Keeping in-line with China Social Media Listening Month, we decided to use our Synthesio Influence Ranking system to check out which celebrities from around the world are most influential in China. We SynthesioRanked each celebrity on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list, which is based on entertainment-related earnings and media visibility. Our Synthesio ranking calculation tracks all mentions of each celebrity on the list throughout Chinese social media. Some of the results are pretty surprising.
Lebron James takes the lead at the #1 most influential celebrity in Chinese social media – we had to double check this one just to be sure. Clearly, he’s an amazing athlete with a massive fan base, he’s hosted the EPSY’s and SNL, and he was the first African American man to appear on the cover of Vogue; but LeBron James is more influential in Chinese social media than Justin Bieber or even Rihanna? Something didn’t quite add up. However, upon closer inspection, it was clear that Lebron James loves China just as much as China loves him – In the Fall, he embarked on his 9th trip to China, and he’s active on Sina Weibo (China’s Twitter), with almost 1 million followers.
LeBron James isn’t the only NBA star creating a buzz across the the Chinese social media space – Kobe Bryant ranks #8. After setting up a Sina Weibo account just last month, he had over 100,000 followers within a few hours. He started his account just a few days after a message appeared on Nike Basketball’s Sina Weibo account, on Chinese New Year’s Day: “Hey it’s Kobe, I’ve decided to take over Nike basketball’s Weibo handle for a few days and I wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year.”
It’s not a shocking that social media savvy global superstars Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga are top social media influencers anywhere in the world, including China – However, Brad Pitt, who the US loves dearly, isn’t quite topping the social media charts in the Western world, but has a significant social presence in China at #9 on our list. Brad Pitt is actually banned from China after his starring role in the 1997 movie Seven Years in Tibet, which was deemed by authorities in Beijing to have been too sympathetic to the exiled Dalai Lama. But that hasn’t curbed his influence in Chinese social media. Moments after starting a Sina Weibo account last month, he posted “It is the truth. Yup, I’m coming…” Within two hours, Pitt’s post had 8,000 comments and 20,000 reposts, and gained 73,000 fans.
So, the moral of the story here is.. Celebrities and global brands alike – get a Sina Weibo account. The most populous country in the world wants to hear what you have to say.
Check out Mashable’s take on our infographic in their recent post, Top 25 Most Popular Celebrities on Chinese Social Media.
Here’s our full SynthesioRanked List of the most influential Global celebrities in Chinese social media:
What do you think of think of the results? Any surprises here? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Influence Ranking System
SynthesioRank’s various calculations include relevant influence as well as taking into account how many on-topic mentions have been posted on a given site, or mentioned by a given user.