My Social Media Accounts Need Friends And Followers!
Now that you’ve begun to implement your social media strategy, it is time to begin telling your customers and potential customers about your new social media accounts. While it is important to add links to your website and email signature, it is also important to begin advertising your social media accounts offline. You can market your social media accounts through print and television advertisements, on brochures and business cards, and on banners and signs. However, there are a few points to consider before you begin.
I Am Ready To Add Buttons To My Business Cards!
The most important aspect of advertising your social media accounts offline is choosing between “chicklet” icons and buttons that resemble web graphics and text links. While this may seem like an easy decision – icons and buttons are easily-recognizable and aesthetically pleasing – it becomes more complicated depending on how easy it is for your customers and potential customers to locate your social media accounts.
When you add a Twitter icon or button to your website or email signature, it is commonplace to add a clickable link to your Twitter account. However, if you print a Twitter icon or button on your business card or inform your customers and potential customers to “Follow Us On Twitter!”, you are by default asking the customer or potential customer to search for your Twitter account on their own. If you were to instead ask customers and potential customers to visit your Twitter page at “twitter.com/dgalassi”, you are providing a specific Twitter username for them to use.
For many companies and organizations, especially large ones with universal brand awareness, there is no need to provide specific links or usernames to social media pages and usernames. Many companies and organizations are able to claim consistent usernames across social media platforms with registered trademarks. For example, if you were to search for the Twitter account belonging to McDonald’s, it is reasonable to assume their Twitter username is “McDonalds”. Therefore McDonalds can simply declare, “Follow Us On Twitter!” in offline marketing materials and advertisements with little fear that customers and potential customers will be unable to locate their account. In fact, you can correctly assume that the Facebook username for McDonald’s is also “McDonalds”.
If your business or organization has a Twitter username that does not directly match your business or organization’s name, or if you use different usernames on other social media platforms, it may be difficult for customers and potential customers to locate your Twitter account on their own. If your business is named “Denver Widgets”, but your Twitter username is “COWidgets5280” on Twitter and “5280Widgets.Colorado” on Facebook, it may be confusing and difficult for customers and potential customers to search for and locate your accounts on their own. Therefore, you may need to forgo the use of icons and buttons in your offline marketing materials and use direct links instead. These could include “Follow Us On Twitter @COWidgets5280” or “Like Us On Facebook! www.facebook.com/Widgets.Colorado”.
I Found A Unique Twitter Icon In A Google Search. Can I Use It?
There are many, many sets of unique social media icons available online in a wide range of colors, styles and sizes. However, just because you are able to freely download something online does not mean you have the legal right to use it in your marketing materials.
All of the major social media companies provide generous trademark licensing terms that allow others to reprint their trademarked logos in order to advertise social media accounts. These terms also allow others to incorporate these trademarked logos into uniquely-designed icons. However, the designer of the icon set is not required to allow others to freely distribute and use their work, especially for commercial purposes.
If you find a unique set of social media icons online and you want to incorporate them into your marketing materials, you must either purchase a license from the graphic designer or otherwise obtain authorization to use them commercially. If you are unable to locate the graphic designer, it is advisable to use another set of icons; even if the designer is not identified or does not readily provide contact information, you are still required to obtain authorization.
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