This post originally made an appearance on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging sociable media and technology in small business. While virtual business cards are becoming a viable option to paper cards, there continues to be a huge demand for traditional business cards. When you meet someone, it’s very unlikely that they will ask bump first, DUB or get LinkedIn. Instead, as your meeting concludes, you will discover yourself searching around in your storage compartments, bag, or finances for your trusty paper business card. As the traditional business card trend is still going strong, you might like to consider optimizing the space on that bit of paper.
A growing number of professionals have found it beneficial to include social media links on their business credit cards. Including social links on your card not only showcases your intensifying approach to doing business, but it also provides your business contacts more options in how they talk to you. If you’re looking for new means of promoting your cultural media presence, this list of 12 interpersonal media-friendly business credit cards will put you on the right track.
Sometimes simple is most beneficial. If you tend to focus the majority of your social media efforts on one social network, you may want to keep it simple by only printing your details for that particular network. The design of your card will take advantage of the simplicity, and you’ll have more space for other features, like a social icon that identifies you. For instance, the team at Medialets uses an iPhone design that can easily be customized to fit each employees’ needs. Creative Director Theo Skye selects to stick with his true and tried Twitter handles and profile picture.
The folks at MapQuest seem to be big supporters of minimalism, too. I love what Senior Product Manager Josh Babetski has done. He includes his AIM display name for chatting, plus a message that he is available by you on many social network as “quixado”. I performed an instant Google seek out “quixado”. Sure enough, the first results included his profiles on Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Brightkite, Plancast, and Viddler. Babetski’s blog even showed up. Who knew a straightforward mention on a business card would produce so many results?
As an alternative to keeping it simple, you can always vote to go with the “more, the merrier” approach. If you tend to be active on multiple networks, by all means, insert ’em up. Amanda Wormann, cultural media supervisor at Burton, made a decision to promote the business’s social media efforts by listing their corporate Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts on her business cards. While this kind of campaign can’t necessarily be tracked, it’s a good way to get the word out among new business acquaintances.
Along with listing a variety of public sites on your card, you may also choose to use social media symbols to add a level of familiarity and recognizability to your links. Jessy Yancey, handling editor for Tennessee Home & Farm, includes the Facebook, And YouTube links for the publication on her credit card Twitter. When Jessy handed me her card, the social icons were the first images to catch my eye. Visuals are always a terrific way to escort the eye.
Keep that at heart as you design your next business card. It’s quite common for businesses to print out their websites on company business credit cards, but blog links aren’t so widespread. In the lot of instances a blog hyperlink can be more useful than a corporate and business website, because the power is experienced with a blog showing the personalities, ideas, and happenings behind a business. Sweetriot Mastermind & Chief Rioter (AKA Founder, and CEO), Sarah Endline, include links to the Sweetriot blog and Twitter account, where she and her team blog and tweet regularly. These links add a personal touch to her business cards.
One of the conflicts with creating a business card, social links in tow or not, is locating the balance between professional and personal information. Should you include your Twitter account or the corporate Twitter account? will you need your mobile phone amount, or will the office phone suffice? Is it too self-promotional to add a link to your personal blog, or would it not be better to just stick to a web link to the corporate website? They are all valid questions, and each company should find their own comfortable balance. Here is some food for thought.