Our Klout Stars series highlights top influencers and how they got to where they are today.
About Katie: My name is Katie and I am a runner. While I do have a day job, I do not feel it defines me. I feel like “runner” is a much better description of the person I am and the person I strive to be everyday. Running to me is more than the physical act of putting one foot in front of the other; it is a mental and emotional journey, every bit as much as a physical one. In addition, the social running community has allowed me the opportunity to make some of the best friends I have ever had in my whole life.
1. How did you get started in social media?
Within the last year, I started a new job that required a HUGE multi-state move. Overnight, I found myself losing my beloved running community. I had found my niche and I would have to start all over in my new city. However, moving to a new state presented me with a unique opportunity…a chance to expand my networks. Wanting to find other runners in my area, I did the unconventional thing…I took to Twitter. Not only did I find runners in my area, but I found amazing athletes all over the world with incredible stories, training tips, ideas on gear, etc.!
Twitter quickly opened the door to my blog, katieRUNSthis. I had tossed around the idea of starting a blog for the last several years, but I always feared putting myself out there. Being in a new city gave me this “what do I have to lose” attitude, so I went for it! When I started, I wanted to differentiate my blog in the running community. I didn’t want to write only about how many miles I had run that day or week, but rather, I wanted to share my experiences with running and racing and the life lessons it has taught me along the way. After all, race records and age group awards will be forgotten about over the years…lessons learned and friendships forged will not. The best part? People actually started reading my blog…lots of people!
From my blog, I quickly moved on to other forms of social media including Facebook, Foursquare, Flickr, Tumblr, Instagram, StumbleUpon, and, of course, Klout! I use other platforms as well, but not as predominantly, though I am always learning and teaching myself new things. I attribute the success of katieRUNSthis to my direct involvement in social media. As a result, new doors have opened up for me, like writing for a digital running publication, Claim Your Journey, and the running section of the New Orleans newspaper, The Times-Picayune. And who knows, maybe one day it will lead to my dream job of working for Runner’s World or a major race/multi-sport event series! One thing I am sure of, however, is that with social media, the possibilities are endless and no door is truly closed. There is always a way to reach out to people and make connections.
2. What’s your strategy for the content you produce and share on social media?
Keeping people engaged and active with katieRUNSthis is really important to me. I try my best to write content that appeals to a wide audience. There are so many aspiring runners or runners who are just getting started that are often filled with questions. After all, back in the day, I was right where they are. There are many blogs and websites dedicated to elite runners, so I felt providing a place where I entry-level to mid-level runners could get information was a good way to go. New to mid-level runners are also a group that may sometimes need more direction and focus than more competitive athletes, so I try to keep the content I write about upbeat and fun, while informational and worthy of being shared at the same time.
3. What advice do you have for someone who wants to take their social media influence and presence to the next level?
To someone entering the social media world, my biggest pieces of advice would be the following: be genuine, be passionate, and be actively engaged. If you aren’t excited about truly interested in the information you are putting out into the world, people WILL know it. You might be able to fake it for a while, but you can not fool your audience forever. You have to be honest and transparent. With that, you have to be passion. If you are not legitimately excited about what you are talking about, why would anyone else be? You want momentum? Then YOU have to start it! Lastly, be responsive. What a lot of “social media analysts” and companies fail to remember is that social media is a two way street…it is a conversation. Talk to people, find out why they are interested in what you are interested in, and invest in them. Try your best to interact with your social media “friends” in much the same way as I would friends in real life.
If you’d like to hear more from Katie, you can follow her at @katieRUNSthis on Twitter.
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