The Social 100: Twitter's Most Followed Celebrities – Forbes

When Justin Bieber tweets, almost 65 million people read it. On Instagram, 30.9 million people like his shirtless selfies. 72 million people follow his Facebook page’s every like, comment and post. But what Bieber lacks are the millions needed to put him on this year’s list of 100 top-earning celebrities.
Social media is often tapped as an indicator of a star’s power. Those who have a high Twitter or Instagram following could easily reach tens of millions of fans with just 140 characters or a single image. But, surprisingly, number of followers does not always translate to number of dollars. In fact only eight out of the 20 celebrities with the highest Twitter following made our Global Celebrity 100 list of the 100 highest earning celebrities.

While Bieber boasts the second most Twitter followers and Floyd Mayweather doesn’t even have enough to make the top 100 most followed celebrities, Mayweather had the highest earnings between June 2014 and June 2015 with $300 million, and Bieber made less than $28 million, our threshold for making the list. Likewise Rihanna, Shakira and Selena Gomez each has over 29 million Twitter followers, but also didn’t make the cut: Shakira and Selena have never made enough to make the list, and the last time Rihanna made enough to be included—during our 2014 scoring period—she only made $41 million, which would not even put her in this year’s top 50.
That isn’t to say that social media and earnings never go hand in hand or that a high social media following doesn’t help increase earnings. Katy Perry is known for her popularity on various forms of social media: With over 71.5 million followers, she is the most followed celebrity on Twitter. She also boasts 23 million followers on Instagram, and 72 million people like her Facebook page.
With this massive fan base, Perry skyrocketed to number three on our list of highest-earning entertainers—the highest earning non-boxer—making $135 million. While earnings from her Prismatic World Tour made up most of that hefty sum, endorsement deals with CoverGirl, Coty and Claire’s brought in millions.
It is in these deals that social media plays such an important role. With a tweeted snapshot of puckered lips attributed to the CoverGirl gloss shine or a pair of glittery earrings accompanied by a link to the Claire’s website, Perry can reach more people in these brands’ target market than most traditional advertisements.
Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake and Cristiano Ronaldo have similarly used their fame to increase their fortunes. These celebrities—all who have at least 36 million Twitter followers—boast diverse endorsements deals, ranging from sneakers to soft drinks to underwear, that have helped land them on the Celeb 100.
But with general disparity between the highest earners and top names on Twitter, it seems there are many stars who could cash in on their social media popularity.  The Disney duo of Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, who are among the top twenty celebrities with the highest Twitter following, could probably sell sweaty gym socks to their screaming teenage fans, while Shakira could charm her way into anyone’s heart—and wallet. But perhaps companies should wait until 2016 before they chose their next spokesperson: With over 60 million followers, Barack Obama is right up there with Perry and the Biebs.
Twitters 100 Most Followed Celebrities



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