Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How to Create a Cool Social Media Email Signature

One of the most popular posts ever on this blog was The Social Media Email Signature, in which I noted that "In the old days, email signatures pretty much just mirrored business card information (which is still the case for most people)...A growing number of Web 2.0-savvy executives, however, are breaking out of the old mold and creatively integrating social networking into their email sign-off." It clearly struck a cord, and traffic-wise, it didn't hurt that Guy Kawasaki tweeted the post. It helped. A lot. In fact.

The post included several creative examples of social media signatures, though most are are text-based. Lately, you may have seen more examples that incorporate graphical elements, like this:

Tom Pick
Marketing & PR Executive
KC Associates, LLC
tom@kc-associates.com

Follow on Twitter
WebMarketCentral Blog
Connect on LinkedIn

(It's difficult to match the exact appearance in Blogger; my actual Outlook signature is shown to the right.)

If you use Gmail, Hotmail or another web-based email service, the easiest way to create such a signature is using a tool like WiseStamp. In Outlook, it's a bit more work but not terribly difficult. Expert users may already know this, but for those unversed in the finer points of Outlook signature creation, here are step-by-step instructions:

1. Find the buttons you'd like to use, corresponding to each of the social media sites you want to include in your signature. The easiest way is to use Google image search.

2. Grab the buttons you need, then resize them for your signature using your favorite graphics program. The buttons in the example above are 80 pix by 30 pix, but use whatever size looks best to you. Save them into a directory where you can find them easily.

3. Open Microsoft Outlook.

4. From the Tools menu, click Options...Mail Format...Signatures.

5. Click "New."

6. Type in a name for the email signature (e.g., "Social Media Signature"), then click "Next."

7. Enter the text portion of your email signature (e.g. name, title, organization, phone number etc.)

8. Press Enter, then right-click and select "Insert Image."

9. Click "Browse," select an image, and click "Open." Type in a name for the image (e.g. "Follow me on Twitter") in the Alternate Text box just in case you recipient's email settings block the images. Then click "OK."

10. Select the image (left-click on it), press Ctrl-K, copy or type in the full URL for your social media corresponding to the button (e.g., http://linkedin.com/in/yourname or http://twitter.com/yourname), then click "OK."

11. To add the next button, press Enter to the right of the image, right click again, and repeat steps 8-10 above.

12. When you’re done, click "Finish" then "OK."

13. Select the new signature name as the "Signature for new messages."

14. Click "OK."

That's it! Now, each time you send a new message from Outlook, your cool, sophisticated new graphical social media email signature should automatically be inserted.

*****


Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom

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