How is your social media presence? Likely, because you are on ActiveRain, you have a pretty good social portfolio for your business because we are discussing strategies here all the time! I'm pretty sure you are on Facebook and Google Plus and LinkedIn. Many have Twitter and Pinterest accounts. If you have an active YouTube channel, kudos to you because so few are doing it and yet it is something consumers love! Perhaps you use Foursquare also. Do you enjoy photography - I'm sure you have Flickr and/or Instagram pages.
With all of the above sites to curate, why wouldn't you want an easy gateway to share these sites with those who come to visit your blog? The best place to do so is in your blog signature, the block of text that shows up on the bottom of each of your posts.
Let's add some social media icons to our signatures! Let's talk about how.
Finding the Icons You Want
There are quite a few sites where you can download icons. The icons come in all sorts of shapes. You can search google images for free social media icons. My criteria in selecting an icon batch is (1) they are free (2) they do not require attribution (3) they have the pixel size I need and (4) they have ALL the social sites that I want to link to.
Point (4) is actually harder than it sounds. Some sets might be missing a pinterest icon or a foursquare icon and then I re-continue my search!
A Good Icon Set
I found one set of icons that met my criteria on a site called contentfrog. They have shared the icons that they created with others to also be able to use. They gave an adobe illustrator file and a pdf file for us to extract the icons from. I have taken the extra step of extracting the icons to graphic files in two different sizes (larger/smaller). There are two variations of the twitter icon also shown below. I personally like the bird symbol twitter icon the best. I also prefer the smaller 48 pixel sizing, but see for yourself.
64 pixel sized icons
twitter alternate icon
48 pixel sized icons
twitter alternate icon
Setting Up Your Blog Signature
If you want to use the icons above, select the icon row above for the size you want and copy it to the clipboard. (tip: click your mouse in the white space just in front of the first icon, hold your mouse button down as you drag over the top of them all. Release the button and they will be highlighted. Copy to clipboard via Ctrl+C on windows/Command-C on a Mac)
Head over to where you can edit your blog signature information. On ActiveRain, you get to that page by clicking your name in the upper right side of the page and choosing "Blog Settings" On that page you will see a box for your signature. Paste the icons from your clipboard there.
Next, we have to select each of the icons in turn and create hyperlinks to our specific landing pages for each social site. After selecting an icon, click the link button on the toolbar at the top of the editor box.
In the icon rows that I created above, there are nine icons. If you are not truly active on a social media site, it is better to leave those icons off. Consider you link to you "YouTube" page but somebody goes there and there are no videos uploaded. That would be a bad experience and you may lose their interest!
Whether you use the icons above or choose others, having icons in your blog signature is a great way for others to get to know you better through your other channels on the web. Getting to know you better is the desired prerequisite to the step of actually contacting you!