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Monday, February 16, 2009

Facebooking Phenomena

Have you noticed the cigar industry emerging on Facebook? Lately it seems like everyone is getting in on the action of this social networking tool: everyone from the ‘old-timers’ to the ‘whipper snappers’. Whether you are the IPCPR, Tobacconist University, a cigar brand, cigar maker, or just a cigar lover, our industry is beginning to Facebook. I feel like I’m late to the party since I don’t have any extraordinary technological know-how, but I may in fact be early. I say this because a huge percentage of Tobacconists don’t even use email, so I think we are just beginning to scratch the surface of Facebook’s potential. So, let me emphatically say that I have no idea what I’m doing on Facebook, but I am enjoying every minute of it….

Recently we added a TU page and I created another for my retail stores. While I don’t really have any goals for these endeavors, I do know that it is important to connect and build community. Perhaps that is the purpose of being on Facebook! I would argue that you don’t need a goal (i.e. # of friends or members). All you need to do is put yourself and/or your company out there and connect with people. See what they are doing and learn from it – let the users generate the content. The upside is that we build a stronger community and industry!
So, if you’re on Facebook, friend me up*…..

Of course, there is always a downside. Firstly, no matter how private Facebook seems, it is still a public forum and one should comport themselves as such. Second, and VERY IMPORTANT, is the fact that Facebook considers anything you post as [practically] their property! Facebook reserves the right to reproduce and license anything you post on your page, even after you terminate your account. So, watch your mouth! And keep your intellectual property off of Facebook!
HELP!!!  If you are a retail tobacconist and would like help starting a facebook page, give us a call or email and we will gladly share what we know. 

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