Tag: socialmedia

Build a genuine Twitter following using Twiends

As a regular blogger about all things graphics, web, brand and digital marketing I realise the importance of social media in expanding your reach to a larger audience. Problem is, if you only have a small following then you are only shouting your message to a few hundred at most. If you have bought followers all I can say is… silly you! Bought followers tend to be fake followers and as about as useful as a zombified headless chicken. In this blog post, I am going to discuss, in a very honest way, the benefits and drawbacks of a program I have stumbled across called Twiends. Take a quick look at their promo video below and you too can build a genuine Twitter following.

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The Twitter Dot , whats it all about?

The Twitter Dot, what the heck is it?!? You may have noticed when viewing the wall of some Twitter users that when they tweet someone they put a dot in front of the person’s username, but why? There is a reason why people do this and it silently plays quite a big role and I have some evidence curiosity of my manager!

Ever tweeted at someone using the @username at the start of a tweet but wonder where the heck has it gone? You don’t see anything on their wall until they respond to your message sometimes they don’t at all so it is lost in the Twittersphere forever…so it seems. Well, this is where the . comes into play! Continue “The Twitter Dot , whats it all about?”

Instagram tips | Dos & Dont of using Instagram – revisited

3 months ago I wrote a blog post about the does and don’ts of using Instagram and have been conducting experiments for the last 3 months to see if what I suggested worked and to some level, yes it did but there is way plenty of work to do on building a genuine following and its more work than I anticipated. In this post I discuss what I found out and several other Instagram tips on how to continue to grow my following. Continue “Instagram tips | Dos & Dont of using Instagram – revisited”

Twitter Profile size 2015 and some examples , NEW!

Another new twitter profile size?! Really!?? Once again, one of the top social media channels has changed the way it looks trying to improve the user interface and I must say, they have done quite a nice job of it.

I find it to be a much more minimalistic approach than with the interesting background and follows the same style of Google+ and Facebook with a large header and a small profile picture to one side which in turn makes it easier to design your branded images for and maintain consistency throughout. In this post I will discuss the new twitter profile size for 2014 and what to consider when creating yours.

Twitter Profile Size 2014 – The header

JAWilsonDesign Twitter profile, twitter profile size 2014

What you will notice when you activate the new twitter profile is the header of your Twitter profile has now been made to expand the full width of the users screen. Although this a beautiful, simple idea if you have built and designed your Twitter profile in depth to exact measurements in the past it may result in your branded profile being blurred or pixelated…not good!

The new measurements of the Twitter header is at least 1500px x 500px and I recommend using a large ppi ( ppi is an abbreviation for pixels per inch. A pixel is a dot on the screen that makes up your image, the more of them the more clear your image will be )  as this will improve the clarity of your image especially if a user is using a very large screen such as a 2560px x 1600px retina display. Also, after uploading a jpeg i discovered Twitter seems to render png files better with less loss to the actual quality of the image, so yep, you guessed it, save it as PNG.

Twitter Profile Picture Size

The profile picture for 2014 size has increased in size on desktops too now displaying at approx 210px square. I still recommend adding an image that is fairly high in ppi, larger than the 210px but ensure that the profile picture remains square for best display.

Twitter Header peaks through

jawilsondesign new twitter header with the new change to the twitter profile size 2014

As you scroll through the Twitter news feed the header remains slightly in view by around 10px. I really like this feature as it add a decorative element to the new view. I’m really impressed with how nice the new interface feels on desktop, its so intuitive and pleasent to view, I get excited just looking at feeds on my laptop!! WOOP!

Avoid text with the new Twitter Header

I believe that avoiding text on your header is now compulsory. I would avoid it at all costs ( I know I have it at the moment ) as on smart phones it will not work well so try to be clever with images instead of having to include text. If people really want to find out more about you or your company they will visit your website and find out there.

Background still has a use

jawilsondesign main background - twitter profile size 2014

Twitter backgrounds still have their place and what I have found is that it still displays the background when you log in. It is no longer customer facing so design it for your own benefit. Maybe consider adding a message to remind yourself what you use Twitter for and when to use it. For example, maybe you could have the days of the week on one side and then each day suggest a topic that you want to discuss on that particular day or maybe simply just use the same image as the header, it is just for people that use your Twitter account so don’t worry about it too much.

Choosing your brand colour – Twitter Profile 2014

Again the colour selection remains and does have a great personalising effect on your profile so ensure that it is selected and not just the standard blue. Colour has a huge effect on a users psychology and recently, i spoke about the effect of colour in this blog post about branding here .

