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BREAKING: How Twitter & Facebook Are Reacting To Colbert Taking Over For Letterman

This morning, CBS announced that Stephen Colbert would be taking over The Late Show from David Letterman after one more year on the air. Twitter lit up with news and celebrity mentions of the upcoming transition.

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Since the announcement, the keyword “Colbert” has garnered more than 702 million potential impressions on Twitter. The top three so far (highlighted by the colored circles in the chart above) have been the following:

@eonline contributed over 70 million of these impressions with their announcement:

@RyanSeacrest had just over 69 million with his congratulations Tweet:

And Ashton Kutcher tallied 65 million with this post:

But they weren’t the only news and celebrity handles to get in on the conversation. Nearly every news outlet covered the story, and countless celebrities shared in their excitement.

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I then moved on to the Conversation Driver Analysis report for a deeper look at the top 50 keywords in the same posts as “Colbert” on Facebook, Twitter, and beyond.

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Hmm, why does “Limbaugh” come up in these results, I wondered? So I clicked on over to the handy dandy Data tab on my Excel doc to find out, entering “limbaugh” into the search toolbar.

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I clicked on one of the links that my search turned up and was brought here:

Turns out, much of the social media stir around “Limbaugh” was a Retweet of this very post, or posts similar, quoting Limbaugh’s distaste for Colbert’s new appointment. Other words and phrases in the top 50 keywords, such as “war,” “declare war,” “heartland,” and “america,” are related to Limbaugh’s vitriolic reaction. The popularity of the phrase “real stephen” caught my eye in the list too, so I popped back to my Data tab and searched this term. It led me to this very engaged-with Tweet c/o Esquire, representing the other end of the reaction spectrum: 

I looked up “11 times,” which also made a showing on the keywords list. It led me to this Tweet:

Mashable has one of the most heavily viewed and shared pieces of journalism around the news so far, with 418 social media shares in only the first hour.

To sum it up, my research has shown me that some are enraged by Colbert taking over for Letterman (ahem, looking at pretty much just you, Limbaugh), but most are excited and/or preoccupied with the loss of Colbert’s faux-Fox News identity and what that means for how he’ll act on The Late Show. To run your own analysis, check out a free trial from Simply Measured, and holler at me in the comments below or @LLHitz to continue the convo!

Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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