Last week, Twitter began rolling out a new and improved web profile that emphasizes your visual content. Some of the businesses that have access to it have done some lovely things we’d like to showcase.
Businesses are understandably eager to gain access to the new look and its accompanying features. But with such significant design changes, sometimes a gradual rollout pays off because it gives you more time to consider how you’ll take advantage of the updated elements of your profile.
As a quick recap, your Twitter Profile will soon feature a much more prominent header image — if it doesn’t already. The header image now spans across the top portion of profiles, rather than being constricted to a smaller box in the center of the page. This image will also appear in Followers/Following lists, as well as any “follow” activity that appears on your timeline. As a result, much more consideration will have to be placed upon what image occupies this space.
The redesign also introduced a couple of helpful features for marketers: pinned tweets and best tweets. As you and your design team contemplate how you’ll take advantage of the new Twitter Profile, we thought we’d show you some of the ways in which brands have already adopted these major changes.
Starbucks and Ford
Pinned Tweets, like pinned posts on Facebook Pages, are a good way to draw attention to noteworthy content. By anchoring a tweet to the top of your timeline, you’re ensuring that it will be seen every time someone visits your Twitter Profile. This is why it’s important that whatever you pin provides value for viewers.
Starbucks (@Starbucks) chose to pin a tweet sharing a pro tip for customers regarding one of its products. Not only is the information considered helpful, but the tweet also includes an image which helps to capture the attention of viewers. Relevant images can also be powerful motivators. The next time someone sees a Starbucks cup, he or she might recall this image and its related tip.
Sometimes, rather than provide value, tweets are meant to inspire action. Ford (@Ford) is currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of the mustang. Rather than simply tweet about the occasion, the auto company is encouraging fans of the brand — and specifically the mustang — to get involved using a Pinned Tweet. The first thing the company’s profile visitors will see is a bright blue image prompting them to take action and sign a card.
Visa and Samsung Mobile
Because Twitter hasn’t yet provided specifics regarding its increased header sizes, brands are approaching this asset somewhat blindly. For example, we don’t yet know if there are any text restrictions that could impact brands choosing to include calls to action or promotional content within their headers. More details are expected as the rollout continues, but the absence hasn’t stopped brands like Visa and Samsung Mobile from testing the waters.
Both companies include text in their headers. Visa (@Visa) has chosen to highlight its current hashtag campaign #everywhere, while Samsung Mobile (@SamsungMobile) has used the space to promote its presence on other social platforms. Although the credit card company is creating curiosity around the hashtag, the latter includes a specific call-to-action. Should text continue to be allowed, brands choosing to include hashtags might consider a bolder call-to-action.
Twitter’s redesigned Profiles represent a significant shift in the service’s attitude toward visual content. Whether you’ve already been given access or are still waiting, make sure that you approach your new web profile with carefully considered visuals and always publish with intent. Don’t rush to implement the new look by slapping any old image on top of your page. In addition to your profile picture, the header image will represent your brand across the platform.
And remember that this redesign is about more than just a new header image; you now have access to features that can help turn your Twitter Profile into a more powerful marketing tool. Talk with your social team about how you’ll integrate Pinned Tweets and Best Tweets into your existing and/or future Twitter strategies. If you’re at a loss, keep an eye out for inspiration from other brands using these tools.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.