Responsive Twitter Profile Size 2014

Keep in mind that end users will, a lot of the time, be using the social media platform on their smart phones rather than the desktop display. When I looked at my new header design on mobile I noticed that my main marketing message ,my website url and my specialities, is slightly covered. To rectify this problem I would probably put my main skills to the very top of the header in order to avoid this happening, but for the time being, I’m quite happy with the way it looks.

Some 2014 Twitter Profile examples

Seeing how others are designing their new Twitter profile under the newly designed user interface can inspire you to design your own. I have put three of the ones I have spotted that I think are great designs, the first of which is Smashing Magazine, a web designer/developer magazine.

smashing magazine twitter header , twitter profile size 2014

 Smashing Magazine Twitter Header 2014

I particularly like the flat and fun cartoon illustrations of the editor showing that they have a sense of humour but also mentioning the url of their company. It makes me want to visit their site simply because i feel I will have a smile put on my face.

twitter profile size 2014 , thrive agency use a subtle pattern for their new design

 Thrive Twitter Header 2014

The next one is Thrive, a branding agency based in the North East of the UK. They have created a repeated image of their logo as a pattern for their new twitter header and it works really well. Their profile is all about branding so showing their brand colour and logo is a great way to show a professional design to their visitors on desktop computers, likewise, it will look great on smartphones as no text will overlap their account profile.

twitter profile size 2014 design of designboom


Design Boom Twitter Header 2014

Designboom are an excellent website all about design and they use their header to show some of the famous faces of design. I have always been a fan of their logo and I think their Twitter header compliments their brand message and content  effectively.

Whether you are creating a new twitter account or updating your current site its important you reallt think through your graphics and whether the correct message is being portrayed. You may not think that a message is important when most people are focusing on what you tweet but any opportunity you have to either brand your business or self should not be missed and it shouldn’t be taken lightly and it would be wise to take at least some careful consideration of how you want to represent yourself to visitors of your Twitter account.

Do you have any other suggestions about the new Twitter Profile display? Would you like your profile included in the gallery? Please add a comment below with your twitter profile, I love to seeing the creativity of others. Happy 2014 tweeting folks!

Grade your websites digital marketing via Hubspot

There is a lotta lotta information out there about digital marketing and how to get your website seen and generate sales leads and by golly, don’t you just worry that you’ve missed something? Hubspot, probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest, digital marketing agencies offers a service to see if your website is meeting the online marketing ‘grade’. Take some to grade your websites digital marketing via how well it is performing.

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6 things to consider when designing a Twitter Profile

Designing a Twitter profile seems really really easy, upload a picture as your profile image, a background image, set your colour for links and bobs your uncle it is done. But alas, that was a story from the same place Cinderella comes from, creating perfected branded Twitter profiles really needs a Graphic Designer familiar with digital design and marketing, preferably social media marketing. In this blog post I will discuss what you need to consider when designing a Twitter Profile to perfection and why it is more important than you think.

1. Designing a Twitter Profile with  exact Twitter Profile Measurements

The exact measurements of the profile is really important, to the width of the timeline, to the width of the sidebar, to the header size and the profile picture. All these elements have an effect on designing your Twitter profile layout (This my Twitter Account). You then need to consider are you going to left align the background image, centre it or right align it. Once you have considered the layout of the design next you need to keep in mind that everyone will be viewing Twitter on different platforms.

2. Screen resolutions vary

designing a twitter profile a bad example

Twitter is available to view on many different size screens from a small smart phone screen upwards to a very large Apple Desktop PC. Twitter is a responsive platform meaning that you need to consider how your background is going to look on screens with different resolutions. If you look at the above image you can see that the company has not considered that everyone will view their profile at larger screen sizes and forgot to set the default background colour as white to help fade in the image to its background. This is easy to change but important to get it right otherwise you will begin to look cheap and unprofessional.

3. Branding

So you have considered what to include in your layout when designing a Twitter profile and remembered that users will be viewing your profile with different size screens, next you need to consider your businesses brand.

Branding is really important and if you are not consistent with your business message your audience will become confused if your identity looks different on Twitter so try to keep it looking similar to your website, collateral and overall brand. If you have one ( and professional brand designers should provide you with one ) use your style guide and adhere to it as close as possible.

4. Communicate product or service when designing a Twitter Profile

Next you will want to take the opportunity to advertise the product or service you are selling. Consider the images you are using as your background and header and do they put across the right marketing message? Does it communicate a story and/or have a call to action such as ‘download our free ebook’ or ‘sign up to our newsletter to find out when our new product is released’ etc. Although your users won’t always see your main profile background it is a marketing opportunity you should exploit and if someone should visit your Twitter Profile it should communicate something appropriate.

