by Juli Settlemire, Marshall Communications Business Manager
Today, I pinned a photo of Erik Estrada.
When I was a teenager, my friend Rosina Vacchiano (Zeen) was obsessed with Erik Estrada from CHIPS. She would spend hours carefully cutting out his photo and taping them onto her bedroom walls until the whole room was covered floor to ceiling in a glossy shrine of devotion. While the rest of us discussed the daily dramas of adolescence, and answered quizzes from Cosmopolitan, Zeen immersed herself in the Erik Estrada Fan Club, and poured out her teenage heart in loving fan letters.
Now I’m an adult working at Marshall Communications, surrounded by intensely creative co-workers, like Whitney. Whitney is obsessed with Pinterest. It’s true, she is. For those of you unfamiliar with this virtual, visual social site, Pinterest is the fastest growing social network in history. Its concept is remarkably simple and fun — just “pin” a photo that you like. You can group photos together in boards, comment and share. It’s a lot like when you were a teenager, ensconced in your bedroom with your friends and making collages from all of the popular magazines. Except with Pinterest, you have the entire Internet to choose from and can share with just about anyone in the world.
Create an account through your twitter or Facebook accounts or ask a Pinterest friend to invite you. Complete the information form, follow the step-by-step instructions to download your “thumbtack” and you’re ready to pin.
Just about anything on the Internet is fair game for pinning — in fact, most businesses encourage visitors to pin their photos knowing that sharing their images with Pinterest users will introduce more visitors to their brand and drive traffic to their website.
The Possibilities are endless
Because Pinterest is an online social media site, you can easily search the Internet for images, ideas and inspiration. The site also allows users to share from other each other’s boards. You can even search Pinterest for keywords and by member name.
You can share with just about anyone
Unlike Facebook where you have to be friends first, Pinterest allows you to post photos to your own boards and share on a main feed that is accessible to everyone. You can also choose to follow other people with similar interests — no friendship or special permission required.
Pinterest allows businesses to show their personality and build community through images. It also strengthens brand message.
As for Zeen, she won a fan contest with photos of her room, and her devotion resulted in a personal phone call from Erik — she responded by screaming and throwing the phone across the room.
I pinned a photo of Erik Estrada today — yup Zeen, he’s still hot.