As was discussed in a recent article on this blog, Twitter has made significant changes to its platform to make it more visually appealing. These are welcome changes for marketers because it gives them a whole new way to use a social network that was already extremely valuable for advertising and marketing. Since several things just changed at once (on top of months of previous changes), now is a good time to review some of the benefits to marketers. This post will cover six ways that small business owners and marketers can take advantage of the newest Twitter features.
Larger Cover Image
One of the first thing that Twitter users will notice is that cover image for a profile now extends across the length of the screen. The height has remained about the same so it means that businesses will need an image that works well in a landscape view. A lineup of all of a business’s employees, a view of the offices, or even a row of products would work as a cover image that also markets the services and products of a company. Twitter recommends dimensions for header photo of 1500px in width × 500px in height.
Twitter users are still limited to 140 characters, but Twitter has made several changes to the profile view that makes those 140 characters count even more. For example, posts when viewed on a profile are larger than before. In what are easily the largest posts on any social network, the most recent Tweet and Best Tweets (see below) are now sized at a whopping 22 pt size. This is something only Twitter could do because of the limited characters of Twitter.
To accompany the larger posts, Twitter has also added a much needed pin button to Tweets. For business owners who do a lot of Tweeting, this feature is helpful to ensure that visitors see a particular message rather than have it buried under a bunch of other Tweets. Postings about product specials or other customer incentives are good ways to use the pin button to market the most attractive features of an organization.
Twitter has added a feature that makes it easier for visitors to quickly find the best content on a profile. The Best Posts feature enlarges the posts that get the most engagement to the size of the most recent post. Besides making it easier for people find the content that is generating the most discussion, it also makes it easier for them to engage with it themselves. Since this is done automatically by Twitter, the issue for marketers is when the most engaging post isn’t favorable to the organization. Marketers need to make sure they are removing any comments that are vulgar and to address (through good customer service) any legitimate issues that fans bring up.
Increased Support for Photos
Some of the biggest changes to the Twitter platform have been to the photos. The platform has become very image friendly, as this search for “Blood Moon” shows. Some of the more recent changes include: tagging up to 10 friends without impacting the character count and the ability to upload multiple photos to the same post. When multiple photos are uploaded to the same post, it automatically creates a collage (like on Facebook). Marketers can take advantage of these features to promote events and products in ways that weren’t possible before on Twitter.
Following and Followers Lists
Twitter has also made it easier for people to see who is following a Twitter user and who that user is following. This is significant because this isn’t something that can be done on other social networks. Because of the public nature of Twitter, as compared to other social media sites, this is another feature that would only work on Twitter. Businesses can leverage these lists to their advantage by following high-quality Twitter profiles that showcase the things that matter to the company. For example, a dentist would want to be following the American Dental Association and internet marketers should follow us. When people are trying to decide on a business, any small thing that can help build the legitimacy of the organization is beneficial. It also should be noted that business owners may want to not follow certain pages if it would look bad on the organization. It’s hard to think of an appropriate for conversation example, but the point should be clear.
Business owners need to update their Twitter profiles if they want to take advantage of these new features. Interestingly, most of these changes don’t affect the home view of a Twitter user. So these changes don’t hurt an individual person’s usual Twitter experience but enhances their view when searching for new things. This entire effort is all part of Twitter’s larger plan to make the platform more accessible for new users and more useful for marketers all without changing the core experience for old users. It’ll be awhile before there’s data to prove if their efforts worked, but it does seem they are on the right track.