Thursday, April 26, 2012

Simplifying Social Media: Gravatar

As we start to wind down the Simplifying Social Media series, I want to arm you with one more important tool - a free online service called Gravatar.

The word "gravatar" is short for "globally recognized avatar." An avatar is a small, square icon that accompanies any comments you make on blogs, web forums, or other online services. Avatars are also used on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. (Though they are also often referred to as profile pictures, icons, and the like.)

If you utilize several different social media platforms, it can become tedious to keep track of your avatars. For example, if you update your avatar on one platform, more than likely you'll want to update the rest to remain consistent. By using Gravatar, you can set-up one global avatar for all your social media platforms. Thus, if you change your Gravatar, all your avatars change accordingly.

But more than that, Gravatar is a fantastic marketing tool. It allows you to market your business just by commenting on the blogs you follow or posting in forums.

Each time you leave a comment on a blog or forum, you're asked to supply your name, email address, and, if you wish, your website and an avatar. When you sign-up with the Gravatar service, it will ask you for an email address. Your Gravatar image is then associated with that address. Anytime you use that email address when submitting a comment on the web, your Gravatar will automatically be used.

In addition, you can set-up your Gravatar account to include your website address, Facebook page, or other online sites where you are present. When people hover their mouse over your Gravatar, a profile box will appear showing your links! (Note: This only occurs on blogs and other non-social media sites.)

Watch the short video below for more details.

Gravatar is very simple to use. Follow the tutorial below to upload your Gravatar(s). Afterward, go to "My Account" > "Edit My Profile." Fill out the "About Me" section, and visit the "Verified Services" section to link Gravatar with your Facebook, Twitter, or other social media accounts. Lastly, click on "My Links" to add a link to your website or blog. You can also supply "Contact Information" if you so desire.

Helpful Video:

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