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Recently we’ve been discussing the various ways (and why it’s important) to customize your social media.

For this entry, I will try to explain why there is still value in having a customized Twitter page representing your brand in cyberspace – Although it admittedly may take more than 140 characters.

Do I Even Need Twitter?

I frequently come across clients who have mixed opinions on the use of Twitter for their business. There are those who see  the potential of Twitter but don’t fully understand how to maximize its use, there are others who vow by its effectiveness, and yet there are still a minority out there who don’t see any benefit from the social media micro-blogging site whatsoever.

For the most part, I can somewhat understand those who are a bit reluctant. I remember wondering when Twitter was first introduced, “How is this going to factor into branding initiatives?” and “What purpose will this serve?” However, once I fully began to understand the full scope of opportunities presented by Twitter, I was sold.

These days I often find myself having to bring clients “up-to-date” on the overwhelming benefits of marketing through social media. I have done this by illustrating the strategic worth of building relationships through social media, and now most clients have started to see the value of Twitter for themselves. Not only is Twitter a fantastic way to share insightful tips, raise awareness for your organization, but it is a critical tool in helping to establish a brand as a viable commodity.

Twitter allows companies and/or their leaders to position themselves as experts in their industry. With over 175 million (yes million) registered accounts on Twitter, it’s not difficult to begin seeing how beneficial a tool it can be for reaching out to a wide demographic audience. Not only that, but companies can also learn a great deal from their fellow users as well, through comments, suggestions, and reviews. Companies are able to receive feedback in “real-time” and in a way, it’s like having an entire marketing research team on hand 24/7.

Twitter also affords you the opportunity to find out what people are saying about your company – the good and bad. This type of commentary undoubtedly serves as a fantastic way to help improve strategy, improve customer satisfaction, and demonstrate to your customers that their voices are heard.

That is the tip of the iceberg as to why Twitter is an effective tool for marketing and advertising, but like all things new and cutting-edge, Twitter itself has been making some changes.

By now, you’ve probably seen the updated layout which Twitter keeps promising that it is completely transitioning to any day now; and while there has been much said since its release, the one thing that has been greatly affected by the new design is the “real estate” available for customization.

So Is Customization Relevant Anymore?

While there are many new benefits to the updated Twitter layout, one thing is for certain – the background images are now even less visible. This means, customizing your Twitter design, while not impossible, has become even more restricted. Formerly, the Twitter layout was much more narrow, affording designers quite a lot of space to show off their creativity. Historically, organizations were able to include a great deal more information within the left and right sides, but all of that has since changed.

Nowadays you only have a guaranteed 41px for content on Twitter backgrounds, with that number fluctuating up to 312px depending on the width of the monitor.

Amount of Free Space you can now use to make a Twitter Profile:
(100%*) Always Visible: 41px on each side
(72.7%*) of Modern Computers: 108px on each side (Requires about 1280x800px Screen Resolution or Higher)
(28.8%*) of Modern Computers: 200px on each side (Requires 1440x900px Screen Resolution or Higher)
(4.6%*) of Modern Computers: 312px on each side(Requires 1920×1080 Screen Resolution)

Even after taking that information into account, there is still more discouraging news:

  •     Mobile Devices use applications instead of the Twitter.com interface, and will never see backgrounds.
  •     The new Twitter.com interface will open a user’s profile in the new sidebar, instead of linking directly to their profile page. So unless you specifically click their Full Profile link, you will not see their background.
  •     Desktop clients such as HootSuite and CoTweet will never show you a user’s background image.

However Twitter users, hope is not lost.

Background images are still important. Customization is still important.

Why Should I Customize?

The benefit of a Twitter background image is that it is yet another way to uniquely tie-in your branding to your other social media or website properties. A professional design, no matter the size, demonstrates to viewers that you care about everything – down to even the smallest details. Even with the diminished design area, companies are still finding unique and creative ways to stand out amongst the crowd. So it can be done!

Remember, customization serves many purposes, not just one. It promotes brand consistency, marketing effectiveness, and demonstrates to viewers that your organization recognizes the value and the power of enhancing the social media experience.

How to Customize Your Design

Download this handy template to begin giving your Twitter page some personality or give us a call today at 502-554-9649.

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