A new milestone has been reached on Facebook: Shakira has 100 million likes, the first person to hit that mark. Actually, at the time of this writing, she’d already exceeded that by 718,000-plus likes. The photo at right, posted on the 12th of this month, actually has more than 3.6 million likes on its own, making it one of the most liked pics on the social network.
The Shakira page juggernaut is fueled by her status not just as a celebrity in this country, but around the world. In and of itself, having a ton of Facebook likes only means so much. Just because a lot of people clicked the button doesn’t mean they’re buying what you’re selling. But her page does show that with all of her fans comes a good amount of awareness and engagement.
Shakira is well-known in the US for her music and her participation on the show The Voice, but it might surprise some Americans that she would surpass stars like Rihanna or Justin Bieber in FB page likes. A good deal of that is due to the global nature of her celebrity. The Wall Street Journal notes the many languages she posts her updates in and the fact that only 11 percent of her FB fans are based here versus, for example, 17 percent of Rihanna’s.
Moreover, she’s been aided by her association with the World Cup, which “generated 3 billion Facebook interactions (posts, comments, likes and shares) from 350 million people.” In fact, interactions and engagement on her page are also high, exceeding another popular star on the network, Eminem.
The article notes that there’s also a ton of spam on the page, equal to the amount on all of Facebook actually. And there are many phony pages on there, including duplicates, spammers and what the site calls “misclassified” users. But overall, the platform is being used as a driver of eyeballs and a way to get Shakira’s message out to fans.
But it also, clearly, brings out questions of quality versus quantity and the demographics of different social networks. Take someone like Beyonce. She has a Facebook page with 63.5 million followers, has chosen to largely forego Twitter, and is a force on Instagram and Tumblr. Katy Perry has 54.6 million Twitter followers and 72.5 million on Facebook. It wouldn’t be wise to jump to the conclusion that because someone has more followers on one network than another that it is the “best” option.
Celebrities, like brands, are best advised to take a look at their goals, the uses for each social network, and which works best.