By Jeff Wilson, APR (@wilson0507)
If you live in Richmond, Va., – or know someone from here – it’s evident that the place has been caught up this week in a haze of excitement about Virginia Commonwealth University’s improbable berth in the NCAA Final Four.
Tuesday night, as I was watching Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, he did a “Pros and Cons” bit about “playing basketball for VCU.” I immediately went to Facebook and posted a comment about the fact that Richmond has arrived because our team was mentioned on Late Night.
The clip also was posted on Late Night’s website, which has been passed around the Internet. That reminded me just how social media savvy Jimmy Fallon’s show is. Mashable proclaims Fallon as one of the first talk show hosts to take social media seriously.
Are there lessons that businesses can learn from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon? Consider the following.
Engage stakeholders in online conversations.
Fallon is a master at starting a bit on his show, then involving the show’s audience via social media. Probably the best example of this is his weekly use of Twitter hashtags. He gives a topic on Tuesday night then asks the viewing audience to Tweet responses the following day. He then reads the best ones on the air Wednesday night. In honor of April Fool’s Day, this week’s hashtag was #bestprankever. Regularly, Fallon’s Twitter topics trend worldwide.
For businesses, the application is simple – use social media for what it was created for – to engage people in dialogue and build relationships. Too often, businesses merely throw out factoids on Twitter with links to news releases instead of using Twitter to really get to know their followers and engage with them.
Don’t stick all your eggs in one social media basket.
Businesses shouldn’t be afraid to try multiple social media outlets in concert. Fallon has mastered the art of using just about every social media avenue at his disposal.
“From Late Night hashtags to viral video mashups, to LNJF, a mobile app featuring clips and joke-apps, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon has staked its ground as a tech-friendly kind of show,” according to Mashable.
Another great regular bit is “Remix-the-Clips,” a segment where Late Night band leader, Questlove from The Roots, mashes together viral videos to form a song.
Using Social Media for Social Good.
Smart businesses know that social media has become an important competent of cause-related marketing and corporate social responsibility. Late Night gets that too. Also this week, fellow late-night host Stephen Colbert, Jimmy’s BFFSM (best friend for six months), donated $26,000 to the DonorsChoose charity and also pledged that Fallon would do the same – supposedly without Fallon’s knowledge. So Fallon – claiming not to have the money to pay – once again enlisted the help of his audience to go online and help raise funds. Fans raised more than $50,000 and tonight, Colbert has to perform Rebecca Black’s “Friday” on Late Night with The Roots. It’s all good fun for a good cause.
So, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon may be in the business of comedy, but they take their social media seriously. The business world can learn a thing or two from them.