Social Media Much Like a Triathalon

Jonah Holland won a Shorty Award, which honors the best people and organizations on Twitter. She won for her work with Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond.

She’s passionate about gardening, but she’s also passionate about triathalons, which is initially how she became active in social media.

“I think people are best at social media when it’s completely based on their own passion,” she said during an interview at a coffee shop. “That’s how I came at it.”

She started blogging about triathalons and then expanded, including her gig with Lewis Ginter.

She first learned of the Shorty Awards last year, and this year she thought “it seemed like something that could be in reach.”

Voting for the awards is public by the Twitter community, and Jonah noted that the Richmond community was key in her and Lewis Ginter’s win.

Jonah likens social media to a triathalon. “You set a goal and you don’t know if you can attain it but you’re going to see it through,” she said.

For those new to social media, she recommends not starting with Twitter, but rather with a blog. “Twitter is just microblogging,” she said. “Blogging gets you in the right mind set to tweet. At first it can be confusing and nonsensical.”

But after some time blogging and posting to Facebook, Twitter allows a person to complete the social media piece.

Whichever platform you choose to begin with, Johan says, “Start with you passion because without passion you really don’t have very much. You have to feel strongly to have a clear voice.”

At Lewis Ginter, Jonah’s blog posts often start out as emails to friends. She uses Twitter to help promote the blog and connect other people who would be interested in the blog – and the gardens.

She enjoys writing about Lewis Ginter because she finds that plants “are a connection to your past,” she said. “I find meaning in plants. They remind you of certain times and people in your life.”

Snapdragons, for example, remind her of her Nana Ruby.

As she continues to pave the way in social media, Jonah said she’ll incorporate more video. She also will continue to partner with people. “You have to find like minded people and band together,” she said. “It’s important to work together.”

Ultimately, Jonah said it’s about “adding value to the community and reinforcing the connections.

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