Here we’ll show you how to approximate the same social media approval interactivity – like a Facebook ‘Share’ button or Twitter ‘Follow’, for example – in email signatures.
You’ll see how to embed the correct social network image in your signature, link it to your online profile and then ensure it’s functioning correctly.
Before we begin, make sure you have a jpeg for the social media button you’d like to use – you’ll need it to follow the steps in this guide. Save it on the same PC/server you’ll use to follow these steps, in a folder where the ‘NETWORK SERVICE’ has at least ‘Read’ permission.
In the Signature Manager console, find the desired template and click ‘Edit’.
In the signature editor, click the area you’d like your social media button (or buttons) to appear and then click ‘Fields’, then ‘Dynamic Content’ and then ‘Social Media Strip’.
In the ‘Social Media Strip’ window, select the social networks you would like to include.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are included by default. Select an icon in the ‘Available Icons’ list on the left and click ‘Add’ to add this icon to your social media strip. To remove one from your strip, select it and click the red ‘X’.
If desired, use the ‘Add New’ button to add an additional social media icon that isn't already included in our ‘Available icons’ list or the default social media strip. Add an ‘Icon Name’ to denote the social media network it’s used for (e.g. Yammer), select the image you want to use in the ‘Location’ field, then add a URL to hyperlink it to and ALT text.
In each social media icon, you’ll need to modify the URL so it corresponds to your own social media profile. I’ll click on Twitter and then click ‘Twitter Field’ to expand the view, so I can see the ‘Hyperlink’ field and add a URL.
By default, it only links to the homepage of that social network site. We would recommend going to your profile on the social media network and simply copying the address of that page.
Alternatively, some social networks have special URLs that can express an ‘intent’ to interact with the network. For example, Twitter supports URLs that will take a user straight through to a page where they can follow, mention, reply to or retweet you simply by logging in.
Remember to repeat for every social media icon in your social media strip.
Adjust the height and width of each social media icon in their ‘Image height’ and ‘Image width’ fields by entering the desired height or width in pixels. ‘0’ will display the image at its default size. As mentioned before, remember to do this for each social media icon in the strip.
Click ‘OK’ to finish editing the social media strip. If you want to edit it from within the social media strip window again, just double-click on the strip.
Click ‘Preview’ to see how your strip will appear in the context of your signature.
When you’re happy with your design, click ‘Save & Close’ to apply your changes.
Then click ‘Save’ in the top-right corner of the console beside ‘Cancel’, and click ‘Yes’ when prompted.
Send a test email to confirm it looks as intended.
Click on your social media icon to confirm that each one links to the appropriate page.
Content from file
Some social media networks don’t support RSS feeds, so in those cases, you can set up a simple workaround to still display the same content in your signature.
We’ll create an HTML file in the same shared area your signatures are kept, which you can update with your most recent Tweet/Facebook status/LinkedIn status (etc.) and the software will automatically draw content from that HTML file and display it in your email signatures.
Open Notepad and enter the raw HTML for your most recent social media entry, in my example this is a Tweet. So, for example, I’ve hyperlinked the ‘@’ mention and ‘#’ hashtag to the appropriate URLs:
@Exclaimer New email signature webinar goes live in 10 minutes! Join in before we fill up! http://exclaimer.com/we...
Which will ultimately appear as:
DataPlusIT: @Exclaimer New email signature webinar goes live in 10 minutes! Join in before we fill up!
Save the file in your Signature Deployment Share (as this folder should already have the necessary permissions and settings configured) or any folder where the ‘NETWORK SERVICE’ has at least ‘Read’ permission.
Change the file extension from ‘.txt’ to ‘.html’. In Windows File Explorer, you may need to click ‘Organize’ and select ‘Folder and search options’, go to the ‘View’ tab, then deselect ‘Hide Extensions for Known File Types’. You may see a dialog box warning about the risks of change a file extension, if so, click ‘Yes’ and continue.
Now, in your email signature software, select the template you would like to display a social media feed. In that template, click ‘Fields’, go to ‘Dynamic Content’ and then select ‘Content From File’.
Navigate to the shared folder you placed your HTML file in earlier, in this example it’s the Signature Deployment Share, and select your HTML file. Click ‘Open’, then ‘OK’.
You may want to put your social media profile name just before the ‘Content from File’ link, as shown.
Click ‘Preview’ to check that the content is being imported and displayed correctly.
Create as many HTML files for as many social media feeds you’d like to display in your signature, consult the appendix for guidance on how to correctly hyperlink social media features (e.g. hashtags and @mentions).
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