How Ellen & The Tonight Show Keep Fans Laughing on Social

Jimmy Fallon and Ellen DeGeneres are two of the funniest TV personalities today. Social media is helping them connect with audiences like never before.

How Ellen & The Tonight Show Keep Fans Laughing on Social

Talk shows are deeply rooted in American TV culture. DeGeneres has cemented herself as a daytime personality and Fallon has taken over The Tonight Show institution to rave reviews. Both shows are creating buzz on the second screen by taking advantage of social media and keeping the conversations alive with their online communities. They do this exceptionally well on three key platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Media brands publish more and get more Interactions on social.

Facebook and Twitter are the main drivers to their YouTube channel, but they use these networks more to interact with their audience. The results are clear – 2014 was definitely a huge success for both hosts. Since The Tonight Show first aired in February, Fallon managed to increase his fan base on Facebook by almost 60%, adding some 700,000 new Fans. Take notice of the huge peak Ellen gained in March for Fan Growth. Her Oscar selfie almost singlehandedly drove ⅓ of her total growth for all of 2014 – that’s 1.5+ million new fans!

Despite the large overall growth, both have managed to keep audiences coming back. Looking at Interactions per 1,000 Fans, you can see that they did not see huge dropoffs as they added Fans. That means new people came and a lot of them liked what they saw.

Fallon could benefit from posting more often – Ellen posted 2× more content on Facebook during 2014 than he did – 1,024 compared to 562. Interactions drive Reach and site traffic, giving more opportunities for conversions. The outcome was very positive, Ellen garnered 4× more interactions than Jimmy.

Ellen’s top performing post on Facebook was the same on Twitter.

If you were watching the 2014 Oscars (or even if you weren’t), it was hard to miss Ellen ordering pizza and celebrities scarfing down it down in their formal attire, and of course taking a selfie with 7 mega movie stars. She asked Meryl Streep “Meryl, here’s my idea ok? So you were nominated – it’s a record breaking 18 times, right? So I thought we would try and break another record right now with the most RTs of a photo.”

It broke the record for the most retweets in Twitter’s history. The Twitter blog read: “By 5 a.m. ET on Monday, it had been retweeted 2.4 million times (it’s currently well above 3 million).” Notice the peak in March for the Incoming Interactions chart below, yep that photo sparked it. Ellen managed to increase her follower base by 12% in March 2014.

As cool as that is – both in terms of showing the impact Twitter can have for increasing TV viewership and creating buzz for Ellen – it’s just a stint in time. Jimmy was able to achieve stable growth during the whole of 2014. We’ve said it before: go for shareability and sustained growth, it’s more effective in the long term than a viral hit.

YouTube drumroll please!

Fallon’s viewers spent 14,824 years and 176 days watching his videos in 2014, and Ellen subscribers spent 22,602 years 300 days watching hers. This lines up pretty closely with their subscriber numbers – Ellen has close to 11 million compared to Fallon’s 5.5 million. The chart below illustrates the total number of video views accumulated by The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Tonight Show since their YouTube channels launched.

Sit back and enjoy the best videos of 2014. Here’s Jimmy’s top video which features a lip sync battle with Emma Stone. It got 40+ million views.

Here’s Ellen’s video with Sia performing “Chandelier” with Maddie Ziegler, the talented little girl from her official music video that got over 24 million views.

The Takeaway

Don’t stretch yourself too thin. Social’s NOT about being present on every social network known to man, rather, you need a well-formulated strategy on the platforms that work best. In the case of these two high-profile hosts, their core business goal is attention. Needless to say, both did quite well towards that end last year.

Of course, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon have an abundance of content with all the high production value that goes with being on network TV. Now, rather than viewers having to wait 23 hours for the next episode, the story just moves in a line. The show airs, the clips hit social, the hosts of the shows hit social, and they just continually build a brand identity. 20 years ago, The Tonight Show was on the air for an hour and then it was done. Now the laughs essentially never end.

Want to read more on social and the media industry? Media companies post 5 times more to social media and get up to 7 times more interactions than any other industry, but the competition is fierce. We’ll help you stay on top of it all.

Global Editor

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