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.
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?”
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.
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
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
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 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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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
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
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?
1. Follow them – Pat my back and I will pat yours, Following others who are interested in the same things as you, maybe in the same industry is a good start on Twitter but also think about who might buy your service/product is there a type of Twitter user that might benefit most from your presence on the platform?
I personally believe most people that like what you say will continue to follow you regardless if they are your ‘typical’ market or not and you don’t know who they know and what their needs are so don’t stress too much about who is following you, just try to share useful or fun content.
2. Retweet them – finding others tweets useful and fun? Retweet them, it’ll be seen by the Twitter use favourably and is a positive act for your followers too as they can see that useful information too and also see if what you tweet is to their liking or not.
4. Favourite them – favourting tweets is a useful tool for recording things to refer to later and will also notify the twitter account that you liked what they had to say, this will in turn make the Twitter user feel they have worthy content as well as build a relationship between you and the tweeter.
4. Discuss them – Commenting on others tweets can create conversation and interest in each other as well as awareness amongst the other persons following.
You may even find through appreciation mutual respect is born that may result in the other Twitter user replicating your appreciation and promoting your tweets on their own feed to their followers in the future.
5. List them – Everyone has a speciality that they follow as a career path and the Twitter profile description is usually used to describe what their interests and profession is.
By creating lists specifically for different interests it will firstly make finding specialists on certain topics easier and secondly make the Twitter user feel they have something of value to add to your experience of Twitter making the bond between you and the follower closer than just another follower.
6. Be useful for them – Tweet things that are useful to your followers, if you are a marketer, of course, regular tweets and retweets about marketing will be useful where as if you are a building maintenance company it may be worth tweeting things that a potential customer might need like ‘how to spot a cowboy builder’.
7. Be visual – not so long ago Twitter made it possible to include images to appear in others Twitter Feeds. Images are attention grabbing as well as having high viral capability compared to the link or informative tweet and if they are humorous then expect exponential sharing, retweeting and favouriting to ensue.
WARNING : Don’t go overboard with images though, maybe consider an occassional video or blog post. Basically , mix up your content!
8. Talk to them – Start conversations. Don’t just provide a tweet, comment on others tweets and provide the opportunity to build online relationships. Social media is meant to be social so take time to appreciate others whether in your chosen industry or not, don’t just talk to them for selfish reasons like boosting your own sales do it because you genuinely like what they do/say.
9. Send unique DMs – Private messages are more personalised than @messages and if you create a unique/humorous tweet you are more likely get a response. Don’t get disheartened if you don’t get a message back not everyone will.
10. Ask them…nicely! – If you ask people to share, watch or comment on your tweet most people will on occasions. Its important to interact on social media rather than be a dormant thought provider life is more fun and more interesting when we collaborate.
11. Show your personality – whether you are a business or a individual you have a personality and a sense of humour. Don’t be scared of showing your personality, it will make the experience of your social media presence more fun to those who are interested in your topic and increase the likeliness that you will continued to be followed.
Whatever you do on Twitter just have fun with it without hurting anyone in the process and try your up most to add value to people who follow you and you will soon become a highly influential Twitter Account in your chosen industry.
Before you begin reading this post I am having a grumpy old man moment and pointing out all the things that I have found to be quite irritating whilst using Twitter for my first year and I imagine must annoy others. I share my moaning moments with you in the hope that you won’t make the mistakes and instead make your Twitter account a highly influential social media account that will work for you and your business.
Moaning Negative Statements – In day to day life no one likes a moaner or someone who puts others down and when on Twitter its the same ball game so avoid sharing your negative thinking on your social media platform at all costs otherwise you may find people start unfollowing you.
Political messages – likewise, everyone has their own idea of how the world should be run and what is right and wrong. It is best to have followers that agree with your way of thinking but to avoid upsetting anyone its best not to put any of your extreme political views on Twitter unless of course you are a politician! Its a risky tweet to tweet.
Validate you are a REAL Twitter user – Ever so often I get a DM ( direct message ) that says, please validate you are not a robot by following this link . It may only take around 20 to 30 seconds to validate but can I really be bothered and is there really a problem if a fake account follows you that happens to be a bot? Not really, you simply just dont follow them back. Its definitely a roll of the eyes moment.
The Egg – The first thing you should do when you start using Twitter is to create a profile and if possible design a good twitter background and profile picture in a clever and imaginative way that expresses your personality. If you remain an egg you are looked at as untrustworthy and not really worthy of following. If you have trouble designing a good profile then contact me and I will help you design a profile that reflects your personality or brand.
