If the highest form of flattery truly is imitation, then the social media giants seem to be in a constant complimentary war. The latest ‘battle’ features Twitter following both Facebook and Google+’s leads with the addition of ‘Headers.’
The advent of Twitter headers alters the overall layout of your profile page and allows you to feature a dominant image besides your profile picture and Twitter background. The Header acts as a cover photo, centered above your main Tweet timeline, with your profile photo and basic profile info overlaid on top of the header. It’s important to note that the default font color is white so your cover photos need to be a darker color to prevent clashing. However, keep in mind also that Twitter has been automatically darkening header photos to account for this, which can be problematic if you’ve already chosen a darker photo.
The new Headers allow for some creative uses, such as integrating your header with your profile picture, similar to how many Facebook user’s came up with fun ways of connecting their profile pictures with their cover photo. As usual with social media marketing, all of the visual elements should be consistent with your overall brand personality and offer an interesting visual viewpoint for your company, without overly pushing your logo and/or promotional content, which may seem too pushy for Twitter’s social and conversational atmosphere.
The adoption of Twitter headers does not simply reflect a layout change, but essentially a bigger emphasis on the visual aspect and images in general. For Twitter’s mobile apps, your photo stream, something I believe is sadly underutilized in corporate Twitter-land, will be prominently featured under your most recent Tweets. This will cause photo streams to be looked through more often, since it is easier to access and peruse with a mere swipe of your finger. This is something to remember when developing your Twitter content strategy: Don’t underestimate the need for using photos, as you do with typically more photo-friendly mediums ala Facebook, Pinterest, etc.
The new Twitter headers have been rolled out to all users, but the site has hot forced the layout change. Therefore, you do not have to immediately add a header photo to replace a default that Twitter created.
Conclusion: Use Twitter headers to your brand’s advantage, connecting it with your social presence’s overall design personality. Be sure to cross-promote your strong visual content, not just on Facebook, Pinterest and Google+ but on Twitter where images are now displayed more prominently, both in the desktop and mobile versions.
For more information regarding the changes and to check out some great examples, visit Twitter’s official blog. Tell us in the comments below: How will you use the new Twitter Headers?