It seems like the more things change, the more they stay the same. Many of us have said this at numerous points of our lives, but in this particular case it is happening in our virtual world where Twitter has just introduced new pages that many liken to the Facebook Timeline. And, since these changes will be mandatory at some point probably within the next few months, we feel this is a good time to look at them and the opportunities they present for your brand—whether personal or business—so that you can be ahead of the proverbial curve.
It always comes in 3’s
There are three major areas of one’s own Twittersphere that are important to identify when it comes to our online marketing and branding opportunities:
- 1. Background photo;
- 2. Header image (new); and
- 3. Photo stream
These are three areas where we have certain levels of control and with a bit of strategy, some ingenuity and full on smarts, we can (and should) use these areas to our advantage.
Your background canvas
Thankfully, the background image is the ultimate constant on your Twitter page. While absolute control is still, for the most part, in the 300 pixel wide area in the upper left-hand quadrant, you should also be able to communicate your message here - whether it is contact information, a tagline, or some sort of comedic version of either as in the case of my personal page. Be sure to use this area. It is certainly one that people notice and lends credibility and trust to your Twitter profile.
Where have I seen this before?
Twitter’s new header photo is the one object the social media company changed that marketers are referring to in their comparisons between Twitter’s and Facebook’s profile pages.
This intriguing feature of the new header photo should be a minimum of 1252px in width and 626px in height (and 5MB maximum in size), according to Twitter.
However, on a Twitter page, the picture is scaled down to approximately 522px x 261px. It’s certainly an interesting way of doing things, but the opportunity avails itself for creativity and fun with this imagery.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life us but a stream
There has been an extension from three to six photos in Twitter’s photo stream and it has been raised to a more prominent position on the desktop page. This new stream is a huge opportunity to develop a strategy for image related contentent for your brand.
In the same way Facebook introduced Timeline to highlight imagery, Twitter has taken a step towards doing the same only in a more subtle manner. Users can still take time to tell a story effectively in a series of one, three or six pictures. Another way to use this section of your page is similar to your Instagram feed. Stunning imagery will always catch a user’s eye and don’t forget, hashtagging these images within your tweets helps organize and curate your imagery in another manner for people searching for certain subject matter.
New Twitter on the go
As of the time I’m writing this article, the mobile edition of the new Twitter is where things are getting interesting in a visual sense. In the world of mobile apps, everything on Twitter appears to run smoothly from a visual UI standpoint.
The application integration is smooth and works along the lines of the new design. The one thing that is up in the air at the moment is with Android tablets. On Android tablets you are sent to Twitter’s mobile site which looks something like this:
This view seems to take away from the new look for Twitter because of restraints and image quality. We wonder why they didn’t use responsive design or what limitations exist for them not to have gone with this approach for the new UI.
This snag in design notwithstanding, the time is now to take a look at your brand and figure out how best to strategize your visual attributes to go along with this latest version of Twitter. Remember, they will be switching EVERYONE over to this version eventually so be the first to take advantage and get a leg up on your peers and/or competition.
Any thoughts or ideas how to best leverage the new Twitter? Let me know at @Mr_McFly or leave a comment below.