5.Social Media Consistency

designing a twitter profile should reflect all social media channels

Do you have social media channels already? Make sure that they are consistent throughout. Another words, make sure they all look the same from the Twitter account, to Google+, to Facebook, they all need to have the same style. In this image above can you tell instantly that this account is connected to the Twitter account previously mentioned? Nope, I don’t think so either, to rectify their problem they simply need to use their logo and possibly more white in their cover photo design. They are also missing a marketing opportunity to communicate something with text not just pictures.

6. Contact details

design a twitter profile design with contact details on it

Lastly, but not least, I think it is quite vital to place your contact details on the Twitter background. Consider putting  your business telephone number, address and other urls that maybe point to your website, social media channels and anything else that you think is relevant.

All things considered you can’t be good at absolutely everything and although Twitter do make it fairly straightforward to create your own Twitter profile sometimes getting a professional designer to create your imagery is better so that you can focus on the important parts of running your business efficiently whilst a designer develops your profiles in the background. If you need help with your social media profile designs I can help you with it, simply contact me using the contact page here, alternatively if you are a fellow designer is there any other points you consider when creating social media profiles?

    Is your business making the most of social media?

    Some may say that getting your business’ content out across social media channels is the job of the marketing team but in fact I believe if your sales team or even your general staff aren’t on social media every moment they are in work, then your business are missing a trick.

    Whilst doing my usual job, sitting at my in house mac computer it came to me something my boss had said during the weekly business update call.

    ‘please share our articles,news and content with everyone socially, whether on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn or any other platforms it really helps’

    I knew I was already reposting the business message out on all my main social media platforms but then I thought to myself, ‘I wonder how many social media platforms are the sales team on.’ Luckily, my work table was sat at the foot of the kitchen in an open plan office so when a sales member entered the door I questioned  the poor unwitting soul.

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    Interrogation of how much social media do my colleagues use

    Being nosey and generally wanting to help improve the company’s brand awareness I asked a team member of the sales team ‘do you have a Twitter account?’ and to my surprise he replied ‘no’.

    I feel like this was a missed opportunity for any would be sales team member as I believe by your business’ employees building networks on as many social media platforms as possible ‘can’ increase your networks & ‘can’ generate leads. For example, just a week ago I received three enquiries for freelance work, I have found a possible lead by speaking to a cloud computing provider as well as speaking directly with a radio DJ (based in the locality of the service the company I work for provides ) about advertising the product on their radio show. All this was done by building a genuine network on social media, the potential of digital networking is huge AND global!

    Not only sales, but everyone should be more social

    I mustn’t make our team sound anti-digital social media as they are definitely not, they tend to use LinkedIn and they have quite a good success rate with this platform but its more helpful if you have a large network of various people with varying skills and interests on different platforms in different formats ( video, text , sound and infographics ) to draw interest to the product being sold it is of greater benefit to the sales team and also means the potential for more commission.

    To be frank, a lot of people don’t really understand how to use each social media platform effectively as a sales tool ( even I am still learning day to day! ) and just how much potential benefits of learning how to use them correctly and the opportunity it can bring by taking the time to learn.

    Common thought from a novice user of social media

    Why would you tweet 140 characters, who is going to bother to read it?

    This is a common misconception that crosses the minds of many a novice tweep. When you start developing an effective network you will find conversation, mutual respect, RTs, FF and more are common place, as well as the slightly pointless ‘thanks for following’ which do sometimes become quite tiresome.

    Your business’ social network : Twitter Example

    I imagine a lot of business owners now realise that you should be on social media regardless of your industry and having a genuine network that is 2000+ strong per social media platform is of equal importance but it doesn’t end there! Your business is the first stepping stone in the equation but if you have 20 members of staff all with 2000 followers and who regularly tweet out your information your are increasing your reach by 40,000 as well as your business account!

    This sparked the idea for this blog post, maybe ALL employees should be on ALL social media building separate networks and having their accounts actively open in the background whilst they are working.
    As you probably know, Twitter is pretty straightforward to get the most from and takes such a small amount of working time to use if managed properly. Below is a simple 6 step guide to helping your employee’s build their Twitter network.
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    Helping your team build their Twitter network

