How To Identify Social Media Influencers? (Part 2)

The Ultimate Fight of Web Influencers: Lady Gaga versus Bono

In the 10-page white paper by Vocus and Brian Solis, “Influencing Grudge Match: Lady Gaga versus Bono! – What Makes An Influencer”, an example is given using a fight between the two stars to explain the difference between popularity and influence. For most respondents, the answer is clear: Lady Gaga is popular, Bono is influential!

Who Is The Most Influence On The Web? Lady Gaga or Bono?

Can social media tools determine influence? If we trust them, Lady Gaga wins hands down over Bono. All over the blogosphere and social media, Lady Gaga attracts a wider audience. On Twitter, @ladygaga is the queen with more than 16 million followers, while @BonoVox must be content with just over 50,000 fans (52,866 to be precise). On Klout, the female singer is a devoted celebrity with a score of 92, while Bono has a meager score of 16. On PeerIndex, the lead singer of U2 is no better with a score of 26, while the pop diva is still positioned among the leaders with 82 points. Twitalyzer provides the same outcome with Lady Gaga having a near perfect score of 98 and the Irish rock star left in the basement with an anemic score of 9.

The survey results from Vocus / Solis provides more insights. Just over half of respondents (57%) believe the influencer who gets the most conclusive results will be the one which will maintain the best relations with its network, regardless of size.  Just over a third (36%) will rally behind the person who has a broad scope, while maintaining contact. 84% said that there is indeed a correlation between the scope and influence.

While recognizing the impact of an audience, professionals have connected more easily with influencers who demonstrate a commitment to their network and they refer more to their actions and their popularity. Both have been very well understood and proved highly influential to individuals in their respective fields. They generate concrete results by using regularly their celebrity to promote the causes they advocate. It serves as a springboard, but not enough to determine their actual influence.

Bono: The The Real Influencer

To demonstrate this statement, the report highlighted U2 halftime show at the Super Bowl in 2002, following the WTC attacks. The singer revealed the American flag that was sewn inside his jacket, lifting the crowd and viewers in a burst of patriotism and support for America.  Please view, “U2 SuperBowl 36 Halftime Performance – Where The Streets Have No Name (HD)”.

No one can really question the real influence of Bono. Early in their career, Paul David Hewson (aka Bono) and his group affirmed their social and political involvement through their songs. Bono has been personally involved in several social and political causes (i.e., Artists Against Apartheid, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, War Child, etc.). Twice, he was among the list of the most influential men in the world by Time Magazine (2004 and 2006) and in 2008 he was elected, Man of Peace. He is particularly active in his campaign to cancel the debt of African countries since the early 2000s.

At the same time, he manages one of the most colossal fortunes in show business, which is billions of dollars. He is a partner in the private equity firm Elevation Partners, which owns shares in Forbes, Facebook and several other multinational companies. The recent 360  Degrees world tour generated revenues of over $ 736 million, eclipsing the previous record belonged to the Rolling Stones. The influence of Bono and his band as widely exceeds his personal fortune. On charisma only, Bono and U2 are able to reach out and touch their audience directly. The day after the show in Montreal, a fan posted the following comment on an electronic bulletin board, “Une soirée magique ! U2 vibrait d’unicité, nous ne faisions tous qu’un”.

Lady Gaga: Amplication of An Audience

Lady Gaga remains a very influential person. Although the media likes to paint her as the new pop diva, which is based mainly on glamour and her personality to remain on top, Stefani Joanne Germanotta Angelica (her real name) knows how to use her celebrity and social media to support the causes that she supports.

On Twitter, she has already addressed directly Senator John McCain to cease the defense of the homophobic policies of the U.S. military, “Do Not Ask, Do Not Tell.” The discriminatory policy of the army was finally abolished in December 2010 and the reform came into force last September. With more than 16 million followers, her weight on Twitter and the amplification of her audience, her actions created measurable results.

In their report, the authors also emphasize the meaningful involvement in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. Gaga’s personal intervention has helped to substantially increase the fundraising of the organization, contributing tangibly to the fight against breast cancer. Due to her phenomenal reach of her audience and the amplification of her unwavering fans, we can no longer ignore the real influence of Lady Gaga, as well as Bono who is revealed to be the most influential people of the planet. In fact, it is only in the context of different causes.

Bono, Lady Gaga and Bill Clinton: Same Mission To Make A Difference!

Recently, Lady Gaga was invited to be alongside Irish star to be part of the show, “A Decade of Difference”, to celebrate the 65th birthday of Bill Clinton and the 10th anniversary of his foundation. They both came to support the causes espoused from the beginning by another recognized influencer: the former president of the United States. Lady Gaga was affirming her position on the inclusion of homosexuals in the U.S. Army, while Bono was supporting the fight against climate change and a better distribution of wealth in the world.

Is one cause is more valuable than the other? The study of Vocus / Brian Solis does not say.

Personally, I think what really matters is that both seek to bring about changes in society by using their personal influence.  In their way, they succeed very well. They both deserve the title of influencer, but for different reasons. So the question remains, which is the most influential?

You may have the answer based on your personal beliefs.  There are no metric to measure personal beliefs.

What do you think? Voice your opinion on the subject and share your comments!!!

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About The Author:

Source: Paul Labelle, Photographer


Author of the books, “Culture Web à la portée des PME” and “Comment entreprendre le virage 2.0” Raymond Morin has written for several magazines over the past 10 years. Very active on social media, he has contributed to several online publications as guest blogger, including Trinity College School, Locita, and Intelegia. Raymond is a corporate trainer and is regularly invited to give lectures and training workshops to companies and organizations. In collaboration with Intelegia, and Ian Smith, Raymond is preparing for the release of a new book, “Comment devenir un influenceur dans les médias sociaux”