It’s no secret that celebrities are very popular in all kinds of social networks. Ashton Kutcher, Britney Spears, and Lady Gaga, each one of them alone has 10, 14, and even 21 million fans on Twitter and 12, 18, and more than 49 million (!) fans on Facebook! These numbers are very impressive and it was only a matter of time until they started capitalizing on these assets. For example, the nomination of Ashton as successor of Charlie Sheen in Two and a Half Men is widely attributed to his success and popularity in social networks.

Last Saturday, Lady Gaga, the social network queen, announced in The Economist to go one step further and start her own social network about music, concerts, merchandise, and, of course, herself. starts as an invitation only project with 10,000 “superfans”, comparable to the Google+ launch last year. The network will be operated by her manager’s tech company The Backplane, a social network-start-up specializing on celebrities.

What can companies learn from social networking celebrities? Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein just released a scientific case study, published in Business Horizons, where they focused on Britney Spears’s social media activities during the launch of her album Femme Fatale in 2011. They analyzed the “interplay of postings on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook – combined with comments on her webpage” and show “a prime example of social media usage to support new product introductions.”

Their lessons learned are:

  • Choose the right mixture of platforms
  • Align your social media strategy with your overall brand strategy
  • Have an interesting story to tell
  • Follow the social media code of conduct (honesty, unprofessionalism, integrity, etc.)

Good reading for getting started social media.

You can read the full paper here: