For those of you out of the pop-culture loop — and I count myself among you — Lady Gaga today passed 30 million followers on Twitter. That is the greatest number of followers of anyone on Twitter.
This landmark (if you can call it that) got us thinking here about the role of celebrity in social media, and what that means for financial services brands.
Suze Orman is the closest thing to a financial services celebrity. She’s got the TV show, the debit card, the “celebrity brand.” And her Twitter feed has around 1.4 million followers.
On the surface, that might seem like a low number compared to Lady Gaga, but consider that the Twitter feed of Coca-Cola, the No. 1 brand in the world, has around 615,000 followers. The upshot to us is this: celebrities trump all in the social media world.
For financial services, an industry that is particularly celebrity-less, this poses a significant challenge. There is not a marketer in banking today that does not think social media matters. But Bank of America, across all six of its Twitter feeds, does not have 200,000 followers.
Does this say something about the culture of America? Probably, but I am not going there. What I do think is that social media craves celebrity, and, like it or not, financial services marketers need to get with it.