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What Late-Night Comedians Can Teach You About Social Media

Published on Dec 19, 2013


We break down how comedians such as Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel have reaped the rewards of staying in touch with the world via 140 characters or less.

Social MediaBack in 2006, Twitter was newly incorporated and most people were confused as to why they should jump on the social network bandwagon. Now, almost eight years later, the popular social medium has become one of the most unconventional yet innovative news sources in the world, delivering breaking news the moment it happens. But Twitter isn’t just a real time news hub; it has become a helpful tool for businesses, too- particularly those of the late-night comedy variety.  We break down how late-night comedians such as Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel have reaped the rewards of staying in touch with the world via 140 characters or less.

Building relationships with fans. In this day and age, fans don’t want to just be an audience. They want to interact with their idols. Twitter allows this relationship to exist. Because late night personalities are usually in control of their accounts, fans get to know the person behind the thirty minute daily segment. Jimmy Fallon has done an exceptional job at creating this connection with fans through his bit, “#latenight hashtags.” Fallon will tweet a funny hashtag for users to respond to and then find the funniest tweets from fans and read them aloud on his show. Team Coco is an account that was created by a fan of Conan O’Brien’s when he was removed from his short-lived stint on The Tonight Show. Fans joined together overnight to stand by their favorite comedian, going viral on social media and leading to a massive spike in O’Brien’s ratings and eventually the adoption of his own show. Keeping their brand relevant. Twitter is arguably the quickest way to get news in real time these days. And as a late night personality, if you know what your fans are talking about at any given moment, it becomes easier to keep your brand relevant. Twitter provides its users with a short list of “trending topics,” a short list of what most people are talking about at that very moment. One topic in particular that gained recognition this year was “twerking,” a dance move made popular by pop icon Miley Cyrus. In reaction to the controversial dance, late night personality Jimmy Kimmel anonymously uploaded a video to YouTube titled “Worst Twerk Fail EVER – Girl Catches Fire!” Thanks to social media, the video went viral, racking up 9 million views in less than a week. Jimmy Kimmel invited the girl from the video onto his talk show where he admitted to the audience that it was he, in fact, who was behind the video, creating a buzz amongst fans that lasted until the following week. Spreading brand awareness When Conan O’Brien launched his own late night show, he recognized an audience of younger, socially active viewers. So Conan followed suit. By entering the realm of social media, Conan immediately expanded his brand awareness by connecting directly with them on Twitter.