Looking to increase your following on social media?
Completed every tip in the book? Here’s one that you might have overlooked – the email signature.
Yes the humble email signature, that space at the bottom (or top) of every email that you send. Companies send hundreds of emails every day, from desktops and mobile devices; does your professional email signature include social media links every time?
Email is the most professional form of business communication and your email signature is effectively your online business card. The power of the humble email signature is something that businesses are slowly starting to realize, but most overlook it. The people reading your emails are already online, the email signature is the perfect place to drive traffic to your social media sites. It can be hugely effective, if done correctly.
Why include social media links?
A huge segment of the world is active on social media, the chances are that at least a proportion of your target market use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or LinkedIn. By having links on your email signature you’re showing them that you are also in the world of social media. This gives the reader another avenue to find out more about you and a great place to continue the relationship outside of emails and phone calls.
How to do it
There are 3 different ways to promote your social media links in your business email signature, it depends whether you are using email signature software or not. If your company is using email signature software, image links are the best option. If you design your signature with images and you are not using email signature software, the reader will have to click ‘display images’ to actually see the images.
1. Text links
Text links is the more basic of the two options. It is not quite as visually appealing to the reader but you can trust that it will always appear the same. When using text links, make them stand out by making them bold or perhaps a different colour and always underline the link. These tips will ensure that the reader understands that is a link.
Ensure that the alignment of the links looks the same on mobile devices as well, often some links will appear differently on some smartphones, do some testing before finalising anything.
2. Image links
For business email signatures, image links are a lot more effective. But to include them on your mobile emails will require some email signature software, as mentioned previously.
Most companies place their social media images at the bottom of the email, but consider placing them at the top, see mine below for an example. This means that all of my immediate contact details are not clouded by social media images.
The size and layout of the images is also very important. Because of the way my signature is set up, the images will always be in the top corner, no matter what device the email is read on. If your images are too big the email will often change layout when read on mobiles, make sure you test it on as many different devices as possible.
3. Banner advertisements
Once you have a basic email signature set up, consider including some advertisement blocks at the bottom. This is a great way to promote a specific social media page. For example, promote your Facebook page one month and your Twitter page the next. These images can be a lot bigger than the typical social media icon, but be careful not to make it too big for mobile devices.
What NOT to do
Don’t overload your signature with 10 different social media outlets that you use, focus on the top 3-5 that will interest the people who you email. The key to increasing your following via your email signature is to not over do it. Placing large icons is also something to avoid, Not only will it change the way that your emails appear on mobile devices but it will also make you look unprofessional.
Facebook is the most popular social network to include on a business email signature. To increase the chances of people ‘liking’ your page when they click the link, link the image to a landing page which can only be revealed when the person clicks ‘like’.
Use the ‘follow @henrymcintosh1’ button rather a small twitter icon. The follow button is a ‘call to action’, which informs the reader what to do.
Consider changing your business Instagram page to ‘private’, this means that before viewing your images people will have to ‘follow’ you first.
Set the link to your latest video rather than your YouTube home page, this means that the video will automatically start playing and the viewer will see your latest content, rather than searching for themselves.
Link the image to your company page rather than your personal account, this gives the viewer more knowledge about your product or company rather than you. They are likely contacting you about your business not because they want to get to know you. Gaining more followers for your company page is better than increasing your personal connections count.
Also, consider linking the image to a LinkedIn Showcase page rather than just a normal company page. This gives you the opportunity to create different pages for different products. People within your company can then link to the most appropriate page, therefore increasing the chance of people ‘following’ the page.
Think your email signature is pretty social? I would love to see it! Email me on [email protected].