Twitter is rolling out a brand new design that will actually make profiles more reminiscent of those on Facebook. At first glance this may seem like a bad move, but it’s actually great for business and marketing. This is because the platform is making a jump towards visual content which is definitely a good thing. Sometimes text content is necessary, but a lot of social marketing strategies are more effective if you use images to get your point across. In fact, that’s exactly how platforms like Instagram and Pinterest thrive where images are the only way to communicate. According to Zabisco, 40% of people will respond better to visual information than just plain old text.
Let’s go over some of the changes coming to Twitter, and explore how you can use them to your advantage.
New Cover Photo
The new cover photo is almost identical to the one Facebook uses, especially when combined with the new profile photo. Users will be able to upload a 1500 x 500 pixel image that stretches across the entirety of their profile page. As a business, how can you use this to your advantage? We’ll cover that in the next section, which talks about the new profile photo.
New Profile Photo
Also similar to Facebook, the new Twitter profile photo will be placed in the top left of your page. This is unlike the current setup which has a smaller profile photo positioned in the top center, just above your stream. With a little ingenuity brands can use the profile photo and cover image in tandem. Since images tend to evoke more engagement out of followers anyway, you can display an attractive call to action for your cover photo, while keeping your brand name and logo clearly visible in the profile photo. Of course, you could always mesh the two seamlessly so that together they makeup one complete image.
Check out the band Weezer’s Twitter profile to see how the new cover and profile photos can work in tandem.
The new Twitter update will allow users to upload more than just a single picture. You can now upload a small slideshow of up to four images with a tweet. You can also tag each photo individually instead of doing so in the tweet itself. This will conserve precious space for the tweet of course, but it will also allow brands to appropriately tag media content separately. Similar to how Vine or Instagram allows you to piece together images, you can use this new slideshow feature to create stories about your brand.
You can pin your favorite or most relevant tweets so that they always appear at the top of your page, or first in your personal feed. This is going to be incredibly useful for brands that run timed marketing campaigns and contests on Twitter. For instance, you could pin contest instructions at the top of your page so all new followers have a chance to see them. Then, once the contest has ended you can unpin the tweet leaving it to drop back into your history. It’s a genius move on Twitter’s part, which will allow brands to keep their most important content visible.
Cliffside Industries, a company that specializes in solid brass hardware, recently tweeted they were featured in HGTV and Country Living magazines for the month of April. If the new design were live, it would be a fantastic tweet to pin at the very top of their profile. Not only would the tweet interest newcomers in their brand, it’s also a pretty amazing accolade to show off to their followers.
Any tweets that have garnered more engagement – including retweets, replies and more – will appear larger in your feed. In other words, interesting content will clearly stand out to those who view your profile. This in turn makes it much easier for your audience to skip over content that isn’t relevant to them.
Check out musician John Legend’s Twitter profile. Not only does he have a pinned tweet at the very top but you can clearly see his most effective tweets have been boosted in size. By browsing further through his feed you can see this has been achieved thanks to an increased font size in his most engaged tweets. This brings attention to his best content, and will work wonders for business when the new design rolls out to everyone.
While viewing a timeline or profile on Twitter you can now choose what kind of content you’d like to see. You can select from the following: tweets, tweets with media content (photos and videos), or tweets and replies. This makes it even easier for users to find what they are looking for. To provide a small example, customers can now quickly find your replies on various topics by choosing to view the “tweets and replies” option.
When is the Redesign Coming?
The company is currently testing the new profile design, but it will eventually roll out to everyone “in the coming weeks” as described on the official Twitter blog. Simply put, it means we all need to be patient for just a little while longer.
In the meantime, you can get yourself and your business ready by brainstorming ideas for the profile overhaul. What profile and cover photo combo will you use when the time comes? How are you going to make your profile look more interesting to newcomers? Which of your tweets will you pin at the top of your stream? These are valid concerns that you should think about before the update goes live.