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.
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