Twitter began rolling out a new redesign for their social media platform to beta testers several months ago. This new feature has now been given to everyone, should they choose to accept it. Eventually we are all going to have to use it, so let’s make the best of this new Twitter design.
How to Use the New Twitter Design
The new Twitter redesign focuses on highlighting your best content, and dividing it up into more categories. Think of the highlighting aspect as a ‘sticky’ thread in a forum. These are the new ‘pinned tweets,’ not to be confused with the ‘pins’ of Pinterest! These pinned tweets stay at the top of your feed for as long as you want.
The new header images are also designed to feature your one great piece of (visual) content.
Twitter header photos are similar to Facebook pages header photos
The new header photos are now eerily similar to Facebook. While this is a bit disappointing, due to it being terribly unoriginal, it does give us the chance to learn from our past and current Facebook profile pictures. You can even use your Facebook profile as your new Twitter header if you’re pressed for time. Or lazy. The photo below shows Mashable using the new Twitter header:
If you don’t have anything to draw from, here are a few ideas for your Twitter header image:
- Run a contest that gets your fans taking photos of your products, or anything else that’s related to your business, and use them in a collage.
- Get everyone in the office together to give your fans a ‘behind the scenes’ photo. Or show your fun side and have everyone dress up as character from a popular TV show. The Office seems appropriate…
- If you want to use photos of your products and services, be sure that they’re unique to the Twitter header and interesting enough to get someone to look twice.
The same old marketing techniques will not cut it in today’s online world; the same static marketing photos will also not work. See that Mashable header up there? It’s distinctive with their blue, currently relevant with Obama making an appearance, and FUN!
Use pinned tweets to drive emotion
Your pinned tweets are the written equivalent of your header image. They need to have immediate emotional impact. Consider pinning tweets that:
- Contain a fast approaching event
- Have exciting announcements in them like new product, new locations opening, contest winners
- Popular tweets that were shared, retweeted or favorited often
- Any kind of tweet that can acts as a summary of your brand message
Each one of these should have this in common: they create emotions amongst your followers.
Mashable has a fun example above about an impending event, the Gay Pride Parade. There are bright, eye catching colors, photos that show some history, and ahndy #Hashtag to connect it to other people discussing #Pride2014.
Use your @-replies wisely
The new redesign also has the goal of organizing conversations better. That’s difficult given the nature of Twitter. What they have done is take any tweet that starts with an @-reply and considered it part of a bigger conversation. It will now not appear in your main feed, only in that specific conversation.
Here’s an example of a tweet that won’t go into your main feed:
Write it like this to get around this feature:
The three types of tweets you can view
Twitter’s new design is all about helping you make more sense of many tweets, just like how their recent analytics upgrade helped you make more sense of your data. Another way that they’re dividing up conversations is by content. You can now view tweets by:
- Tweets with replies
- Tweets with nothing attached
- Tweets with photos and videos
The new Twitter design sets your updates to automatically show tweets with nothing attached, and filters out @-replies, as I demonstrated above.
You can choose to view tweets with photos or replies in their specific new tabs, another aspect of how Twitter is trying to organize your conversations for you a little better with their latest new design.
This Guest Post is written by: Ernest, he is the social media writer over on the Viral Tactic blog. He writes about successful viral marketing campaigns, social media marketing techniques, and current events related to this digital world. If you would like to guest post at RealTimeTricks, check our guest posting guidelines