Software 17.9 138
Books 17.6 121
Restaurants or Bars 16.0 126
Video Games 15.6 157
Source: The Nielsen Company

Read as: 32% of U.S. adult fans of celebrities online frequently provide advice on movies, 44% more likely than the average adult online

Fans of celebrities are also valuable consumers in other areas of online – particularly when it comes to transactions or purchases.  One quarter also used the web to conduct personal banking transactions and manage their credit card accounts, more likely to do so than the average adult online. Top online purchases among these online fans included clothing/shoes/accessories (18.2%), music (13.8%), and books (13.6%).

Top Online Transactions/Purchases

Top online activities among fans of celebrities included emailing, paying bills, and of course, social networking.  Of these top online activities, celebrity fans were significantly more likely than the average adult online to comment/post on social networking sites (86% more likely), view consumer generated video (83% more likely), visit a social networking site (67% more likely) and play online games (45%  more likely).

Top Online Activities

Note: Nielsen’s findings are based on data from @Plan Release 4 2010. @Plan is a quarterly survey of approximately 36,000 U.S. Internet users age 18 and older fused with Nielsen’s NetView Internet usage from 3rd quarter 2010.