With over 40 million Twitter followers, we know the guy is doing something right. Jimmy Fallon’s robust, multi-platform social media presence can be summed up in a three-pronged approach to social media strategy. The following tactics are key for brands aiming to thrive in the social realm.
1. Tailor content to each platform
The majority of Fallon’s Facebook and Twitter posts consist of the latest show content packaged into shareable video clips and GIFs – a tactical move considering most platform algorithms favor visuals, yielding much higher user engagement than content that does not include visual elements.
The Tonight Show’s Instagram account documents backstage and onstage moments with Fallon’s guests in addition to GIFs of the latest show content. The show has additional social presence on Snapchat, where staff pose challenges that encourage fans to send snaps back for a chance to be featured. Fallon’s celebrity guests also participate in Snapchat ‘takeovers’ as a tease to the show that night. This informal and uncut, behind-the-scenes content is exactly what Snapchat users expect to see from celebrities and organizations on Snapchat. No one platform is the same. Followers expect to see different kinds of content on each platform, and Fallon delivers exactly that.
2. Opt for dialogue over monologue
It’s called social media for a reason. Social platforms weren’t created to serve as podiums for PSAs and advertisements – and they shouldn’t be treated as one-way content dispensers. They were established to enable broader conversations, interactions and sharing. Fallon doesn’t just push out his own content and fall silent once a conversation gets going. He interacts. He likes, replies, retweets, favorites, comments back. Not only is Fallon connecting in this space, he folds social participation into his show. The Tonight Show’s “hashtag game” is a routine example of this. Fallon creates a unique hashtag/topic and asks fans to respond with their own experiences using this hashtag for a chance to be featured on The Tonight Show (sore subject – I have yet to be featured. #whereistheloveJimmy). These Fallon-devised hashtags receive such a high-volume of pickup, they’re often trending on Twitter.
3. Entrust experts with (some) content creation and platform management
This is perhaps the most powerful tactic of all. Just as one consults a doctor for their health, a brand should consult professionals for social media counsel. It’s clear that Fallon doesn’t cut and package all of these video clips and GIFs himself. Just as Santa has elves (and reindeer, for that matter), Fallon certainly has a social team doing most of the legwork and behind-the-scenes tinkering. It’s hard to say how large of a crew Fallon has enlisted to run his social accounts, but if points one and two tell us anything, it’s that they know what they’re doing. As a social community manager for several brands, I admire the balance they’ve struck between promoting show content and seamlessly tying in Fallon’s unique voice – often posting in the first-person perspective and allowing us to believe it could be Fallon himself. In fact, sometimes, I think it is Fallon tweeting, which leads me to believe he hasn’t fully relinquished the social reins after all. The ideal social media cocktail entails authenticity and efficiency – shaken, not stirred. An honorable social crew will go the whole 9 yards (for the right price). This means developing content, scheduling and posting said content, interacting with social audiences where appropriate, managing social ads, and monitoring online conversations for opportunities to be proactive and join in – or situations necessitating a reactive response (read: crisis). But having Fallon send an occasional tweet himself keeps the social tone of voice on-brand, and reaffirms authenticity for his social audiences. After all, people follow Fallon on social media because they want to know what Fallon has to say, not what his roundtable of social experts has to say.