What is Twitter
Twitter was founded on March 21, 2006. It is one of the biggest social media platforms in the world and is a social media platform that allows users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Twitter (as per October 27, 2016) states that they have 317 million users. Yes, you can see a pretty big market over there.
Though a lot of people are using Twitter for personal purposes, Twitter is widely used by businesses, especially small-business. In fact, Twitter is even trying to help businesses establish themselves on this social media platform. Since February 2014, Twitter has been producing articles on the blog blog.twitter.com/small-business about how to grow your business using Twitter.
How to Create a Twitter Account (skip if you already have one)
Creating a Twitter account is very simple. Go to twitter.com and on the “New to Twitter? Sign up” part fill in below data; full name, email. You will also need to provide a password. After this, you can add a desirable username that you can use on Twitter.
If you ever wondered what the difference was between your name (full name) and your username, I’ll explain. Your name or full name is a personal identifier (can be a business name or your real name), which is displayed on your profile page. Meanwhile your username appears in your profile URL, example: if your username is: Yellow then your profile URL will be www.twitter.com/yellow. If people want to mention you, reply to you or send your a direct message then all they need to do is send it to @Yellow.
Don’t worry if you’ve chosen a username and want to change it later. It’s easy to change your username as long as nobody is using it. Please note that changing your username will not affect your existing followers, tweets, and direct messages, but do alert your followers before you change your username.
Changing your username is pretty simple. Just go here and fill in the username you want in username box. It’s really as easy as 1,2,3.
Who should use Twitter?
There are a lot of different reasons why you might decide to use Twitter. These can be both commercial and personal. Below are a few reasons why you should create a Twitter account.
Breaking News platform
Twitter is one of the best places to find information about current event/things that are happening as they are happening. For example, I read and learnt a lot about the earthquake that hit Nepal a few months back from Twitter. I saw a lot of people communicating about it through Twitter, and also updating about things that were happening in the area.
To get up to date information on breaking stories, you can either follow breaking news Twitter accounts or use the Twitter search box. If you decide to use the Twitter search box just look up a region or a topic. You will get two types of results; the top tweets (these are messages that go a lot of replies, retweets, favourites and high engagement), or all tweets (meaning that the newest tweets are going to appear first).
With so many users I can guarantee you can find inspiration on Twitter. You can get your daily dose of inspiration from public figure as well as random information about topics you are interested in. For example like: @mashable or @MatadorNetwork or even @nature_org.
Some people will also use Twitter to follow people, especially celebrities. A lot of people loves to be the first one to know about anything related to their favourite celebrities right? And to be able to read (know) their favourite celebrities daily tweets and (probably) interact with them (through Twitter – if they respond). This can also be pretty fun.
Know the Trend
You know about hashtag, right? If you access your Twitter account through mobile app, you can click on the search box and don’t do anything Twitter will display some trending hashtags. It usually complete with x amount of tweets about this certain trend/ topic (the hashtag).
If you access Twitter on PC (you are in a really small minority), then the trending topics will appear on the bottom left part on your Twitter profile page. These trending hashtags are definitely the best way to find out major events that are happening at any point in time.
Oh yes, this is one of the best things about Twitter. I have never been a fan of call centers. It always takes ages to connect to customer service and once you get connected, you don’t actually get a solution for your problem. Sound familiar?
With Twitter though you can contact the company directly. You are also likely to get a response very quickly because most companies do take public complaints seriously (they want to show they offer good customer service after all). Of course, it doesn’t need to be all negative. You can also mention a company when you have something good to say about them and want to give some positive feedback.
I know that not all companies have Twitter accounts, but a lot do. As a customer, the offer of good customer service itself is a good enough reason to join Twitter. With so many Twitter accounts being used it’s also a promising platform for growing your business.
There are lots of additional reasons why your business should use Twitter to connect you with your customers. These include things like customer feedback, the ability to learn more about your customers, as a tool of branding and building brand loyalty, marketing and promotion, educating your customers with news and/or articles about your brand and/or your company, and last, you can also use it to watch your competitors.
What makes up the Twitter profile
A Twitter profile is composed of several different things (and you need to fill/complete it all to make it look professional):
– Twitter cover image
– Twitter profile picture
– Name – Your brand or company name
– Username – Your username
– Description – A short (up to 160 characters) personal description, like short bio
– Location – Where you are located/ based
– Web address – Put in your official website address
Besides these things, you can also see:
– First top menu, consists of Tweets, Following, Followers, and Favourites
– Secondary menu, consist of Tweets, Tweets & replies, Photo & videos
Don’t forget that you can also Pin your tweet! This feature basically lets you to pin a tweet to the top of your profile page. This is good to use it if you have a certain ongoing promotion or contest that you want to make sure your audience sees if they visit your profile page. Even if you made the tweet a few days ago / few hours ago. Oh, lastly, you can also choose your theme color.
Yup, these are all of the different things that you can customize on your profile page.
The difference between a Twitter Profile Picture and Twitter Cover
From the component of Twitter profile, you’ll be able to customize two pictures. One is the Twitter profile picture and the second is the Twitter cover.
The Twitter profile photo is your personal image, which is found above your name. It’s also the picture that appears next to each of your Tweets.
The Twitter cover or Twitter header image is similar to a Facebook cover. It is an image that appears only on your Twitter profile page. Your Twitter profile picture will appear on top of your Twitter cover (the profile picture appears in the left bottom part of the header).
Why you should update your Twitter header and how to add it to your Twitter profile
Well, as you know a lot of people are attracted by great graphics. Once people find your profile (it could be accidentally from a tweet that got retweeted by other people) and they click your Twitter profile picture they arrive on your bio page. This is when you need to hook them and a great header image will do this for you.
