Ryan Seacrest, widely known as the host of American Idol, is somewhat of a media magnate — and certainly a master of personal branding. Seacrest’s entire career has been built around celebrity culture and his Twitter header image reinforces his place (literally and figuratively) within that milieu.
Mr. Seacrest has cleverly used the default placement of his Twitter profile picture at the center of the Twitter header image to insert his head among the other celebrity judges of American Idol. His Twitter background color has been simplified and customized to co-ordinate with the color palette of the header image so that both images complement each other nicely.
The takeaway for your business is to think about strategic placement of your Twitter profile image within the larger header image. If your products and services are creative in nature, perhaps you can get creative with this particular layout. Or if you just want to have some fun and lighten the tone of your brand a little, you can insert your Twitter profile image among people or backgrounds that might not traditionally be associated with your business.
In once sense, it’s not surprising that Twitter would have a great header image — it created the feature after all. What is surprising, though, is how understated it is — and how powerful a brand message it conveys as a result.
Twitter has sometimes been characterized as being too innane, or too noisy but its header image conveys exactly the opposite. With its powerful blue background and ubiquitous Twitter bird taking center stage in the image, brand recognition is instantaneous. Coupled with a mostly white, textured background, the overall feeling you’re left with is simplicity — not complication or noise. You have little choice but to focus on the brand and its logo without any other distractions. Finally, the inclusion of a sole hyperlink and a catchy tagline almost assures that the link will be clicked by anyone viewing the header image.
The lesson to be learned here is how to effectively use contrast to reiterate and reinforce brand identity. Sometimes, the best branding is that which states its purpose sparingly and succinctly, and Twitter’s header image provides a great example of that branding strategy. If your brand has a strong, simple logo, consider paring it down to its essentials and coupling it with a sparse background for maximum impact.
TweetSmarter provides an example of one of the most important and powerful tactics of social media marketing: it showcases the people behind the brand. The TweetSmarter Twitter handle and bio are otherwise nondescript when it comes to identifying who is actually doing the tweeting for this account. With corporate branded Twitter accounts like this, it’s sometimes easy to forget that there’s actually human beings physically composing and publishing the tweets that you see in your tweet stream.
In the case of TweetSmarter, the brand has taken the opportunity to use the most valuable piece of Twitter real estate to show its followers who is actually tweeting for this account. The takeaway here is clear — consider highlighting the people who represent your brand on Twitter. Whether it’s you, an employee, or an entire social media team, consider crafting a header image that gives credit and acknowledgement to the people behind your brand and you’ll likely be seen as more personal, approachable and social.
Know of any other great examples of the new Twitter header image? Let us know in the comments below!