Books, Birds, Chains and Videos – A Look at Social Media with the PPA

If you were to look up “Social Media” in a Webster’s dictionary 10 years ago, it
never would have been found. But in today’s society, you can’t go anywhere without
seeing a Facebook or Twitter logo. Everyone from sports teams to Fortune 500
companies, are using these social media outlets to get more “fans,” including the
Perennial Plant Association.

Many people wonder “What’s the point?” and some even ask, “What is it?” Each
social media page has it’s own function. According to Facebook.com, Facebook’s
mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and
connected. What started as a source to connect college students on campus, has
turned into a whirlwind of people participating, ranging from President Obama to
the little kids down the street. Facebook has also become a watchdog for businesses
and employers to view the competition or future employees.

Tweeting, tweets and tweeps; words that many of us would associate with birds,
but now are connected to the popular social media outlet Twitter. While similar to
Facebook in that you can update your status, Twitter does not directly host photo
albums, fan pages or groups but does offer trending topics and the ability to tag
key words in a post. For example, if you were to search for Perennial, it would pull
up all tweets (posts) including that word. Twitter.com describes itself as a real-
time information network that connects you to the latest information you find
interesting.

If professionalism in social media is what you are looking for, LinkedIn may be your
answer. LinkedIn was created to serve as a means to create safe business contacts
that give you an advantage in your career. Their mission is to connect the world’s
professionals to make them more productive and successful. The groups you find
on LinkedIn will lead to discussions and possible connections to the interest area
of your choice. This form of social media also allows you to upload a resumè to
build your profile as well as receiving referrals from colleagues, classmates and
customers.

A leading social media site, which may seem unprofessional, is YouTube. While it
may seem that most people tune in to watch the top clip from Saturday Night Live or
to watch a talking dog, this site is again, also home to many Fortune 500 companies.
YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across
the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and
advertisers large and small, according to YouTube.com. One of the many advantages
of YouTube is the ability to create your own Channel. Much like the creation of
a television channel, you can add control, add and promote videos specific to an

interest area.

So what does this mean for the Perennial Plant Association? The PPA can be found
on all of these social media sites. The association strives to connect professionals,
provide education, and promote perennial plants. Social media is a new way of
doing just that. As a new decade is nearing, companies and associations must
explore all options to promoting their industries. While the PPA may be somewhat
new to these media facets, continue to look for new post from the PPA about
perennial happenings, discussions on improving the industry and information about
upcoming events, especially the 2011 Perennial Plant Association Symposium in
Atlanta, GA.

There are hundreds of different social media sites out on the web. Before joining
one or starting a page, do some research and see what will benefit your needs
the best. Most of these sites were created to serve as a means to spread news and
information. For those who are weary of getting started in social media there are
many books and websites that offer assistance to beginners.

Perennial Plant Association Social Media Listings

Facebook – Perennial Plant Association Fan Page

Twitter – twitter.com/ppanews

Linked In – Perennial Plant Association

YouTube – youtube.com/perennialplant

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