You know that an amazing Twitter cover is a good way to promote further engagement. A lot better than for instance a poor quality image or even a nonexistent image. This is something that people who decide to follow you will consider. This is why you need to make your Twitter profile stands out. It is also why you should put a lot of thought into what you place in your Twitter cover / Twitter header.
How to add a Twitter cover to your profile:
– Go to your profile page
– Click the “Edit Profile” button
– Click the “Add a header photo”
– Pick your preferred picture for your Twitter cover!
– Don’t forget to adjust (reposition and scale if needed), apply and save it!
Changing your Twitter cover is also pretty easy. Follow the above first and second step, then you’ll see something similar to the image below. Then it is pretty much repeating the last steps above.
The exact size/ dimensions of Twitter cover
While the Twitter profile picture recommended size is 400×400 pixels, Twitter cover or Twitter header photo recommended size is 1500×500 pixels. The Twitter profile image will resize to 80×80 pixels. The Twitter cover image will be cropped and resizes to 640 x 320 pixels (mobile retina) and 320 x 160 pixels on mobile.
Twitter post image is 1280 x 1280 pixels.
How does it look for my audience
Twitter states that 80% of active users access Twitter on mobile, this means you really need to pay attention to what your header image will look like on mobile.
Below are some examples screenshots of Twitter cover images that show you how the dimensions change a tiny bit from desktop through to mobile. The left images are taken on a desktop, while the right images are taken on mobile. You spot the differences, right? The Twitter cover with size: 1500 x 500 pixels, it does get slightly cropped at the top and bottom of the image on desktop and doing perfectly fine when it is transferred to mobile.
Inspiring Twitter Covers
Of course, now you know how to set up your Twitter account there’s a good chance that you will be looking for inspiration for your header image. There are so many beautiful Twitter cover nowadays. Here are some of my favourites:
I am a big fan of the beautiful Twitter cover images used by the Nature Conservancy. This is an example of a Twitter header cover that was used for #WorldOceansDay. The headline is really simple: Thank you, oceans.
Moz Twitter cover image (and also the profile picture) is so great! I love the design of their Twitter cover. It instantly reveals what they are and what service they offer. I like the fact that they make a service that is so technical seem so playful.
Natural Life always spread the positive vibe and free spirit style! On the Twitter header they showing off their products, but in a very nice way. Of course, as you can see they are also promoting the lifestyle..
Walk Off The Earth
Walk Off The Earth or WOTE highlights that they will be releasing a new album out on June 16. They put a beautiful art-piece of WOTE personnels as the Twitter cover. It speaks of creativity and fun! Two things that I always think that WOTE is closely related to.
Branding of Innocent Drinks is so good on this Twitter cover. The image and the copy are just perfect. It gives you the idea of who they are (they taste good) and what they do (do good by giving 10% profits to charity).
This is a great example of a personal slash business Twitter account. Guy Kawasaki showcases his activity. Anyone who sees this will instantly know that this guy is a lot of fun, smart and very talented.
Etsy features a lot of paint brushes on their Twitter header. Etsy, the world’s most vibrant handmade marketplace, Twitter cover speaks about the essence of the company. It’s about creativity, handmade and vintage products.
How to design your Twitter Cover
The Twitter cover dimensions are indeed larger than Facebook cover dimensions. This gives you a larger canvas to play around on! I noticed that though Twitter recommendation for Twitter cover / header image size is 1500 x 500, it does get slightly cropped at the top and bottom of the image on desktop (overlay by menu bar).
So when it comes to design Twitter cover, Youzign surely can help you! With 70+ different templates provided for your Twitter cover designing purposes, you can create unlimited versions of your own design. And it is super easy to use plus Youzign already set everything to make sure any important text(s) that you want to put on your Twitter cover will not get crop!
There are two important things that you should remember when you are designing your Twitter cover / header. One is the quality of the picture or the image that you use. It has to be a high-quality image.
Extra tips: If the picture you want to use for your Twitter cover ends up blurry (though it was ok before) then consider to doubling the size from 1500 x 500 pixel to 3000 x 1000 pixel. It works well especially if your image consists of mostly text.
Second rule is your Twitter cover should speak (or promote) something. What do you want your followers or soon-to-be-followers to instantly learn about you / your brand.
Great ways to utilize your Twitter cover to promote your business:
What is you brand all about? Reveal this to your followers on your header. Your Twitter cover is a prime piece of real estate where you can showcase some aspect about you or your business. I, as a twitter user, love to see when a company or person brands themselves in a beautiful way. Don’t be too obvious and don’t be boring, please.
For example: If you are a book author, don’t put a picture of you holding the book. Instead think about using a picture where you talk in front of crowd about your book or a candid shot of you when signing your book during a book launch or something like that.
Tell people about your business
Tell people exactly what they can expect from your products/ services. Like the example earlier by Moz, be clear about what your company has to offer.
Use it as an announcement board
You can use the Twitter header for a lot of different things. For example you might use it to announce an upcoming event, an ongoing promotion, a hashtag that you are promoting etc.
This is a great way to highlight what your company is currently involved in or focusing on.
Use a single photo or even a photo collage to inspire your followers. You can put a beautiful image and match it with a nicely written quote. If you are selling leather for example, you could use your header image to highlight a tutorial that you recently created.
Celebrate the seasons
In exactly the same way as the announcement board concept, you can use your Twitter cover to celebrate seasons; like Christmas, New Year, Valentines day, Mother’s day, or anything else that your business wants to celebrate.