Certified financial planner Ann Zuraw competed in The Business Journal’s Social Madness contest in an effort to promote her blog, Chicks, Chat and Change.
Zuraw, an admitted novice when it comes to social media, was able to tweet, like and earn enough votes for Chicks, Chat and Change to win in the small business category for the Triad portion of the competition, beating out 26 other small companies.
Although she only lasted one round in the national competition, she has lots to share on what she learned about social media — and what you can too.
You can follow Ann on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. And don’t forget to support the remaining Triad contestants in Social Madness — Darryl’s Wood Fired Grill, Remington Arms Company Inc. and Shop.com <http://Shop.com> .
Here are her thoughts:
As I began the Social Madness contest, my true motivation was the potential to win $10,000 and donate the check to our community through the United Way of Greensboro.
But I soon got caught up in the contest. You see, I have inherited the networking gene and I’m learning there is no better way to network than through social media. And while the challenges quickly became apparent, that also made it more exciting.
First, I realized that I needed widen my audience base by sharing more information and Twitter seemed one of the best ways to do that. To me, Twitter users represent a very fast-growing community that can help support your business and tell you quickly if the information you are providing is working or not.
Second, I aimed to broaden my reach. I originally started out by targeting women going through divorce, but I began to include more information and advice for married women, single women, children and aging parents.
Third, I started to follow what other social media people were doing, including financial advisors and companies so I could learn from them.
Now, here comes one of those challenges I mentioned. As a financial planner, I am required to have all materials I use approved before they are posted or tweeted. That can be an issue when trying to send out relevant content out through social media quickly.
But I learned that a team of supporters can help. My team helped me write, find interesting articles, resources and practical information to have more content continuously available, even if it still had to be approved.
The bottom line is that I am a financial person and I measure success by numbers. Chicks, Chat and Change started out with less than 100 Facebook likes and in the end had over 2,500. Twitter increased from 250 followers and ended at 1,538. LinkedIn is still a work in process, but I am learning.
The increasing numbers helped us to strategically plan our next steps. By growing Twitter and Facebook, I was able to see that our content was having an impact.
And for a financial person, there’s no better feeling than seeing the numbers grow.