With 85 percent of Pinterest’s 100 million users being female, it’s no surprise this fast-growing DIY tool is my favorite form of social media. Pinterest is an idea motivator and generator. It is used to store ideas users want to attempt later or quickly generate creativity for something they are currently working on.

Pinterest is popularly used as a future planner. Pinterest boards range all the way from wedding ideas to “How to Save Money for Retirement.” Most of Pinterest’s users are stereotyped as wishful thinkers because this dream-inducing social media site raises the bar on our life expectations. No longer can we just live life, we must live life vibrantly enough to compare to the fairy tales we see on Pinterest. For example, it would be out of the ordinary to simply cook an early lunch for your friends after church. You must serve them a full brunch complete with orange juice served in champagne glasses with colored straws and a biscuit bar adorned with 12 types of organic jelly.

While I may have future plan boards dedicated to weddings and future homes, I also use it for upcoming, or current events. Pinterest has changed the way women view their closets. When I want to wear a specific article of clothing, I simply type said item into the search box followed by the word “outfit,” and a plethora of options become available. This way I can wear my “black bomber jacket” multiple times without repeating an outfit. While this may seem insignificant, department stores are actually suffering due to Pinterest’s wardrobe generator.

Like the majority of social media sites, Pinterest is also utilized by businesses. These businesses range from large corporations like Whole Foods to small business owners like The Pioneer Woman. Whole Foods uses Pinterest to market to their environmentally-friendly consumers by creating boards linked to gardening and volunteer projects. This technique allows consumers to see this company’s conscious personality while building up Whole Foods’ brand. The Pioneer Woman, a food blogger who has her own line of cookbooks and cookware, pins photos taken at her ranch to make her more personable to consumers. Putting products in everyday scenarios and displaying them through vivid photographs ignites a customer’s interest in the product because they can actual see it in use. Through Pinterest, companies are able to connect with end-users through an eye-pleasing medium that encourages the use of their products through DIY projects.
(These are only a few businesses that take advantage of Pinterest. Numerous others benefit from this site:

25 percent of Global 100 companies have a Pinterest, and 43 percent of users admit to using Pinterest to learn more about a brand. With impressive statistics like these, companies are inclined to get the most out of Pinterest. To take their company to the next level, marketing specialists must understand the art of pinning. There are three types of pins: Promoted Pins for Awareness, a pin that forces Pinners to think about the topic; Promoted Pins for Intent, an information packed pin that is usually used for future reference; and Promoted Pins for Action, a Pin that encouragers a Pinner to do something. Understanding the variations of Pinning, a company can use strategy to target customers, thus utilizing the idea-generating social media site.

Comment Generators

Has Pinterest raised your expectations about certain life events? If so, which ones?

If you do not have a Pinterest account, what do you think you would use it for if you did?

What business do you constantly see making a presence on Pinterest?

Do you use Pinterest more for everyday needs or long-term future plans? What is your favorite board?

When posting a recipe, would you use a Promoted Pin for Awareness, Promoted Pin for Intent or a
Promoted Pin for Action?


History of Social Media

Social media by definition is a way people interact online – networks and virtual communities where they create, share, and/or exchange information and ideas. Internet users spend more time on social networking sites than any other type of site.

The first major social network to launch was SixDegrees. This site was based off the “six-degrees of separation” concept and lasted from 1997 to 2001. It allowed users to list friends, family members and acquaintances both on the site and externally. If the person was not a member of the site, they were invited to join. Users could send messages and post bulletin board items to people in their first, second, and third degrees, and see their connections to any other user on the site.

Friendster was a close friend of Napster, the popular peer-to-peer Internet file-sharing service. The site went live in 2002 and gained 3 million users in the first few months. The site was based on the Circle of Friends social network allowing individuals to network in virtual communities. The site was the most popular social network through 2004, and was dethroned by MySpace. The website actually relaunched as a gaming site, but eventually shut down in June 2015.

MySpace launched in 2003. From 2005 until 2008, it was the most popular social networking site. MySpace allowed users to create profiles, add photos, connect with friends and share information. Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe co-founded the site, and as a result Tom was every user’s first friend. The site was widely used by musicians and artists as a way to share music. The site even allowed users to embed a music player on his/her personal profile.

MySpace was eventually overtaken by the giant we know today as Facebook. However, these three sites weren’t the only early forms of social media. Instant messaging services such as AOL and ICQ were other virtual ways for people to connect with friends online. Users spent hours thinking of the perfect “away” message to show their friends. For the first time, friends could “talk” in real time without picking up a phone or seeing each other in person.

Message boards and forums also allowed people to interact and share online about a common interest or topic. In this format, people weren’t necessarily talking to friends or even acquaintances they knew. People could seek advice about health concerns, share their love of music or voice their opinion on a news story. With this online communication, users could be more anonymous than having to sign up for an online profile.

Think about how social media has grown and developed in the past 15 years. Even 10 years ago, there would have never been a class at OBU dedicated to social media. Even though these early sites may not be relevant today when talking about social networking, it helped pave the way and develop the major players we have like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. They helped transform how we communicate online, how people are able to interact with one another and how businesses and companies can get in on those conversations.

For discussion in the comments –

What was the first social network that you joined? When was that and how old were you?

What elements of some of these early networking sites influenced today’s major social networks?

Read this article – Why do you think that instant messaging and blogs should be included when talking about the history of social media?

Welcome to the OBU Social Media Class blog!


This is where you will be posting your discussion on your social networks. You will each be responsible for posting on your assigned social network. The posts should be a minimum of 500 words. Talk about each network and how they are used personally but also as a business. Recent statistics and good examples of how a company is using the network should be included. Feel free to link to recent outside articles that might offer some discussion points. You should ask questions for your classmates to answer in their comments to help generate discussion.

As classmates comment on your post, you are responsible for moderating comments and answering any questions that may come up in the discussion. Your comment grade for the week will come from responding to classmate’s questions and generating discussion.