Your email signature communicates how people can get in touch with you. You've become accustomed to making yourself reachable via email, phone, mailing address, and fax. But in today's world, the people you communicate with are likely to be using alternative web platforms for sending and receiving communications or building relationships.
So, even if you've just begun to acclimate yourself to the social web, it's time to share your presence with the world. By doing so, you can grow your professional network and develop deeper relationships with your peers.
Try these tips and tools to transition your email signature from a lifeless entity to a source of dynamic information relevant to your audience.
Put Your Best Face Forward
Your social email signature should reflect who you are on the web, but it should also be a shade of your overall presence that is appropriate to share with professional contacts.
Twitter and Facebook invite a level of informal communication that's perfect for further cementing your business relationships. As long as you're not posting inappropriate pictures or tweeting about activities that could get you in trouble, you'll be serving yourself well to include those links.
The most obvious social network to include is LinkedIn. Most savvy professionals use the site in some capacity, and everyone's looking to grow their networks. It's the no brainer social link to include in all of your communications because these are contacts that you'd likely love the opportunity to connect with if you make a career change or simply change your email address.
Also, if you're open to more frequent and direct access to contacts, don't shy away from including your Skype name or Instant Messenger account info. You might also link to your own blog or website, if you have content that's relevant to the people you communicate with professionally.
Don't forget that you can create and save multiple signatures with most email programs. So each of your favorite social links don't need to be included in your primary business email signature. Mixing and matching social sites to tailor your signature to your audience is a great way to share different elements of your web persona with the diverse groups of people you communicate with on a daily basis.
Signature Email Accessories
If text and HTML signatures are all you need, then you can use your email service of choice to create your own custom signatures with social links.
If you're a web-based email user and want a little more utility, WiseStamp is a neat Firefox extension that includes a rich text editor, personal and business signature options, and pretty icons for appending your chosen social profiles. Gmail users can also experiment with the Firefox add-on, Better Gmail 2, to manage multiple signatures, though it doesn't have the same social profile support as WiseStamp.
With MyBlogLog you can include a socially savvy signature in Outlook, Thunderbird, or Yahoo Mail by inputting your social services and grabbing the appropriate code.
Another alternative to a more social signature can be achieved via some web 2.0 business card services. Meecard, for example, lets you blend together your social profiles and content to take with you as an embeddable email signature.