Monday, February 2, 2009

Social Networking

At Unified last week the Thursday session involved the future of the wine industry, and some of the marketing opportunities available. One of the speakers was Courtney Cochran of Your Personal Sommelier and Hip Tastes. She discussed some of the networking trends for the Millenial Generation. The Millenials are people who were born between 1978 and 1996 and are becoming adults at the beginning of the new millenium. The Millenials are the first generation who are choosing wine over other alcoholic beverages when they socialize. This is a great opportunity for wineries to attract a loyal following of customers.

Courtney Cochran brought up social networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Generation Xers (of which I'm a proud member) and Millenials are using these sites to stay connected with a large spectrum of friends. Although I've written before about LinkedIn, I have finally dove into Facebook and Twitter. Getting my profile, and that of WineTalent's, complete takes some time, and then you have to figure out who you might know on these sites. It's always fun to connect with some friends you haven't heard from in awhile. Luckily some of my friends are techy, and I linked up to them very quickly. Now I'm searching the sites, seeing what else I can link to on them.

So, did I get much work done today? Questionable. I did get through a lot of emails after being gone last week, and have updated my database. I also connected with some old friends who were on Facebook. I also inadvertently got all of my contacts in my yahoo address book contacted by Tagged. I was signing up after someone linked to me, and before I even finished signing on, hundreds of my contacts were contacted on my behalf. While it is always great to connect, I like to know who is being contacted, and Tagged overpowered me. I now have tons of emails sitting in in-boxes due to a slip of the enter key. Looking over the contacts on Tagged, I quickly discovered it isn't the site I'm going to network on, and canceled my account. Hopefully I haven't done any irreparable harm.

So, get yourself out there on these sites, but don't forget to manage your contacts wisely. And always keep an eye on the content on your pages. Employers and colleagues can look you up and you want to make sure you know what they are seeing.

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