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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

Elon Musk is America’s second most influential celeb, after Taylor Swift – Study

It's estimated that a sponsored post by Musk would cost over R6 million - the equivalent of the average US household spends on groceries in more than 60 years.

A recent study into the digital impact of US celebs has found that South African-born entrepreneur Elon Musk is the second most influential celebrity in the US.

Musk was only pipped to the number one spot by music artist, Taylor Swift, in the study by digital marketing players at Authority Hacker, which analysed the Top 50 most followed accounts on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

According to the study, Musk receives an average of 2.8 million Google searches each month across America. Musk was the second most searched public figure in 29 states, including California, Texas, and Ohio.

“This study highlights the power and reach of celebrities in our digital age. Clearly, musicians have a monumental influence, but it’s also exciting to see a mix of talents, from entrepreneurs to athletes, captivating American audiences,” commented Authority Hacker co-founder, Mark Webster.

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Musk’s influence in numbers

While Musk exclusively uses his social network, X (formerly Twitter), his reach remains vast, and if monetised, a sponsored post to his 160 million followers could net him an estimated $339,000 (more than R6 million) which is the equivalent to what the average US household spends on groceries in a little over 64 years.

The study went through the Top 50 most followed accounts on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube which resulted in a combined list of 90 prominent celebrities, which were then analysed across each platform to ensure a cohesive representation of each celebrity’s reach. The celebrities were then ranked according to the average number of monthly searches they received on Google.

The study also identified the rest of America’s Top 10 influential celebrities, each distinguished by their unique contributions to culture, entertainment, and media.

While Musk receives an average of just below three million Google searches, top girl Taylor Swift receives more than 4.5 million dedicated Google searches each month in America.

Her popularity reflects her continuous ability to connect with fans from coast to coast, placing her firmly as the most searched-for celebrity in 49 out of 50 states, including New York, Texas, and her home state of Pennsylvania. She was also the most searched-for celebrity in Tennessee, the state that helped Swift make her first mark on the world.

Other notable celebrities on the list include Basketball player LeBron James who is third on the list, while media personality Rihanna is fourth on the list on top influencers. Actress and musician Selena Gomez rounds off the top five.

RankCelebrityAverage monthly Google searches
1.Taylor Swift4,596,158
2.Elon Musk2,818,100
3.Lebron James2,782,268
5.Selena Gomez2,042,632
6.Leo Messi2,029,113
7.Kim Kardashian1,986,785
8.Ariana Grande1,735,893
9.Justin Bieber1,653,132
10.Billie Eilish1,628,522

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