Put the beef into your social media identity

Put the beef in your social media identity

Photo by Karen Runtz

Think about the volume of email you create or respond to.  What if every one of those messages had links to your social networking profiles.  Connecting your email signature with your social media identity is a great marketing tool, especially if you customize by audience.

I mentioned the Social Media Examiner as a great resource in my last post: 11 voices worth listening to.  One of their new posts talks about the top six mistakes in social media and how to fix them.

Mistake #2 is “hiding your social media presence”.  The writer, Kristi Hines, shows simple ways of promoting social networking profiles by displaying them on websites and business cards, as a signature in forums and through social links in email.

My eyes were pulled to the clean but effective email example shown.  My email signature already had a link to my WordPress blog but compared to Kristi’s example, my signature block was an Angus burger without the beef (or the equivalent for my vegetarian friends).

That’s now changed.  I’m happy to have a much meatier signature that shows my social media connections as well as an RSS link to my latest blog post.  I’m leaving it “basic black” for now, but I can accessorize as I want.  I’ll be adding the coordinates for my Facebook page, for instance, once it’s done.

Karen's email signature

Karen's email signature

WiseStamp is a free add-on for Firefox, Google chrome and works with any webmail service such as Gmail, yahoo, aol and  hotmail.  Their website notes that set ups for Safarai and Mac are coming soon and that they’re “working hard” to expand WiseStamp into other browsers and email clients like Outlook.

To set up the signature you can either select one of the templates or follow the WYSIWYG editor to create your own, which is what I did.  One tip: if you want to add the RSS feed for your WordPress blog, you need to add the backslash and feed as in “/feed” to your blog address.

WiseStamp also allows you to add your signature to just about any webpage (as long as it supports HTML). Soon after I set up my new email identity, I came across Andy Beal’s Marketing Pilgrim post about Gmail getting multi-signature support.  Apparently Gmail has added support for graphical signatures plus you can use a different signature for each email address you send from.

I’m still partial to how WiseStamp works, although it does limit you to two signatures.  You can easily alternate between them directly from your webmail using the WiseStamp Icon.

Responding to a comment I posted  on her Social Media Examiner blog,  Kristi  noted:

It’s a great addition to emails.  When I was doing freelance work, I got a few opportunities simply based on the signature – people who didn’t know what I did visited the profile, or one person was just so impressed by the signature he wanted something similar for his networks.

Exactly. I’m thrilled to be able to show my  social media  identity.  What I also appreciate is the composite that’s emerging.  Let me explain.

Out of my job and comfort zone

This March, I used “learning social media, out of my job and comfort zone”, as the subtitle for my newly minted blog.  It captured where I happened to be personally and professionally.   Danny Brown’s recent blog post on leaving your comfort zone mentions that the real success comes from taking risks.  He notes that:

Comfort zones are funny things.  On the one hand, they keep us safe because we don’t expect any surprises.  On the other, they stunt our growth because they keep us safe.

In a similar vein,  @David Weedmark  just tweeted the following quote :

It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. ~ Joseph Campbell.

French novelist Andre Gide put it this way:

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

That’s especially scary for me:  I’m a Capricorn, an earth person, and I never learned to swim.  But I couldn’t stay as I was.  I had to take a deep breath and begin again.  Five months into my new identity, I’m persevering and things are beginning to gel.

I commented on Danny’s post:

I started 2010 in despair, having lost my longtime job as a corporate communicator (and related identity) and turning 60.  Then I began my deep dive into learning and applying social media, reawakening a passion for life that is now taking me in exciting new directions.  I’m now engaged half-time to set up and be the voice of a Canadian business across several social media channels.  Doing this on a shoestring means I have to learn and use the tools myself.  That can drain my battery like nothing else!  But the successes are so sweet.  Taking this risk has also led to a renewed faith in people.  I’ve discovered so many great and giving souls through these channels.

A perfectionist, I’m trying to stop beating myself up for what I don’t know.  That’s even harder when you suffer from depresssion!  I’ve had to retreat and keep to myself for a period again.  But I’m pushing through, hence my new post. (By the way, here’s a link to a thoughtful piece about depression that  I  “favorited”  this week on the Huffington Post.)

I now understand that it’s important for me to celebrate how far I’ve come in a mere five months.  Yes, I’ve been processing the who, what, when, where and why of social media.  But I’ve also been learning as much as I can about the world of small business as well as the specialized area of business services that my new business client offers.  To be effective I need to understand the needs of their audiences and speak their language.

I also had to set up a working home office.  What I had didn’t cut it.  Two weeks ago, I me myself installed a router and got it working with my aging desktop, newly borrowed laptop and just purchased smartphone.  I had flashes of great satisfaction.  But I also had to come to terms with how anxious I had become.   I could hardly function.  So I stepped back from the world of the web, treated myself to a fresh new mystery, sang in a trio in church, went on a nature walk to the Mer Bleue Bog with a local garden club, tackled  weeds in some of my gardens and potted up new plants in others.

Jam up!

Karen's red currant jam

Karen's red currant jam

On Canada Day, I made jam from berries picked from my own red currant bush.  It felt good to get back in touch with my earth mother self.  I also had fun bringing my jam-making into my new world by taking and broadcasting a photo with my new Motorola smartphone!  There was  one slight hitch–I couldn’t rotate the image, so it  showed up  sideways on my Twitter link!  I managed to get it right side up by the time I added it to Facebook, by routing it to Picnik.

This “jam up” of the professional and personal had the ingredients I find most appealing on social media, whether it be blogging, Twitter, Facebook or other networking channels:  the mash that can serve up the truest reflection of the individual or business and allow us to build meaningful relationships based on honesty and trust.

But now my barbeque and the personal world are calling.  Thick and juicy Angus burgers topped with grilled Portobello mushrooms and aged Balderson cheddar!

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One response to “Put the beef into your social media identity

  1. Pingback: Taking up ProBlogger’s 7-link challenge « Ignore the squirrels

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