Facebook can sometimes seem like the ugly duckling of influencer marketing. It is still by far the largest social network, but its day of being cool and hip appear to be over. Facebook’s biggest problem was that it became too popular. It was once beloved by the young, but then their parents came along to see what all the fuss was about. The older generations stayed on Facebook, but many Millennials and Generation Z deserted it, trying to distance themselves from their parents.
But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any Facebook influencers. Far from it. When we look at the followings of the largest accounts, we see some enormous eye-watering numbers. The first person in this list, football Cristiano Ronaldo, has more than 120 million Facebook followers, although they are probably in an older demographic than those who choose to follow him on Instagram.
We have had to set a few rules when compiling this list. All of the accounts are technically Facebook Fan Pages. This means that they may or may not be run by the individual concerned. In some cases, it may be a fan club or a super-fan who operates the account. They are all official fan pages, however. We have excluded corporate pages. It would be hard to suggest that Samsung, who runs the largest Facebook page outside of Facebook itself, counts as an influencer, for example. All of the Facebook influencer accounts in this list belong to individuals (or in Linkin Park’s case, a group). We have also ignored the accounts of dead celebrities – it would be hard to set up an influencer marketing campaign with Michael Jackson or Bob Marley, no matter how deep your pockets.
Top 20 Facebook Influencers:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
34 year-old Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Serie A club Juventus. He also captains the Portugal national team. Many consider him the best footballer in the world, and his incredible Facebook following is a testament to his popularity.
He has won five FIFA Ballon d'or/Best FIFA Men's Player awards and four European Golden Shoes. He has won 29 trophies to date in his career. Ronaldo holds the records for most goals scored in the UEFA Champions League (127) and the UEFA European Championship (9). He has scored more than 710 senior career goals.
Shakira is a Colombian singer, songwriter, dancer, businesswoman, and philanthropist. She made her recording debut at the age of 13.
Shakira made four Spanish-language albums in her native Columbia before entering the English-language market with her fifth album, Laundry Service (2001). It sold over 13 million copies. She has continued to record in both languages, releasing some international hits.
She has now sold more than 75 million records worldwide and remains one of the world's best-selling music artists.
3. Vin Diesel
Mark Sinclair, better known as Vin Diesel, is an American actor, producer, director, and screenwriter. He is especially well known for his role as Dominic Toretto in The Fast and the Furious franchise.
Vin Diesel began his career in 1990, but it wasn’t until he featured in the war film Saving Private Ryan in 1998 that he became a household name.
Vin Diesel is also known for The Chronicles of Riddick and in the XXX series. He has voiced Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy and other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. He will appear in the two upcoming Avatar sequels.
4. Lionel Messi (Leo Messi)
Lionel Messi is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward and captains both Spanish club Barcelona and the Argentina national team. He has won a record six FIFA Ballon d'or/Best FIFA Men's Player awards, and six European Golden Shoes. He has contributed to Barcelona winning a record 34 trophies during his time playing for them.
Messi has scored more than 690 senior career goals for club and country. He holds the records for most goals in La Liga (420), most goals in a La Liga and European league season (50), most hat-tricks in the UEFA Champions League (8), and most assists in La Liga (163) and the Copa América (13).
Eminem (Marshall Mathers) is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, record executive, film producer, and actor.
He made his first album, Infinite, in 1996. He achieved mainstream popularity in 1999 with The Slim Shady LP, which earned him his first Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.
Eminem is the first artist to win the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album for three consecutive LPs. He has continued to receive numerous awards for his later albums and now has 15 Grammy Awards, eight American Music Awards, 17 Billboard Music Awards, an Academy Award, and an MTV Europe Music Award.
He has now sold more than 230 million records globally and is among the best-selling music artists of all time. He is the best-selling music artist in the United States in the 2000s.
Rihanna s a Barbadian singer, fashion designer, and businesswoman. She moved to the US in 2005 and released her first studio album, Music of the Sun. Her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad (2007), catapulted her to greater stardom, establishing her as a leading figure in the music industry. Unapologetic (2012) was her first number-one album in the US.
Rihanna has now sold over 250 million records and is one of the world's best-selling music artists.
7. Will Smith
Will Smith is an American actor, rapper, and media personality. He has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards and has won four Grammy Awards.
He first gained fame as a rapper under the name The Fresh Prince, which he then used in the title role of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
He then moved from television to film. He quickly gained leading man status and had eight consecutive films gross over $100 million in the domestic box office, and eleven straight films gross over $150 million internationally. By 2016, his movies grossed $7.5 billion at the global box office.
8. Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber is a Canadian singer-songwriter and actor. He released his debut EP, My World, in late 2009, which was certified Platinum in the United States. He became the first artist to have seven songs from a debut record chart on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Bieber released his first studio album, My World 2.0, in 2010, which was certified triple Platinum in the US. He has continued to release hit albums and singles since then. His US album and singles sales total 44.7 million, and he has sold an estimated 150 million records, making him one of the world's best-selling music artists.
Bieber’s initially came to fame in his early teens, and had a massive following of young girls, known as "Beliebers." As Bieber has aged, his music style (and support base) has matured with him.
9. Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is an American singer-songwriter. Her self-titled 2006 debut album was the longest-charting album of the 2000s in the US, where it peaked at number five. Her second album, Fearless, became the best-selling album of 2009 in the US.
Swift has sold more than 50 million albums and 150 million singles. She is now one of the best-selling music artists of all time. In 2015, she was included in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. To date, she has 10 Grammy Awards, one Emmy, 23 Billboard Music Awards, six Guinness world records, and three appearances in Time's 100 most influential people in the world.
10. Katy Perry
Katy Perry is an American singer, songwriter, and television judge. She released her debut studio album Katy Hudson under her birth name in 2001 but had to wait until 2008 before she rose to fame with her second album, One of the Boys.
Perry has received various awards, including four Guinness World Records, five American Music Awards, a Brit Award, and a Juno Award. She is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Perry has sold more than 18 million albums and 125 million singles globally throughout her career.
Adele is an English singer-songwriter. She released her debut album, 19, in 2008. It is certified eight times Platinum in the UK, and three times Platinum in the US. She followed this in 2011 with 21, which earned a record-tying six Grammy Awards. That album has held the top position in the US charts longer than any record since 1985 and is a certified Diamond. Her third studio album, 25, was also a certified Diamond in the US.
Adele now has sales of more than 120 million records, making her one of the world's best-selling music artists.
12. Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan (Chan Kong-sang) is a Hong Kong martial artist, actor, film director, producer, stuntman, and singer known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, use of improvised weapons, and innovative stunts. He has acted since the 1960s and appeared in over 150 films. He typically performs his own stunts.
He has received stars on the Hong Kong Avenue of Stars and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2016, he was considered the second-highest paid actor in the world.
Beyonce is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of Destiny's Child. She recorded her first solo album, Dangerously in Love in 2003.
Her third album, I Am... Sasha Fierce earned a record-setting six Grammy Awards in 2010. Lemonade became the world's best-selling album of 2016.
She is the only music act in the Billboard 200 chart history to debut at number one with their first six solo studio albums. She has sold over 100 million records worldwide as a solo artist and a further 60 million records with Destiny's Child.
14. Selena Gomez
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Selena Gomez is an American singer, actress, and executive producer. She first appeared on the children's television series Barney & Friends in 2002. She has since appeared in more than 30 films and 20 television series.
Gomez is arguably better known for her music. She released three Top-10 albums with her former band Selena Gomez & the Scene, from 2009-2011. Gomez has released two number-one albums as a solo artist. In 2017, Billboard reported that she had sold over 7 million albums and 22 million singles worldwide.
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a forward for French club Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazil national team. He made his professional debut aged 17 at Santos and was named the South American Footballer of the Year in 2011 and 2012.
Neymar relocated to Barcelona in 2012. His team won the continental treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Champions League.
In 2017, Neymar transferred from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain. While in France, he has won two league titles, a Coupe de France, and a Coupe de la Ligue, and been voted Ligue 1 Player of the Year.
He is the third-highest goalscorer for Brazil’s national team.
Forbes recently named him the world's third highest-paid athlete.
16. Linkin Park
Linkin Park is the only band to make this list. They are an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California, and was formed in 1996. Their line-up has changed over time, but the current members are vocalist/keyboardist/rhythm guitarist Mike Shinoda, lead guitarist Brad Delson, bassist Dave Farrell, DJ/keyboardist Joe Hahn, and drummer Rob Bourdon.
Their debut studio album, Hybrid Theory, was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2005. They continued to release albums, varying their style and musical types each time.
Linkin Park has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide. They have, however, gone into an indefinite hiatus since longtime lead vocalist Chester Bennington died from suicide by hanging on July 20, 2017.
17. Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga (Stefani Germanotta) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She rose to prominence in 2008 with her debut album, The Fame. The title track of her second full-length album, Born This Way, became the fastest-selling song on the iTunes Store.
Lady Gaga also ventured into acting and has played quite a few lead roles. She received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her work in American Horror Story: Hotel.
She became the first woman to achieve five US number one albums in the 2010s. He had sold 27 million albums and 146 million singles by January 2016.
18. Dwayne Johnson (The Rock)
Dwayne Johnson, better known as The Rock, is an American-Canadian actor, producer, and former professional wrestler. His films have grossed over $3.5 billion in North America and over $10.5 billion worldwide.
As The Rock, he was considered to be one of the greatest professional wrestlers and biggest draws of all-time.
He began his acting with The Mummy Returns in 2001 and has starred in numerous films since, including The Fast and the Furious franchise.
19. Bruno Mars
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Bruno Mars (Peter Hernandez) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, multi-instrumentalist, and dancer.
His debut studio album was Doo-Wops & Hooligans, released in 2010.
Mars has sold over 200 million singles and 26 million albums worldwide. He has released seven number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100, attaining his first five faster than any male artist since Elvis Presley.
Pitbull (Armando Christian Pérez) is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer. Pitbull released his debut album MIAMI in 2004. He released a further four albums before rebranding himself as a pop artist with Planet Pit, which featured his first US number-one single "Give Me Everything."
To date, Pitbull has sold 65 million records worldwide.