What Dick Van Dyke Can Teach You About Social Media

By Cara Friedman When I say "Dick Van Dyke" you may think: Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,  Bye Bye Birdie. What you probably aren't thinking is: social media. One of my biggest pet peeves as a social media marketer is watching brands do the bare minimum. They have a Facebook page because they "have to," but take no risks because senior management is "old school." As a huge fan of Dick Van Dyke, I follow him on multiple different social platforms and am always so impressed with the content he produces. This blog post should serve as your a wake up call--if an 87 year-old actor can be innovative and exciting in the social space, there's no reason you can't be too.

As a fairly big celebrity, Dick Van Dyke's presence on social media is comparable to a brand's. He has a team of people that invest time and effort into making sure his social media is stellar. Brands and marketers can learn a thing or two from the content that Dick is putting out there. Here are some of those takeaways:

He's cutting edge. Social media is a fast-paced industry, and keeping up is a full-time job. It is important to stay ahead of the curve and be willing to try new things. For example, Dick Van Dyke was one of the first big celebrities to be on Vine. Not only was he on the platform, but he was experimenting with different kinds of videos, putting out engaging content for his fans and providing a real behind-the-scenes look into his life.

See what I mean?

He's accessible. As a brand on social media, your goal should be to connect with fans and engage with them on a personal level. A customer service problem or question is being sent to social media first, and these customers expect answers! Be accessible to answer questions and act human in your interactions. Dick Van Dyke gets hundreds of tweets a day, yet he takes the time to responds to many of them. He even put time aside to do a Dick Van Dyke Q&A session.

He's where the fans are. Anyone who manages a social community knows that it's hard work. It's almost impossible to be on every social network--and it wouldn't be a good investment of time, money, or manpower. However, you should be creating communities where you customers and fans already are. If you're B2B, you may be on LinkedIn. If you're a musician, you may even want to be on Myspace. The important thing is to be where your fans are. Dick Van Dyke knows that he can't be everywhere (even if he'd like to be). Instead he has a limited number of communities that he can properly invest time and energy into.

He's consistent. The worst thing a brand can do is build a following and then have no content to provide. If you post once today and then once a month from now, your fans will surely lose interest. Social media is a commitment;  if you are going to have a presence, you need to make sure you are consistently keeping up with it. Dick Van Dyke does not disappoint his fans. Sure he may not tweet every single day, but his fans know to expect content, and he sure doesn't let us down.

Are you a Dick Van Dyke fan? Share your thoughts on his social media use in the comments!

[UPDATE: After publishing this article we learned that Dick Van Dyke was diagnosed with a neurological disorder today. Our thoughts are with him and we wish him a speedy recovery! #weloveyoudickvandyke]