Today's guest blog comes from Buzz Builder, Megan McMahon. As a Conan-lover and social media enthusiast, Megan examines the huge success that was Conan O'Brien's social media campaign. The year was 2010. The month was January. The people of Earth were taking sides. In June 2009, NBC had given Conan O'Brien the coveted time slot of The Tonight Show. Less than 7 months later, NBC took the spot that away from Conan and gave it back to Jay Leno. Fans were furious. You were either Team Coco or Team Leno (which was pretty nonexistent in the social media world). Team Coco banded together to exclaim “I’m with Coco” in anyway they could, mostly on the Internet. Enter Team Coco as a social media phenomenon. People of Earth, behold the stages of the Team Coco evolution!
1. Birth of Team Coco.
While NBC and Conan were duking it out, on Twitter something incredible was happening. Whether it was #TeamCoco or #ImWithCoco, Conan fans were coming out of the woodwork on the Twitter streams expressing their love for Conan through these hashtags and many more. But what wasn’t so obvious then as it is now, #TeamCoco was much more than just a hashtag. It was a social media revolution in the making. As any Coco fan would know, there was even an image to go along with the uprising. Fans made this image their Facebook profile picture, their Twitter avatar, and even made t-shirts. Creator Mike Mitchell created the icon for what would become the Team Coco revolution.
2. Conan joins Twitter! (And follows one person…@LovelyButton)
A few weeks after Conan made the announcement that we would be parting ways with NBC ($33 million richer), he joined Twitter and created @ConanOBrien. Conan joining Twitter was a revolution in itself…in just 24 hours he gained 300,000 followers. Coco would tweet on a daily basis, mostly about how he was spending his time now that he was unemployed. More importantly though, Conan used his Twitter to make two major announcements to Team Coco: 1. The Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour announced on March 11th; 2. His return to TV would be on November 8th on TBS. Enter excitement across the nation from Team Coco fans. Conan used his social media power to keep the hype alive during his 9 month television host hiatus.
So as you may or may not know, part of Conan’s settlement with NBC was that he would not be allowed to have a comedy show on television until after September 1st. Conan's comedy/musical tour was exactly what the Team Coco fans needed and wanted, a chance to see the man live and in their hometowns. As soon as Coco announced the tour in one of his tweets, tickets started selling out in minutes. At every Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour show, a hashtag was displayed on the big screens so that people at the show could tweet about it AND use the unique hashtag. For example, the hashtag for the show I attended in Connecticut was #conanecticut. Brilliant!
4. At last, teamcoco.com!
In conjunction with the live tour, teamcoco.com was created and started off as basically just a blog where all things regarding Conan were posted. Teamcoco.com was in addition to the Twitter account and the Facebook page that were created as a home base for the Team Coco masses. Teamcoco.com really exploded more recently though which leads us to…
Here’s where the masterminds behind Team Coco (the brand) got smart…all you social media junkies get ready because here comes the Team Coco climax…
The Conan Blimp! complete with Foursquare check in capabilities AND a snazzy badge.
The #LiveCocoCam! 24 hours worth of streaming live footage from the Team Coco Headquarters featuring a dancing taco, 80’s aerobics, and a staring contest.
Fan of the Week every Friday! On Thursdays, one fan was randomly chosen from the hundreds that would comment on a post on the Team Coco Facebook fan page. And for those of us who aren't lucky enough to be chosen, we all have equal chance of being on the teamcoco.com Fan Wall!
FREE CONAN T-SHIRTS! In the 10 days leading up to Conan’s premiere on TBS, Team Coco gave out 1,000 free shirts per day to the first 1,000 people who entered a code that was posted on the @TeamCoco Twitter and Facebook page into the free tshirt portion of Teamcoco.com. (These bad boys were gone in a matter of seconds every day...but I managed to get one! Anyone else?)
#ConanShowZero! One week before the TBS debut, Team Coco presented a livestream of what is hopefully the fabulous late night on TBS genius that is to come. And finally boys and girls…
6. 11/8/10- The Day CONAN Returns
Everywhere I turned on the day of Conan’s TBS premiere, there were ads about the show throughout the social media world. After already conquering Twitter, Team Coco on Facebook created an event that all Conan fanatics could attend from their “own comfy couch.”
And #TeamCoco was off and running in Twitterland.
On the show's premiere Conan acknowledged his social media stardom when one of the first lines from his opening monologue was “I know what you guys are thinking…’Hey! It’s the guy from Twitter.’” Well Conan, as you were proving yourself to be MORE than just a guy on Twitter, #TeamCoco and the masses were making you trendy on Twitter. In fact, at one point in the night 6 out of the 10 Trending Topics WORLDWIDE were related to Conan. People were tweeting about watching Conan, supporting Team Coco, and loving all his guests.
The show was a huge success and you could credit that success to Conan's presence on social media. Team Coco utilized every social media outlet to its fullest capacity to make sure Conan's new show was a HIT!
Did you watch Conan last night on TBS? Have you been following Team Coco on Facebook and Twitter? Do you have the Conan blimp badge or one of his free T-Shirts? Tell us how you got to interact with Team Coco using social media!