Twitter loves the Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert kicked off a new era at the the Late Show last night, with the premiere of his first show as host. Twitter was excited to have Colbert back.

Yesterday, there were more than 113,000 tweets about Stephen Colbert and the Late Show. During the episode itself, fans posted nearly 50,000 tweets. Here, you can see the buildup in tweets in the week leading up to the episode, with an increase in volume the day of, a huge spike during the episode, and lots of tweets discussing the show after.

Tweets about Stephen Colbert

How does Colbert stack up to the other late night talk show hosts? The top five hosts according to Twitter are Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, John Oliver, Conan O’Brien and Stephen Colbert. Take a look at how they compare on Twitter over the past few weeks.

Comparing tweets about late night hosts

Jimmy Fallon leads the late night pack on social right now, followed by Jimmy Kimmel, but Stephen Colbert is only a little bit behind them and his show just started. Fallon typically generates around 15k tweet mentions a day, Kimmel around 7k, and John Oliver and Conan O’Brien around 4k daily. Colbert has gotten around 5k tweets daily over the past month, with that number growing every day (he averaged almost 7k per day over the past week).

A lot of Fallon’s Twitter engagement is driven by his celebrity guests. For example, @fallontonight has averaged more than 1,500 retweets per tweet over the past few days, driven by a handful of tweets mentioning Justin Bieber, which generated way more engagement than average (Bieber fans still generate some of the platform’s highest engagement rates, which you can see in the large green spikes in early September). Aside from the Bieber-related tweets, Jimmy Fallon averaged a more typical 150 retweets per tweet over the past month. That means Bieber led to 10x engagement for @fallontonight this month.

In addition, @fallontonight has nearly 3M followers, so Jimmy Fallon is speaking to a much larger audience than the other late night hosts. He’s also been hosting the Tonight Show for 18 months, so he’s had more time to grow his social following. @colbertlateshow has just under 80k followers right now, so Colbert has a lot of room to grow over the next few months as his new show gains its footing. He’s already gained 20k followers in just the past day or two. 

We’ll keep watching to see how Colbert’s team takes advantage of Twitter and other social media to engage their fans and share new content. But for now, it looks like his first show was a success! What do you think? Did you watch?

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