Deliver more Twitter punch

Twitter can add punch like a boxer

Be a big-hitter: corporate messages on Twitter can now carry more impact

By DAVID BOYES
 

TWITTER has recently introduced changes that give users – primarily businesses – the ability to add more punch to their corporate message.

For those with a bit of ring craft and a desire to score some new points with their target audience, now is the time to act because these new features are going to be forced on all account holders in the near future.

This short guide covers the changes that matter and what they mean for organisations who use the micro-blogging platform in their social media marketing mix.

The latest developments – introduced last month – concern Twitter account profiles. The new features allow users to portray themselves or their organisations in a more visual way, making it possible for them to create something resembling a welcome page for new and existing customers.

The most significant alteration is the addition of a header image to complement the previously existing user photo. Bearing in mind the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, this is good news (especially in light of Twitter’s 140-character limit) for those who wish to punch their weight in the social media ring.

Whatever photograph or graphic is selected for use will be displayed to a user’s community through their mobile devices as well as on computers and laptops.

The header image complements and acts as a backdrop to the existing profile picture or graphic. Here is my new-look Twitter account:

Image conscious: the new Twitter profile features all add up to a more visual package

On mobile phones, the profile area is now in two parts. The first contains the account name and user name. Underneath is a white dot. Swipe to the left, and, above another two white dots, appears the biography of the user in white type on top of a greyed-out version of the new header image.

On full-size computers and laptops, both parts are unified (as in the above picture). Don’t forget, this is the area where users should append a biography, location and web link. This may be an opportunity to refresh your information. It’s also a good idea to carefully consider what purpose the new image can serve.

Here are some suggestions to supercharge the impact of the header area:

  • USE a photograph of yourself, against a background shot of your product lines, your customers, your office or your employees.
  • SELECT your organisation’s logo image and place it on top of a photo that indicates the business sector in which you operate or highlights a recent project you have completed. Like this:

Lean into the big picture: organisations can highlight their achievements

  • THIRD-sector organisations could use their logo against a backdrop of the people they strive to help, creating an inspiring visual message. Here is the British Red Cross:

Words and pictures: the British Red Cross message is compelling

In practice, users are limited only by their imagination and creativity. The only thing to keep at the front of your mind is the need to ensure that you or your organisation delivers a knockout blow that is the envy of your competitors.

The announcement of these changes last month was something of a public relations disaster – much of mighty corporate America was in the dark when Twitter activated them.

As a result, significant numbers of company profiles sported the old design for a number of days after the new look went live, much to the annoyance of the “suits” in boardrooms.

However, most of the big players in the USA are now up with the programme, so to speak, and enjoying the chance to add value to their corporate messages on what is regarded as the most effective social media platform.

Now it’s everyone else’s turn. Don’t duck the opportunity.

©WordMediaCo Ltd. If you wish to reproduce or translate this article, you may do so, provided you add the following credit: This article was written by David Boyes. He is a media consultant and trainer who empowers businesses to use social media more strategically. For more information visit: http://www.wordmedia.co