Thursday, 24 April 2014

The NEW Twitter: TIPS on How to Optimise Your New Twitter Look to Your Best Advantage

The new Twitter look has rolled out for some accounts. If your account has been updated you will notice that it looks very different to the old Twitter. In fact it looks similar to Facebook's format. It uses up more webpage real estate (more room for ads to come?) and the header is much bigger.

There is plenty of 'space' and you can no longer personalise your background (similar to when Youtube rolled out its changes last year). The only parts you can personalise is your profile and header images and your theme colour (your link colour and shades of this to form your background base and border colours).  So the focus of this post will be based on what you can customise.

The New Pristine Twitter Look New twitter looks - optimise to your advantage


Your Profile Image: 

This has been significantly enlarged (400x400px) and Twitter has done a good job of resizing this without distortion, so you can retain your profile image as is, if you wish. To edit, log in, go Edit Profile (clearly visible on the RHS immediately below your Header) then click on your Profle Icon; select the option: Upload or Take Photo (or Remove or Cancel). Click Apply and Save Changes after editing.

Your Header Image:

The default size is 1500 x 500px (wxh). Twitter does not accept animated gifs for this. If your image before the changeover was HD it would show up fine, even it was 500px in width.

Smaller images especially where the quality is not that good, will look blur once you switch over to the new Twitter. That is because it is enlarged significantly.  Similarly your usual banners (728x60 etc. even 1000x100 - won't work properly, they blow up but with half of your banner missing!)

Tip: Upload HD images for your header and if you still insist on using your banner (why not if it is a good brand image?) try decreasing it in size slightly and then incorporate it into a bigger background.

Upload this image then increase the size to your satisfaction using the Slider Tool on Twitter. With this strategy it is possible to move your banner not just up and down but also side to side so you can resize and reposition your banner with some PRECISION!

Tip: It's the attention to detail that will sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to quality.

Tip: There's no limitation (as yet) as to how you can use your header-real estate so it's possible to stamp your brand on it for instant, landing-page exposure. The main thing is if your header appeals to your target market and promotes your brand, subtly or not, then that's success indeed, where headers are concerned.

Theme Colour:

Log in, click on the Theme Colour bar, below your Bio and select a colour. You will notice your link colour changing to the colour you have chosen, and the background will be a lighter shade of that, including the borders surrounding the Tweet Box. Click Save Changes to lock in the changes.

Your Tweets:


Your tweets now feature prominently and occupy the central part of your page. Scroll to view all your past tweets. Who You Follow also shows up on your Tweet Feed.

This Tweet Feed looks unchanged in size but with the new format, addition of your following activity, plus bigger, bolder, featured tweets (more important - for popular, trending topics?), and the clean background your Tweet Feed does takes center-stage. It's in your interest to use this valuable, real-estate space wisely as it is very visible. A cleanout to declutter your feed of irrelevant tweets would not be amiss.

Tip: Keep your trivial posts to other non-business accounts if you love tweeting while partying!

Most Popular Tweets:

These appear larger, eg. some Google+ posts, to help others find your best content?
(They could also pave the way to sponsored tweets ... as part of the drive to monetise users?)

Pin Your Tweet:

You can now pin your best post (tweet) to the top (similar to Facebook). Click on " ... " (use the MORE tab at the top of your page) and select the "Pin to your Profile Page" option.

Fly Your Flag Tip: Make your brand / business more visible. Organise an 'intro' tweet then pin this to the TOP: whether it is your logo, tagline, jingle, all or some of this mix, it's your brand in a nutshell that's flying on your Twitter flag-pole. Keep it fluttering (by tweeting & interacting) for best visibility.

 General Layout:

  • This is clearer - your bio is now more visible (for those who used to have a header image behind their bio in the old layout), and your handle, photos and videos sit below your profile photo.  
  • Tabs of who you are following, your followers, favorites, and lists are found and easily accessible at the top.
  •  Who to follow, and trends are now on the RHS.
  • Your following and followers are now displayed in a grid fashion.
  • Home, Notifications, Discover, Me - sit above your header on the LHS.
  • Direct Messages, Settings, Compose A Tweet - sit correspondingly on your RHS.

Tip: Watch the above video for a refresher on How to Adjust Your Header Image 
so that you Optimise Your New Twitter Look to Your Best Advantage.

Postnote: You may notice that you can still access your old format if you go to Settings (TOP RHS) and to Design (via Account - LHS) if you wish to change your old background image, perhaps to reflect your new header theme for the sake of brand consistency. Unlike YouTube when it redesigned its platform, Twitter hasn't done a clean changeover. Presumably Twitter developers will do away entirely with the old format soon or eventually as it's a confusing mix in its current state, especially for newcomers.

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