Posted to Volacci's blog on November 20th, 2013

How to Link Social Sharing Buttons or Your Drupal User Account Bio to your Gmail Signature

Social media and email marketing are two of the digital content marketer’s most powerful weapons. Like the sword and shield to a knight, or a gun and lasso to a cowboy, social sharing buttons and optimized email messages help define the image of the modern digital marketer. Similarly, for Drupal marketers, our user accounts are the crest to our knight’s shield, or the buckle on our cowboy’s belt; a distinctive mark by which we shall be known and remembered.  

So, why not combine these powers by making including social sharing buttons and a Drupal user account link in the signature line of every email you send? By including social media sharing buttons in an automated email signature, you increase your exposure to include every person you contact through email. Rather than blasting each of your clients, prospects or other contacts with reminders of your presence on social media, sharing buttons in your signature space serve as a gentle indicator of your online presence and a soft invitation to connect with you throughout the spheres of your digital presence.

We’ve been using sharing buttons for years in template-based emails like newsletters or advertising offers, but only recently have some people started adding them to their personal messages. Here’s how to do it on Gmail:

1. Select an icon set that represents the look or tone you’re trying to convey. Make sure that the set has each of the social media buttons you plan to use. For me, it was a challenge to find a set that prominently featured both Google+ and Drupal, and also had the right look for my signature. There are hundreds of free icons available with a simple web search for “free social media icons.” Here are just a few examples:

Here’s a fun example that includes a Drupal icon, or, see also here.

On Gmail, I suggest using small icons with a subdued color to still make a splashy impact, but not at the expense of distracting from the email messages purpose.

false2. In your Gmail account, click on settings (under the gear near the upper-right corner)

3. Scroll down through your settings until you find the email signature settings

4. Write the message you want to appear at the end of all your emails. If you already have an email signature, select where you want to add the social media sharing buttons.

5. Select “Insert Image” (the icon of a picture of a mountain), and add the image’s web URL. You cannot add images from your computer at this time. If you need to upload an image, you can do so on any social media account (Facebook, Google+, etc.) and use that URL in this section.

6. Highlight an icon and select the “Link” option. Insert the link to your customized URL.

7. Start counting all the new connections you make.

Marketers know the importance of being able to reach an audience through many different levels. Whether you’re looking to boost your profile, or to grow your network on various social media channels, adding social media sharing buttons to your email signature is a great way to grow your audience and engage your network.

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