Tricky Signatures

What do you do when you have a slew of social media addresses and want to include at least some of them on your email signature?

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a new client. I noticed his signature included a half dozen (or more) links to his social media sites.

At first, I thought this was great. I felt I had dropped the ball on this great tactic. It’s a simple way to let people know not only that you are connected online, but where they can connect with you, too. And if you are a social media marketer, which he was, it’s a crucial move.

So I went to my settings and loaded up my signature with my links. I was like a kid ripping through the gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. I went a little crazy. I had the standards, my website–I have two (watch where this goes)–then I put down my blog, my LinkedIn, my personal and business Twitter, my Delicious, my Slideshare . . .

It got crazy. If this actually had been Christmas, the floor would have been covered in torn wrapping paper. I would have been sitting cross-legged on the floor, panting and breathless from the frenzy.

I lived with this for a few days, but found myself deleting the addresses whenever I sent emails to friends or to clients who knew me well.

Then I modified it to what I felt were just the essentials. The problem is, as a social media nerd/marketer, they all seem essential to me. I felt bad enough I had left off my Foursquare, Gowalla, Plaxo, Squidoo and Tumblr addresses. Like anyone else, I didn’t care so much about the Friendster, My Space, and there was no way I was going to put down my Facebook address–like everyone else, I have enough strangers trying to friend me as it is.

So then I had an epiphany. What do I really want people to see? You’d think the two websites would be an obvious, but while they are both business, one is really about my career highlights, the other is for business. I realized, also, that who I send those addresses to depends on what context we are doing business. Plus the business website really isn’t ready so . . . I deleted all of my email signatures except for two: the blog and my LinkedIn, which has everything any prospective client or reporter needs to see.

It may be a short-sighted move, but I no longer cringe when I see my signature, feeling like I look like the poster girl for a social media nerd club. I also don’t feel the need to delete it whenever I send emails to friends. What links do you include in your email signatures? It’s worth reviewing, but don’t go crazy like me.

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One response to “Tricky Signatures

  1. I am totally in agreement with you. I have two main websites – one a political blog and one where I advertise my services for website design – and add to them the LinkedIn, facebook, etc. I decided to divide up my email addresses to reflect my signatures. If you’re a website client, you don’t need to see my facebook page or a link to my political blog. It made life easier, except for friends who become clients.

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