I have long been a fan of good, smart television. I love when someone comes in and interrupts the status quo and tries something different. House of Cards, Mad Men, The Blacklist all come to mind.
But, when a "brand" uses social media to connect to an audience and develop new viewers, I'm even more impressed.
Enter Jimmy Fallon. You see, I grew up on The Tonight Show. First as a kid with Johnny Carson. Then when I studied broadcasting at USC, I learned to appreciate the genius that was Steve Allen.
When Fallon was named host of the Tonight Show, taking over in February, 2014 it was a seminal moment in television. Not because he was the most amazing talent the show has ever seen, but because he brought to the show a sense of likeability and audience connection that businesses can learn from in their marketing.
In an article published on Forbes.com, What Businesses Can Learn From Jimmy Fallon And His Reinvention Of 'The Tonight Show' author Nora Hahn points out that Fallon is embracing technology, surrounding himself with great talent and well, just plain having fun!
As a social media marketing professional, it is refreshing to see social media incorporated into a television institution that has been around for more than 50 years. Fallon's performances with Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and other top performers have garnished YouTube hits in the millions, and his tweets are consistently trending topics on a weekly basis.
But frankly, there have been talented, media savvy television personalities before Fallon. The difference? He's 1) having fun 2) self effacing 3) understands the power of social media and 4) a genuinely nice guy.
So, what's the takeaway for business here?
For me, what I see is a validation of Ted Rubin's Return on Relationship - the value that is accrued by a person or brand due to nurturing a relationship.
Brands can learn from Fallon. As a regular viewer I trust that Fallon's Tonight Show will consistently deliver on what it promises. That he will be true to his brand's value propositions, and most importantly, he won't be snarky, cruel or off-putting.
In a world where social media is often about complaints, sarcasm and "trolls," this is refreshing and very appealing. Using social media to connect with your audience, and communicate to them how important they are, is the lesson here.
When a brand takes the time to build a relationship with its customers, and has fun with them and not at their expense, and honors the relationship they build, then the return can be significant.
Chuck Hester is the Chief Communications Officer for Big Think Innovation, a business architect consultancy that helps companies plan, grow and build their futures. He is also a LinkedIn trainer and speaker, helping businesses get the most out of LinkedIn, while teaching them how to communicate effectively. Contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need help with LinkedIn? Feel free to message Chuck and ask about one-on-one and group LinkedIn Executive Training.