Kanye’s Followers May Not Be Kanye’s Fans
Kanye West is a staple figure in pop culture. From his music, to his reality star wife, to his controversial tweets and even more discussed controversial lyrics, he’s garnered a lot of attention. And 25 million Twitter followers.
But are those millions of followers actual fans of West and his music, or just keeping up with his antics to see what he’ll do next?
We analyzed West’s followers and compared them to the users of the hashtag #TLOP, which stands for “The Life of Pablo,” West’s latest album and line of pop-up shops and clothing. The Saint Pablo Tour featuring the album began Aug. 25.
Followers of West’s account are sixty percent female and forty percent male. Forty-four percent of his followers are between the ages 26 and 40; older than expected.
The followers’ top brands by count seemed standard with nothing out of the norm until we noticed the five brands under fashion.
Nike was ranked as number one. West has a successful and exclusive partnership with Adidas Originals on his Yeezy shoes and has openly dissed Nike in his song, “Facts,” with lyrics including “Nike out here bad, they can’t give **** away” and “Nike, Nike treat employees just like slaves.” Nike even saw sales decline after the release of the song in late 2015.
So why is Nike at the top and Adidas Originals nowhere to be found?
But the #TLOP users showed noticeable differences. Even within demographic, we see a sway. Forty-three percent of users are female and fifty-seven percent male – almost the opposite of West’s followers. And of the hashtag users, forty percent were between the ages of sixteen and forty; a ten year difference from the West analysis.
In brands, we start to see the real differences. While there are a good amount of similarities, in media and food for example, under fashion we see Adidas Originals. Though Nike is still present within this analysis, it’s a drastic difference between the number one spot and the number three.
We also see more music centered brands such as Beats by Dre, Spotify and Apple Music. This particular brand analysis elicits more of an overall Kanye fan-base.
Why are people following West, if they don’t support his partnership or follow music-based entities? We looked at interests to look for any differences that could be motivating factors.
Of the #TLOP users, when looking at how interested this audience is in each category, there were mainly sports related accounts, humor and entertainment media within the top five interest categories. The media outlets are all pop culture, music or entertainment based.
Of West’s followers, the top interests were very different. While entertainment media outlets are also on the list, they are much more entertainment focused as opposed to music or culture. The most intriguing fact was the number one interest of reality TV entertainers. And it was filled with the family members of West’s wife, Kim Kardashian West.
Are fans of the Kardashians just making sure they’re covering all their bases by following the spouses? Kim, alone, has 47.4 million Twitter followers; almost double her husband’s. If a large amount of her loyal fans followed West simply because he’s married to her, that could definitely impact West’s followers’ analysis.
This teaches us a valuable lesson in truly knowing your following. Just because people who follow other people or brands on Twitter, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re guaranteed fans or supporters of them. It’s crucial to do full research with data analysis.