WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1st, 2012, our #ADPR4300 class welcomed Marquette University Senior Communication Specialist, Tim Cigelske as a guest speaker in our classroom. Cigelske is the main guy behind Marquette’s Twitter account (@MarquetteU), which has become one of the top ten universities Twitter handles in the country. If that doesn’t convince you that this guy is worth listening to, he is also a Marathon/Half Marathon running coach for the American Cancer Society, a writer for DRAFT Magazine, the founder and web administrator of Teecycle.org, and a freelance journalist/writer. If you ever thought you were busy, meeting @TeecycleTim will make you think twice about that notion.
Another thing this can make one think twice about is how to portray a multi-faceted person via social media. While social media is an important business tool, we often learn to use it by using it personally. For many of us who are looking for a job or will soon be looking for a job, this becomes something that requires careful attention. While Facebook and Twitter, two of the social media giants, do allow one to shape a personality using what they have to offer, that personality is often either very focused or very comprehensive, missing the middle, balanced category.
And someone noticed. Introducing, as deemed by Cigelske, the next big thing….Pinterest! Pinterest can be thought of as an online pin board or a visual bookmarking source. Members are able to create and name as many boards as they want. They can then pin pictures from other sites onto each board and the pictures will link to that website. So, if I have a “Recipes” board and I find a great recipe on AllRecipes.com, I can click on the toolbar “Pin It” button, select which picture I want to show up on Pinterest, leave a short caption, and pin it to my board. When I sign into Pinterest, I will be able to see that picture and click on it to take me back to that recipe.
As I mentioned, Pinterest is also a new social media giant where people (and businesses) are allowed to show a multi-faceted personality. By perusing my personal Pinterest boards, one can learn that I like to cook, what my decoration style is, that I am crafty, that I care about working out, my personal style, my career aspirations, and my beliefs. This allows people, especially potential employers, to get a more comprehensive view of who I am and what I stand for. By using Pinterest as a source of information for who I am, companies are able to make a more informed judgment of whether or not I am a good personality match for their organization. This is incredibly important in terms of reducing turnover. If I fit seamlessly into the organization, I am more likely to uphold the company’s values and mission and be happy working there. This cuts back on turnover costs, which include costs of recruiting and selection, training, vacant territories or accounts, skill differential and operating costs.*
Pinterest, the “next big thing”, clearly brings something to the table that hasn’t been there before. A visual representation of a multi-faceted personality for you or your company. Since its inception in January of 2011, Pinterest has gained over 7 million unique visitors. Maybe it is time to consider jumping on the bandwagon and showing future employers all sides of who you are.