‘Social is Visual’: A Beginners Guide to Twitter’s New Header Images
A picture is worth a thousand words, and maybe also a thousand tweets. It didn’t come as much of a surprise when Twitter introduced their new visually driven layout for profiles. With the latest changes to their profiles, including the ability to add a header image and a customized background photo, Twitter recognises the importance of visuals to drive online engagement and branding opportunities. Businesses now have a bigger chance to visually showcase their brand personality – shifting its emphasis from telling to ‘showing’ – beyond the limits of a bio or tweet.
Studies have shown that users are more likely to engage online with brands if they post photos, communicating information in a quick, understanding and appealing way. For instance, this Infographic on Mashable shows the importance of visuals for brand engagement. Users get exposed to large amounts of data every day, brands need to share visual content in order to keep their users’ attention.
Similar to the Facebook and Google+ cover image, Twitter’s brand new headers image takes a prominent place on the new profiles as it spans the width of your tweets stream and includes your profile picture, username, biography and contact info, such as your location and website.
To add your header image to your Twitter profile, follow these simple steps;
- Log in to Twitter and click on the gear icon on the top right hand corner
- Click onto Settings and then select Design on the left men
- Scroll down below to Customize Your Own and here you will have the option to change your Header Image.
- Be aware that the minimum dimensions for your photo are 1252×626 pixels and your file cannot exceed the size limit of 5MB.
When you upload the image, you will get a preview where you can click and drag the image to suit your own preference, allowing you to also zoom in and out.
Twitter header image guidelines are not as strict as Facebook cover photo guidelines, and your Twitter image doesn’t have any content limitations like the Facebook cover image has. You are free to include announcements, your web or email address, special offers and discounts, hash tags etc.
When choosing your header image, remember that this serves as a backdrop for your account information. As this info will be written by default in white, it is recommended to choose a darker header image to create the necessary contrast for your account info to be readable. At this moment you are able to remove your header image at any time. Doing so will simply bring your profile back to the old layout.
It’s time to start experimenting with this new feature to see how you can provide a more engaging and inviting experience for your customers when they visit your profile. Here’s some great and inspiring header images and how they can be used as a powerful marketing and branding tool:
- Showcasing your portfolio. Choose a photo that shows who you are and the work you have done
- Share the impact of your work and promote the benefits of your products. Show how your customers are using your products
- Showcase your workplace. Invite followers behind the scenes with shots of your employees or your office to show the human side of your business
- Inform followers about your other social networks and let them know where they can find you besides on Twitter – especially advantageous if you have the same username across all platforms
- Integrate your avatar into your header image. Your background supports your profile picture.
- Create a collage of images to support your business message
- Show excitement and emotion
- Express how much you love a certain landscape, or place, with a panorama shot
For our very own Twitter profile, we have chosen a peaceful panorama shot of Brighton. Brighton as a city reflects much of what we stand for as a leading digital agency operating in one of the biggest and most creative digital marketing communities in the UK.
It is recommended to update your header image on a regular basis to provide your existing as well new visitors with a fresh experience when they visit your profile. Make sure to announce your new header image with a tweet so that your followers are aware of your exciting profile changes.
What are your thoughts? Does the new header image look too much like the Facebook cover photo? Is the header image ruining the whole concept of a text oriented Twitter? Or are you happy that the network is following the newest media trends and shifting to a more visual profile layout? Let us know in the comments section below.