    1. Set up your employee’s social networks with social media accounts and relevant profile designs that reflect the brand. The description should inform the twitter user what industry they specialise in, that they work for your business and that their tweets are their own ( should anyone post something they shouldn’t ).
    2. Purchase a justunfollow account that is a high level allows others to add their twitter account to justunfollow.com, copy 150 to 200 followers a day and then the next day unfollow the people that aren’t following back.
    3. Creating Twitter lists and categorising users into specific blocks as they follow you  also helps to build relationships on the social network.
    4. Retweeting of ‘other businesses and people’ should be done 3 to 5 times per 1 message that they send out and spread out the tweeting throughout the day. NOTE : As soon as you have a new article make all the sales team aware and get them to RT.
    5. Set up a fun/clever automated DM ( Direct Message ) on justunfollow. I found by having an automated DM message basically promoting that I have a FB page in a tongue in cheek way sparked conversations with people, generated leads & also increased awareness and likes on my Facebook page rather than just following, unfollowing and RTing.
    6. Lastly, the use of one or two hashtags per tweet is also good practice to help get your content found but don’t make every word a hashtag, its classed as spam and uninformative attention seeking rubbish!
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    I hope you have found this blog post useful. If you already allow your employees to use social media how are you using it? Or are you afraid to embrace and risk the change of direct communication with potential customers and partners through social media incase you say the wrong thing? Please share the post and leave a comment in the box below.


    A week without Facebook Day 5

    I am coming to the end of the “a week without Facebook” experiment with only 2 more days to run on it. It seems as though a life without Facebook is a very positive move in my personal life as each day I seem to putting my time into things that add value to my life.

    Spoke to my family more

    Since I gave up Facebook last Friday I have spoken to 3 members of my family in just the week I have ran this experiment. Before starting this experiment I would probably have spoken to a family member once a month for a very short time, 5 to 10 minutes each time. Now without Facebook updating my family about what I am doing every 5 minutes there is more to talk about and it allows a good communication to ensue as BT rightly put it, it IS good to talk. Facebook isn’t talking, in my opinion it is simply snooping on others, a bit like a digital peeping tom.

    It was nice talking to my younger sister this day, we spoke for half an hour on the phone which wasn’t very common at all before this experiment so is Facebook actually hindering proper communication between people? Possibly…

    Added extra security & learnt more

    Sorry to make this sound like groundhog day but once again I have been more productive with my time than if I had it active. I have added 2 step verification processes to access my online accounts, making it that little bit more difficult to those with malicious intent on the internet, I created a backup system incase a succesful breach of security is reached and I am feeling better about what I do with my time than spending it all on Facebook.

    When Im really bored, I want to Facebook

    The only time I start missing Facebook truly is when I want to start gaming to pass some time. I do miss my top eleven game & I do miss tracking how my friends are doing on candy crush. Man its been tempting to reactivate my accounts just for this sole purpose.

    My family add me on my works Facebook

    I have a separate Facebook account just for work…it doesn’t have any pics , updated status or anything on it, its just simply so i can give my work a facebook page and some presence on the king of social media. My family have ALL added me on this account , desperate to stay connected on Facebook. I may be getting rid of the Facebook glue but my family certianly aren’t. That is the thing about social media, there are so many different options that certain social media platforms work well for others. I love my family to bits but my mother & sisters ( although very caring ) are also very nosey and want to know everything that is going on so I guess that is why they love Facebook so much…for me Facebook is a bit of time wasting and nothing else…I think I may just be shutting the door in the face of facebook…

    A week without Facebook Day 3

    Half way through this experiment I have woke up with quite an urge to reactivate my Facebook account but my partner helped me refrain from taking this step and ending the experiment early. I guess the onset of cold turkey is setting in…

    Really starting to miss Facebook

    As a regular user of many social media platforms from Twitter to Deviantart, Facebook is what I feel to be the hub of all social media platforms. Many programs and applications such as Flickr even now offer the option of signing in via Facebook which makes it a one click easy sign in. This little feature can make having Facebook improve your web experience that little bit more.

    My other thing that I am missing is checking on my family, making sure everything is okay with them back in my home town. I know I can pick up the phone and see if they are doing well if I really want to but I guess what Facebook does is speed up the process of communicating and free up time to do other things.


    Negative impact of social media

    As social media tools such as Facebook make information and data arriving at you within a couple of seconds I believe that the use of technology is making a lot of us less patient and dare i say it..lazy? One of the reasons I am missing Facebook is because signing in to websites can take 10 seconds less, so I can check on my family quickly and easily..is that a reason to have a social media tool or should I try to regain my ability to gain patience and take the effort of contacting people “the old fashioned way” by telephone?

    Too many thoughts will breed the sheep

    I also believe that putting attention into too many different areas can also have a negative impact upon us. We will forget things we are meant to do, reduce our attention span, reduce our patience, clutter our mind, decrease the quality of our work & for the media, become an easy person to manipulate.

    Which way am I swinging?

    Right now I can say that I am swinging slightly further away from Facebook than towards it, the low attention span & lack of quality time spent on doing things worthwhile out way the use of Facebook to keep in touch with close ones. Whether this will remain so by the end of the week is yet to be seen.