witter Tip TuesdayTwitter Tip Tuesday is a weekly blog series from Sprout Social: Insights.

Every Tuesday we’ll focus on just one (1) Twitter Tip and show you how to integrate it into your social media strategy.

Today’s Twitter Tip: How to Brand your Twitter Background

Branding is a big deal, no matter the size of your business. It’s how your customers perceive you and it defines the relationship they have with you. So why wouldn’t you want to take every opportunity you can to push your brand and show some personality?

A great piece of online real estate, just begging for you to claim (picture an explorer with a flag claiming territory), is your Twitter background.

Old Twitter vs. New Twitter

For your background to fit the entire screen, the standard for current computers is either 1280 x 1024 or 1680 x 1050 pixels. Unfortunately, there’s a wrinkle. Twitter has transitioned from Old Twitter to New Twitter, which isn’t a big, life-altering step as far as functionality goes, but it will affect your background space.

As the new format is wider, it limits your side columns to 112 and 113 pixels. Not much room on standard 1280 pixel-wide monitors, so you’ll have to optimize the space you have. Hugh Briss has done a great job with moving his info to the narrow left margin:

Hugh Briss Twitter Background

Testing your Branded Background

A great tool for playing “what if” with your Twitter background is Themeleon. Using this web based app, you can alter your colors and theme without making any fixed changes. Just make sure you don’t press SAVE unless you’re completely happy with your alterations!

With the dimensions of New Twitter you don’t have a lot of extra real estate to play with but it’s a lot more space to share your business message than the Twitter bio allows. Considering displaying your mission statement, a testimonial or even something witty…

Just remember that Twitter is all about brief messages so your content should be too. And, if you want to freshen your background with updated content, there’s nothing wrong with changing it again later (you can tweet about it too for added exposure).

Drive Traffic to Your Other Social Media Outposts

Another opportunity your Twitter background provides is to display your other social media outposts. If you’re on other social networks, like Facebook, Linkedin, Yelp, foursquare, etc., let your visitors know. They may not be able to link to them, but it does let your visitors know where you are and where else they can reach you.

Think of your Twitter background as a billboard to share how your brand can help, inform, or solve your customers’ problems. Show some personality. Who are you? What do you stand for? Why do you do what you do? If your brand was a person, would it give you a high-five or a firm handshake? These are all questions you should be able to answer about your brand and your Twitter background is great way to show it off. Have fun!

Got a great Twitter Background or are you still trying to figure out the resolution of your monitor? Either way let us know in the comments below (if it’s the latter perhaps we can help).