Social media is, in some ways, just another arena for a popularity contest. Influence is the new popularity. Fame is the ultimate popularity.
Instead of showing off your new hat to the people who go to the General Store in your small town, you can show it off to your social network, which spans many towns and cities, several states and often a few nations.
So who's winning? Who's the most popular? And what can we learn about how popularity works that we can use as social media marketers? This infographic from USJoomlaForce shows us who's most popular on each of several social networks right now.
The most liked page on Facebook is an app page for "Facebook for every phone."It has 544 million likes. No. 2 is a tie between Facebook's own official page and its German page.
Why is the mobile page more popular than the regular page? There are more mobile phone users than desktop or laptap users on Facebook, thus the "Facebook for every phone" page is seen by more people than the official Facebook page itself.
If just seeing something causes people to click like, than that explains the popularity of all three pages. But it still confuses me. Why click like?
The next most popular pages belong to famous musicians, an actor and an athlete.
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo is the most popular human on Facebook. Why? Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, so maybe it's that. He posts often and he posts a lot of photos and videos of himself. He also uses teasers, like "Exciting news to share with you tomorrow. Can't wait!"
Vin Diesel is the most popular actor on Facebook, but he isn't the most popular actor in Hollywood. To what can we attribute his Facebook success? According to Adam Ostrow of Mashable, Diesel is authentic. He writes, "A typical update from Diesel features about a paragraph of text - sometimes on edgy subjects like race - as well as personal photos as opposed to staged photo opps. And the results are fairly overwhelming - many of his posts have more than 10,000 likes in addition to thousands of comments. When your friends take these actions, it pushes Diesel into Facebook's new Highlights area, which is helping fuel the massive growth of his Facebook Page."
Music videos. The predictable ones.
Unlike Facebook, the most popular people on LinkedIn are not musicians or athletes, but business people. Famous business people, such as Virgin founder Richard Branson or Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Also included are also famous media folks like Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post and author Daniel Goleman.
Richard Branson is no stranger to publicity stunts and has been famous for a long time. Bill Gates has also been famous for much longer than LinkedIn has been around. So it might be more instructive to look at how someone like Daniel Goleman cultivates his popularity.
Goleman is an author and psychologist who wrote for The New York Times, specializing in psychology and brain sciences. He wrote 10 books on psychology, education, and leadership, and several of them were best-sellers.
As you can see, Goleman is rather famous via traditional media outlets. He posts often on LinkedIn. Also, the audience on LinkedIn is well suited to Goleman's messages, which often pertain to leadership, change and popular psychology.
The most popular handles on Twitter all belong to famous musicians, except for two. One of those two is the President of the United States. The other is another social network: YouTube.
On Twitter, Obama is less popular than Justin Bieber. I'm not sure what this says about the decline of Western Civilization, but it's got to mean something. Do Twitter users enjoy to hate-read Bieber tweets? Maybe.
I think it is interesting the 4 out of the top 8 Twitter handles belong to women. LinkedIn skewed male. As did Facebook. And a woman takes top billing on Twitter: Katy Perry. A quick look at her tweets, I came across a photo of Perry rather undressed for a photo shoot. But I found images of multi-colored popcorn. Everyone loves to feel like they are getting to see things first or see things behind-the-scenes. Perry's tweets do that.
I'm skipping Google+ because Angry Birds in the top eight.
Pinterest might be the most interesting popularity content running because people who are famous in the traditional sense don't dominate it. Instead, the most popular people on Pinterest have made themselves famous by using Pinterest. DIY Pinterest-made fame.
Jeff Bullas writes, "In looking at the list, the dominance of design, fashion and food is obvious and seems to be a mandatory requirement to join the elite. This topic dominance also displays the majority female demographic that is prominent on Pinterest."
To be popular on Pinterest, you've got to have impeccable taste, so it no surprise that a lot of these women work in design or as photographers.
No. 1 most popular on Pinterest: Joy Cho is an author with two books Creative, Inc and Blog, Inc and through her business Oh, Joy!, designs textiles, packaging, and branding for clients in the fashion and food industries and consults other creative businesses.
If you want to be popular on Pinterest, it's easy: Just be incredibly stylish.