Long before Ashton Kutcher was crowned king of Twitter-land and Justin Bieber became a Youtube sensation, comedian Dane Cook was making his own waves on Myspace. Written by Juliet Rocco
Who is this guy? I remember listening to Dane Cook’s stand-up routine for the first time. It was 2005 and I was sitting in my 8th grade classroom sharing my friend’s ipod headphones, both of us laughing hysterically at his Burger King job story. From that moment on, I was hooked.
Whether you appreciate his sense of humor and comedic style or not, it is an impressive feat to see a comedian market oneself in the way Cook has done. He was able to take his little-known persona and generate one of the largest fan bases to millions of followers in just a few short years by using a single networking site.
Myspace man: Cook got his start by performing at small comedy clubs throughout Boston and New York City in the 90s. By 2002, he invested his own time and finances into creating a website. He also launched a Myspace (and yes, Myspace still exists for those of you who don’t know). People listened and demanded more from Cook. By 2003, his first comedy album Harmful if Swallowed debuted with smashing success, going platinum.
Within the next few years, Cook went from being “that comedian guy on Myspace” to hosting an episode of SNL and getting his own HBO Special Vicious Circle. His reputation has skyrocketed since, leading to multiple Billboard record-breaking comedy albums and a world tour, including military bases in the Middle East.
Why so successful? The reason for Cook’s success (in my opinion) is simple. He responds to fans’ wants and needs and keeps them in the loop about his daily activities via Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. He’s not afraid to say something completely ridiculous or voice his opinion. To be successful in social media, you must remain true to your brand. His sentiments are not carefully crafted publicity statements; they are the raw, honest truth.
In early June of 2011, Cook took to the Twitter machine to find his missing dog, Beast. Within a frantic 2 hours, the pup was returned safe and sound. You’ve got to give him credit for his quick problem solving skills!
Cook is so successful because of his dedication and genuine interest to stay on top of new social networking sites. He was one of the first celebrities to register a Google+ account. In the fall of 2011, he was invited to the Google headquarters to discuss his passion for social networking and comedy. His next big project is a sitcom currently in the works with NBC.
Follow Dane on Twitter: @danecook
Takeaway: I think a lot of up-and-coming professionals striving to get to a certain level of success can really learn from Cook’s use of social media. It’s important to stay on top of new networking sites that could make us view Facebook and Twitter the same way we view Myspace now (hey, you never know).