Celebrities often use their wide-ranging influence to market their newest endeavors and get to know their fans via social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. While some famous people shy away from the proverbial spotlight, many stars embrace and understand what they can accomplish by utilizing these powerful networking tools. If they have a message, they can get it out to millions of people. If they don’t, that’s fine too - they can just post selfies all day to get ego boosting reinforcement from their legions of adoring fans.
Here, we're looking at today's celebrities who utilize social media the best. That isn’t about the “most popular” on a purely organic level as in, for example, who has the most Facebook likes. That's not a particularly interesting insight, and would likely result in a list topped off by Justin Bieber or One Direction. No, this is a list of 10 celebrities who are really savvy with their social media use, employing it as a complement to and a tool for their career.
10 Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. is relatively new to the whole social media thing, but being as hugely popular as he is, it didn't take too long for him to grow a strong following. The Iron Man star currently has over 19 million Facebook likes and almost two million twitter followers. He regularly gets over 500,000 likes per Facebook post, and while he uses social media to market his movies - like many stars do - and post selfies, at least he's clearly the one personally doing the posting (as opposed to having a social media team that posts in the third person).
This makes him seem very genuine and down-to-earth, and much closer to his fan-base. One thing that sets him apart from other celebrities is that he posts and links a lot of fan-fiction and fan-art to his page, giving credit to the creators, and thus helping them spur their own fame through his giant social media network.
9 Vin Diesel
Vin Diesel clearly likes social media. Besides his Fast & Furious franchise, Diesel stays relatively out of the spotlight, which is why his social media prowess is so astounding. He is the most-liked actor on Facebook with a whopping 80 million likes, and is the 9th most liked page on the site. He gains between 500,000 and 1 million likes per week.
Since his touching tribute on Facebook for his good friend and Fast & Furious co-star Paul Walker, his Facebook presence jumped over 20 million likes, and his following jumped 46% in six months, according to RelishMix. He manages his social profile entirely on his own, has an authentic voice and relationship with his fans, and he uses his profile to market his movies very successfully. When he coordinated press releases on his profile for Fast & Furious 6 together with Super Bowl TV ads, the movie gained a greater volume of social media conversation than all the other five films combined.
8 Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde has starred in numerous television shows (such as The O.C. and House) and film productions (like Tron: Legacy and Cowboys & Aliens). She didn't truly get her legs, though, until her hilarity via Twitter became apparent. With 1.5 million viewers, she doesn't have quite the reach as some stars, but her comical posts are usually retweeted thousands of time.
There are plenty of funny celebrities on Twitter, though. What sets Wilde apart from people like Jimmy Fallon is the fact that she also publicly supports many charities and non-profits, and she uses her Facebook and Twitter pages to blast campaigns for many causes, including the Children’s Mercy Hospital, DoSomething.org, MoveOn.org, her company Conscious Commerce, and many others. She is a board member of Artists for Peace and Justice, which provides education and health services in Haiti, and she regularly helps raise funds and awareness for women’s issues.
7 Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen has more than filled the gap left by Oprah Winfrey as the queen of daytime talk show hosts. She can also be considered the queen of Twitter, with 29.5 million followers. Besides posting hilarious day-to-day updates about her life, she is also a staunch supporter of LGBT rights, and uses her Twitter popularity to advocate various social issues.
In 2014, DeGeneres changed the face of the Oscars when she decided to live tweet during the broadcast. A selfie picture she took with a bunch of A-listers titled the “best selfie ever” subsequently became the most re-tweeted picture of all time, with over 2 million re-tweets.
6 Oprah Winfrey
It’s hard to imagine a ‘most popular’ or ‘most charitable’ or ‘most inspiring’ report without mentioning Oprah Winfrey. She has 24.6 million Twitter followers and over 10 million Facebook likes, and she has mastered the art of interactive with her fans on social media. She’s constantly tweeting, Skype-ing, Facebooking, and giving encouraging and inspiring advice to her readers.
Oprah practically revolutionized social TV and interaction when she began incorporating social media into every episode of her Oprah’s Lifeclass TV show in 2012. She'd encourage viewers at home and in the audience to live tweet responses to various topics, and then discuss them in real-time with her guests. Many networks are doing this now, but Oprah basically started the trend.
5 Leonardo DiCaprio
Leo has over 10 million Twitter followers and 11.6 million Facebook likes. He is also one of the only stars-turned-social media enthusiasts who uses his widely-influencing network to solely propagate environmental and political issues. Just in May and June 2014 alone he’s pledged $7 million to ocean conservation projects through his Foundation, donated $1 million to the Elephant Crisis Fund to stop ivory poaching and trafficking, raised issues against “ghost fishing,” and donated $3 million to Oceana to protect sharks, marine animals, and habitats.
And all of this news is filtered through his social media outlets. It seems that when he isn't making movies, Leo has no time for selfies or small-talk - he’s always up to something big, trying to make the world a better place.
4 Ashton Kutcher
Ashton Kutcher has really gotten into stride recently with his awesome and inspiring speeches and social activism. The That 70s Show star has really shown us that he isn’t like Kelso - a dumb, charming, good-looking face - but he’s actually intelligent, well-spoken, thoughtful, and motivational. He has really become the voice of a young generation that looks up to him with adoration.
Kutcher uses the Facebook platform and his reach of 18 million fans to spread knowledge about the definition of beauty, what it means to be happy, women’s rights, and other social issues. One thing’s for certain, Kutcher is great at opening a dialogue about tough issues, and he’s using social media the way it should be used.
3 John Green
This guy is awesome. If you don’t know who John Greene is, you haven’t been paying attention to book or movie charts. He is the author of The Fault in Our Stars, a young adult novel that debuted at number 1 on The New York Times Best Seller list, and stayed on the list for over 150 weeks. The 2014 film adaptation of the book opened at #1 in the box office. He was included by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2014.
He also makes videos with his brother Hank, and the two have a very successful vlog viewership. In his videos, Green tackles tough issues about health care reform, social equality, technology and more, and then he uses his Twitter handle to raise awareness about anything and everything he can think of to his 2.75 million followers.
2 George Takei
Uncle George, as he is aptly called by fans, could have disappeared from the spotlight and lived a cozy life outside of the public eye after Star Trek, and he still would have been loved by fans. Instead, he chose the opposite route. It has been (jokingly) said that Takei’s career only began when he turned 70. This isn’t that far from the truth, as the actor and political activist became a social media phenomenon.
He has over 7 million Facebook likes, and besides posting hilarious status updates, he also is one of the biggest supporters for gay rights on the Internet. He is constantly campaigning for equality in all 50 states, and he has a very close, personal relationship with his fan base. He is one of the most loved people in the social media community, and for good reason.
1 Elise Andrew
The number one celebrity on this list might not even be considered a celebrity to some, and she might be completely unknown to others. Well, Elise Andrew is the founder of I F**king Love Science (IFLS), one of the most popular pages on Facebook, with over 17 million likes. If anyone is using social media to its fullest potential, it is this young lady (she’s only like 25). Unlike everyone else on this list, who were famous before their profiles or Twitter handles came about, Elise Andrew owes all of her celebrity status to her Facebook page, IFLS.
Millions of people browse through her constantly-updated Facebook page every day, to discover new, interesting, and astounding things in the world of science. She has been called the “Neil deGrasse Tyson of Facebook,” and has been featured on many major publications. Elise Andrew has shown us what social media is truly capable of - how far it can reach - and, for that, she deserves the number one spot on this list.
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