February 19, 2015 / Melissa Faudree

After watching Saturday Night Live’s 40th anniversary special this past Sunday, it got me thinking about the legends we have in Hollywood. If you caught the opening of the show, you know that Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake performed a musical melody together. Jimmy Fallon is a man with many talents as he is not only a television host; he is also a comedian, actor, writer, singer, and producer.

Jimmy Fallon can be a great example for businesses and marketers to follow. You might be thinking, what can Jimmy Fallon teach me? Here are 5 lessons your brand can learn from Jimmy Fallon.

Take the Reins: Will you be a legacy?

Jimmy Fallon took over The Tonight Show as the 6th host in February 2014 after Jay Leno stepped down. Fallon’s debut attracted over 11.3 million viewers, which was the most the show had received in years. While the show has been around since 1954, Fallon was able to bring his own style to the show and maintain the elements of the legacy. During Fallon’s premiere on The Tonight Show, he honored those leaders before him.

However, Fallon didn’t want to conform and keep everything the same. The Tonight Show received an all new set after moving back to New York City. He imported some of his signature bits from the Late Night show, which included segments such as Thank You Notes, Superlatives, Hashtag and Ew. Fallon has mentioned before in interviews that he has been doing The Tonight Show for years, just on at a different time.

Doc Severinsen performs the theme song from Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show with The Roots!

Doc Severinsen performs the theme song from Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show with The Roots!

Fallon Take Away: Preserving traditions can help keep your audience in tune with your brand. However, don’t be afraid to update and try new things. If you always do what you’ve done in the past, you cannot grow. Keep the things that work and tweak things that don’t. Remember that mistakes are proof that you are trying.

Social Media & Engagement

Jimmy Fallon is actively involved in conversations on social media. He began using Twitter in 2008 after his skits on SNL became a conversation trend. Since then Fallon tweets multiple times throughout the day. Some of which are in relevance to The Tonight Show while other posts are pictures, videos, and funny thoughts.

One of the great things about Fallon is that he does not hire someone to write his tweets for him. It is his voice. It is the real Jimmy Fallon talking and engaging with his audience. Twitter isn’t the only place you can find the talk show host. You may also find him on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr and YouTube. He has become so popular that he even has his own app. Fallon knows what his audience wants and when they want it. More importantly his timing is perfect and he knows how to provide to his audience by listening and engaging.

reply to fan

Fallon Take Away: As you probably already know, social media is a requirement for brands today. But it is more than just having an online presence. Your brand should engage and listen with your audience. You should be wherever your audience is. If most of your audience is on Facebook, go there. One of the key aspects about utilizing social media for your brand is consistency Are you consistent with your content and how it relates to your brand? This includes consistency of your brand for any profile and cover images you select. Another key aspect is creating engaging and sharable content. Do your posts on social media compel your followers to reply, like, or share?

Incorporate User-Generated Content

Fallon incorporates his audience’s content into The Tonight Show. A great example of this is the #Hashtag game. Fallon announces a hashtag on Twitter. People are to tweet back and Fallon will share his favorite responses on the show.

ugly sweater

Fallon also involves his studio audience. He includes them in skits, games and songs. He has genuine conversations with his guests on the show. One recent example is the new tradition at The Tonight Show with the 12 days of the ugly Christmas sweater. Each week Fallon would reveal a new sweater. He would draw a seat number out of a hat and the selected audience member would win the sweater. Fallon would briefly interview each winner.

Fallon Take Away: You should always listen to your audience. They are what shapes your business. If you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business. Therefore, if you listen to what they are saying, this will increase their engagement and hopefully become loyal customers down the road. Your goal should be life long customers. You want to find ways that get your audience involved. Do you offer incentives? Are you active on social media?

Be Personable & Relatable

Jimmy Fallon stays current with trends and because of this he has heavily influenced the millennial’s (even though he himself is 40). After taking over The Tonight show, the program began to reach a younger audience. This is mostly due to the fact that Fallon shares similar values and speaks the language of his younger audience. Fallon is the kind of talk show host that you could see yourself being friends with because of his personality. He even extends his sincere personality beyond the television screen. His social media presence is an excellent example of his charming and friendly personality.


Fallon Take Away: People want a brand and business they can relate. If you are always posting things on social media that are serious or repeatedly trying to sell products or services, how do you expect your audience to relate? Don’t dehumanize your business. Your business should be personable. You need to build relationships with your customers. Discover the likes and dislikes of your audience and use that to your advantage.

Have fun!

Jimmy Fallon always has fun and makes sure his audience has a good time too. Aside from the usual guest interviews, you can often catch Fallon performing skits, playing games, singing, dancing, and doing impressions. There is no doubt that his man likes to have fun. He even mentioned in his debut monologue on The Tonight Show that his goals are to make you laugh and put a smile on your face. He wants his audience to go to bed with a smile. He said the main goal is to have fun!

Fallon Games

Fallon Take Away: Businesses should have fun every once in awhile. It may not be every second of the day, but hopefully you can at some point. Your audience and customers should know you are a fun company too. There are many ways you can show off your fun personality to your audience. You can post funny videos or images on social media while still being professional. Perhaps your team attends events or company dinners. You might travel to interesting cities or attend annual conferences. You can showcase how your brand interacts at these events on social media and your website.

Your business may not be a talk show like The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, but there are some things we can learn as it poses a really fascinating example. So whether you are becoming an entrepreneur or beginning a new job with a business that has established traditions, have fun and don’t be afraid to show who you are to others. You can find success by showing the world who you are and what you have to offer. You never know, you could end up on The Tonight Show.

Signing off!


(Just incase you missed the opening for SNL’s 40th Anniversary special)

Posted In: Blog, Business