The Official Klout Blog

Klout Star: Scott Kleinberg

October 25th, 2011 by Lan Nguyen

Our Klout Stars series highlights top influencers and how they got to where they are today.

About Scott: Scott Kleinberg lives life in 140 characters or less. As social media consultant for the Chicago Tribune Media Group, his days are packed with all kinds of online goodness, but he especially enjoys focusing on the role of social networks in breaking news as well as meaningful and entertaining engagement and conversation. It’s better to ask Scott which social networks he’s not on, because the list is pretty extensive. Follow Scott on Twitter at @scottkleinberg. You can also find him on Facebook and Quora. And if you’re really good, he’ll let you follow him on Foursquare.

1. How did you get started in social media?

It began in 2007 when my iPhone blog was exploding. I needed a way to curate questions and keep people informed about the latest iPhone updates. That’s how @iptib was born, but soon I was hooked on how cool tweeting was. I realized everything I tweeted didn’t have to be iPhone related, so I created @scottkleinberg and found my rhythm. Eventually the iPhone blog ran its course and I migrated everything over to @scottkleinberg. In 2008, I was working at RedEye, the Chicago Tribune’s tabloid edition for young urban professionals, when I saw other media outlets trying to stake their claim on Twitter. Most didn’t really know what they were supposed to do, but then it hit me. RedEye’s audience of nontraditional newspaper readers was special. These were the early adopters embracing social media in a big way, so I conceived, created and launched RedEye’s entire social media campaign, starting @redeyechicago in 2008. To this day, it’s one of the most fun places to be online in Chicago. I left there for my current job at the Tribune in early September of this year, but not before building a network of just shy of 40,000 highly-engaged friends – I never call them followers.

2. What’s your strategy for the content you produce and share on social media?

Variety is the spice of life, so I’m always thinking about the kinds of things I find interesting online. While I have my favorites (Apple, photography, etc.,) I really enjoy a little of everything. So that’s how I approach my social media content and curation, but I’m careful to not repeat too much on different platforms. I know each place has a different audience, but I want to give people a reason to follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Also, I make the most of each of my 140 characters. As long as the subject matter allows, my tweets are written in a fun way – perfectly sized and ready for retweeting. And while I like posting content from the Chicago Tribune because it’s where I work, I search far and wide for the things I share. I also realize that sometimes a fun cartoon on Facebook can provide a much-needed afternoon boost. I take each day as it comes and just try to have fun.

3. What advice do you have for someone who wants to take their social media influence and presence to the next level?

Above all else, remember these words: Social media has to be social. Contrary to what I’ve heard from all over the social media universe – even among my circle of friends – there is no such thing as a social media platform that serves solely as a loudspeaker. There are opportunities everywhere to engage with your audience and you need to do that to stand out from the crowd. That means no automatic direct messages when someone follows you on Twitter. (Please!) Take 30 seconds and thank that person in real time with a personal message. First impressions mean everything. Be passionate, be real and be yourself, and you’ll go far. Let Follow Friday love shower the people who engage with you most. Oh, and make sure you check Klout every day and give lots of +K.

If you’d like to hear more from Scott, you can follow him as @scottkleinberg on Twitter.

Let us know what you think of our Klout Star! If you’d like to be considered for a future Klout Stars post about your influence please email [email protected]

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 at 7:43 am and is filed under klout stars. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  • sandwiched

    Scott totally walks the talk. I’d subscribed to him on Facebook, then just today followed him on Twitter. I got a lovely DM from Scott pointing out what we had in common, and had a great conversation with him. Now I’ve got a new social media mentor AND a new friend. Thanks, Scott, for showing me how it’s DONE.

  • Alexandra Williams

    hahaha. I love the bit about checking Klout every day and giving +K. #FF isn’t really my thing (although I appreciate the recognition from my friends), but I do love getting +K. It always leads to fun and funny exchanges. And I, too, hate the auto DMs. Aaaaaack.

  • Scott Kleinberg

    #FF is fun if you don’t go overboard and try to give #FF love to every single person. That can be hard to manage although it’s so tempting!

  • Stephen Gutowski

    This guy’s Klout score dropped by 8 points today thanks to the absurd new algorithm you guys instituted…

  • Scott Kleinberg


  • Scott Kleinberg

    Hi, Stephen. Actually, many of the Klout Stars lost points. Truth be told, just one person that I know had her score go up. My personal take is that I am all for a clearer score – one that is more accurate going forward and if that means a drop I’ll accept it. But what would help me – and I think of a lot Klout faithful – is a page that explains the differences between the old algorithm and new. No secrets need to be divulged, but maybe something that says Linked In mattered much more under the old way than it does now and Facebook is getting more attention. For so many of us, all we’ve been able to hone in on is changes, accuracy and point drop.

    Selfishly, though, I will admit that I was so psyched when I broke 70. :-)

  • Stephen Gutowski

    I completely agree. Klout talks about how much more transparent the new algorithm is but gives absolutely no details. Why did my score drop nearly 20 points? Is Klout so incompetent that they can’t even vaguely measure your influence by their own standards?

    And why does the graph of your klout score retroactively change to make sure the massive drop doesn’t show up? Now it looks like your score was always near 66 and mine was always around 55. How is that transparent?

    Also this isn’t the first time Klout has pulled this crap… I doubt it’ll be the last.

  • shehua_ok
  • stuartliroff

    Dear Klout,

    I happen to be one of your users who’s score increased by nearly 10 points.

    Here’s what would help all of us:  please explain how our scores changed, in more detail.  Use examples, that will help, instead of your vague language.

    Perhaps you can use Mr. Kleinberg, here, who’s score in your blog on 10/25 is 73 (see above) but just click on Mr. Kleinberg and you’ll see that his score has decreased by 7 points to 66.  

    Why don’t you use Mr. Kleinberg as an example to explain how his score decreased by so much.

    Also, another cause of consfuion, is what seems like (to me) revisionist charts.  If you click on Mr. Kleinberg, it doesn’t look like his score decreased at all, but has been fairly stable.  Why don’t you reflect this change in his score?

    What’s up here?

    Thanks for listening. I like your product; am in support of it. However, you need to be more transparent then you’ve been.

    Stuart Liroff

  • Scott Kleinberg

    It is true, Stephen. It’s very hard to understand what causes the changes in score. True, transparency is very important. I agree. I would like to see a case study. Whether it’s me or anyone else – just a look at the old score and the new and a short video from someone at Klout explaining the differences and how they arrived there. I think that can easily be done without giving away any corporate secrets.