Why Twitter Inc. Loves Charlie Sheen

Why Twitter Inc. Loves Charlie Sheen

There’s no arguing that Charlie Sheen is this week’s Twitter phenomenon, blowing past 1M+ followers in just over 24 hours. Naturally, we went straight to the data, and used Export.ly to analyze his first 500K followers. Our take-away: Twitter (the company) loves celebs. Charlie Sheen’s relevance became apparent in our analysis – Twitter employees were early to the account, a broad inactive audience followed, and the celebrity community engaged to compound the impact. These high profile accounts bring the mass market audience to Twitter – the key for gaining broad, international adoption and reaching Facebook audience levels.

Who were the first to follow him? It’s already been revealed that Twitter and Ad.ly were both involved in the behind the scenes events that lead up to Sheen’s first tweet. Our report confirms 5 of his first 6 followers were Twitter employees. Ever since Twitter hired an official liaison to the stars, its become very clear just how valuable celebrities are to their long-term growth strategy.

We found only a small fraction of Sheen’s followers are considered power users. His audience is mass market, and that’s evident when 75% have <100 followers. In addition, most of his followers haven’t tweeted much and don’t follow very many people.

Going further on followers we see that 89% boast fewer than 250 followers.

Of course, it didn’t take long for the top celebrities to join the fun. As represented by follower rank, Perez Hilton was tipped about Sheen’s verified account very early on before Sheen even reached 1,000 followers. While others like P. Diddy followed many hours later, in most cases they decided to help propel the numbers further by spreading the word.

Want to share these charts? Feel free to post it on your blog with link attribution to Export.ly.

Adam Schoenfeld

Adam is the Co-Founder and VP of Strategy at Simply Measured. In 2010 (aka the dark ages of social marketing), Adam joined Damon Cortesi and Aviel Ginzburg to found "Untitled Startup, Inc" with the goal of helping marketers and analysts use social data to do their best work. The company quickly evolved to become Simply Measured and the trusted leader in social analytics. Outside of Simply Measured, Adam is a golfer, breakfast enthusiast, and long-time data geek.

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