If we were to personify the collective Internet, it would be comprised of a toddler’s attention span and a teenager’s keen awareness of revolving trends; essentially a virtual hyperactivity disorder with a dash of rebellious competition as to what’s ‘hot’ and what’s ‘not.’ If MySpace is an acid-washed t-shirt, then Pinterest is low-rise skinny jeans. As a twenty-something male (not denoting my actual age, but rest assured it’s at a number that I’m no longer comfortable listing publicly; think wrong-side of twenty-five) who is an outlier in terms of Pinterest’s target demographic, my knowledge of the burgeoning social media giant is cursory at best, but it’s been impossible to ignore the website’s meteoric ascent. In the rapidly shifting online arena, it’s essential to keep your finger to the wind to maintain a working understanding of the latest trends, whether they immediately apply to you or not.
Five years ago no-one would’ve predicted the world-altering effect Facebook would have on interpersonal interaction. I like to joke that it’s even made high school reunions obsolete (you didn’t want to go anyway, regardless of the open bar). Zuckerberg and Co. have created the up to the second news cycle, and ushered in an unprecedented level of connectedness, forging the way for other social media outlets to follow suit.
Working with Amanda and Lindsay, two dedicated Pinterest disciples (I colloquially refer to the pair as ‘pinheads,’) I’ve gleaned a great amount of knowledge as to the website’s purpose and potential by simply listening to their conversations. This social media incarnation takes a different avenue for connecting others: visual branding. I like to think of it as an online dorm-room corkboard, outfitted with your favorite personality-encompassing Internet graphics; be it memes, recipes or sarcastic quips about waking up on Monday mornings. With its user-base multiplying daily, businesses are clamoring for opportunities to utilize Pinterest much in the way that they use Facebook and Twitter.
In our office we’ve been exploring the benefits and possibilities of adding Pinterest to our own social media cache, although the existing interface and format seem a little outside of our realm of business. Pinterest has carved a unique niche as a visual and graphically-driven outlet which is not immediately applicable to what we provide, but as other social sites have shown, this can change at the drop of a hat. So while we are not adding the Pinterest rung to our ever-increasing social media ladder at the moment, we are keeping our ears to the ground for ways this burgeoning website can benefit PR/PR and our clients.
Staying ahead of the e-growth curve is synonymous with maintaining a stout online footprint, which at times can feel a bit daunting. The whirlwind nature of social media trends can at first seem confusing and make your head spin, like when your teenage son calls you a square for still wearing pleated jeans or colors out of season. When did all of this go out of style? The ‘when’ is unimportant and irrelevant, and in the age of ‘now’ it has never been more imperative to attune yourself to the ever-changing online world and keep ahead of the game.
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