Social media sites are a great way to stay in touch with friends, but celebrities are also discovering how useful they can be for promotional purposes. Jimmy Fallon, host of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and former Saturday Night Live star, was one of the first to recognize the importance of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and has embraced the use of Twitter hashtags to great advantage.
Hashtags came into use on Twitter as a way for those with similar interests to connect with one another. A hashtag is the pound symbol, and it’s placed in front of a specific word in a tweet. They’re searchable and can appear anywhere within the body of the tweet. Hashtags aren’t a feature that’s provided by Twitter, but the usage caught on and they're used regularly for trendy topics. They have no formal rules, but have their own set of etiquette.
Fallon has been using Twitter and hashtags to promote himself and his show with excellent results. Before his show aired, Fallon announced that he was getting started on Twitter, then began using it to promote the show in the hope that his Twitter followers would watch the Jimmy Fallon Show when it went on the air. The strategy worked, and the show received higher ratings than The Late Show with Jay Leno.
He regularly tweets on Twitter and checks comments, using those as a barometer of how sketches, guests and interviews have been received. The best use of hashtags on Twitter is his tweets for upcoming shows. His followers tweet back, using hashtags, about their favorite jokes, which are read on the show. It provides a unique way to interact with his audience and makes him accessible. It's also an excellent tool for increasing viewers and ratings.
Fallon’s used of the latest platforms and technology comes as no surprise. His background is in computing and his father worked at IBM. He was one of the first to have access to Prodigy and learned about chat rooms through a classmate in high school. As the Internet evolved, Fallon’s background made it easy for him to see the possibilities. Viewing blogs about Saturday Night Live in 1998 made him realize just how powerful it could be.
In a digital world where everyone is online, Fallon has found the perfect medium for engaging viewers, interacting with fans and making them feel as if they’re a part of the show – which in a way, they are. It’s a method that anyone in any industry can employ, and one that he’s using to good advantage to connect with millions of potential viewers.