Hashtag junkie – #today #i #went #the #supermaket #and # bought #a #cabbage. When nearly every single word in a tweet is hash tagged it is seen by other users as spam. Hashtags do help get your content seen by more users but limit it to just a maximum of three hashtags.
Selfishness – me me meeeeeee! Yes we all want to be noticed and we all want to do more deals but to create relationships you need to help each other. Don’t just promote your own thoughts and products but be actively RT ( retweeting ) the tweets of others, the ones you find interesting and if you have used twitter lists maybe diversify how you share your tweets. For instance, monday could be ‘graphics’ day, tuesday could be ‘marketing’ and so fourth.
One good form of practice that is recommended by Twitter experts is for every one of your own pieces of content share 5 of others.
Tweeting like its going out of fashion – spending every waking moment on Twitter is not healthy and neither is tweeting 10 times in one minute. If people see your profile picture directly after each other in their feed they are likely to get fed up and unfollow you. Instead spread out your tweets throughout the day and put your most influential ones on your account when Twitter is at its most active ( around 2PM GMT).
Having few tweets compared to number of followers – 100,000 followers? Well done! That must have taken some time to build that kind of recognition especially with only 300 tweets, tell me how much you paid for that following. Twitter users aren’t stupid and if you are trying to deceive people into following you then its not a good start in building trust is it?
Tweets that add no value – informing the world you had cornflakes and orange juice for breakfast is not going to add value to your followers. What information do they really want? What do they want to feed on? Think a little before you tweet and try to provide things that you know others will benefit from.
Was it something I said? – people who follow you only to unfollow you a couple of weeks later to try and build their following/follower ratio will irritate the heck out of the users. Why add someone to your network only to unfollow them later? Doesn’t really make sense does it? If you want to keep track of who is unfollowing you use justunfollow.com.
Thanks for following! @myunclebob @davidthegnome @catsgroup – When you follow tweeps some users thank you for it. and tag you in a tweet with several other users. I understand its a form of trying to build a larger network but it doesn’t add anything to the majority of followers and will become irritating to see ‘thankyous’ regularly in your feed. The best way to say thank you is in a direct message in private rather than on the main feed.
In the next post I will discuss 11 ways to build appreciation for your tweets on Twitter.
Juggling your time between social media accounts and the important part, your paid work, can be difficult at times. You want to be seen as active on Twitter and attempt to add something of value but you also want to ensure you complete your work to as high a standard as possible so tweeting ever so often isn’t really productive to your job’s productivity. Do not fear, there is a solution! In this post I discuss how you can schedule tweets to appear at different times of day throughout your working week allowing you to get on with other elements of your job.
Managing your Tweets
Social media managing program “HootSuite” is a great tool to see all your social media identities all in one place. One of my favourite features about HootSuite is the ability to schedule social media activity down to the exact day and time it will be posted, how good is that!?
1. Set up an account with HootSuite
Setting up an account with Hootsuite is simple it even gives you the option of signing in with one of your many social media accounts once you have registered them. As you register to use Hootsuite you will arrive at your dashboard and a button will say “Add a Social Network”, click it.
As we are looking at Twitter then simply follow the instructions to add your Twitter account as your first social media to manage via Hootsuite, you can add all the others later.
2. Flying in to publish and schedule tweets
Once your log in to HootSuite there is a dashboard to the right. To proceed click the paper aeroplane symbol (publisher ) and you will arrive at the screen to schedule tweets that can be seen above.
In order to begin scheduling Twitter posts you type your tweet where it says “compose message…”.
Once you have composed the message you want to communicate, to the right of your newly created message is another box where you select the social media platform you want to share the message on.
As mentioned earlier Hootsuite isn’t just for managing Twitter and scheduling tweets, you can manage every social media program you use via Hootsuite so proper use of the program can really help you to be more productive with your time whilst enhancing your social media experience for you and others.
What time is it!? Schedule tweets tiiiimmme!!
Once you have completed your tweet and added a link to the post then you simply click the calendar icon ( shown in blue on the above image ) and a calendar will pop up with the date and time options. This is where you plan your social media activity.
There are optimum times of day that are best for posting on different social media see this infographic on my Pinterest account for more information so you can get the most of scheduling your posts for certain times.
Once you have completed the time setting press “send now” and it will appear in your schedule list.
Repeat the process until you have a weeks worth of scheduled tweets at varying times, sit back and watch the tweets roll out allowing you to focus on the other parts of your job.
Wait! Don’t forget to interact with your Twitter community
Although its great being able to pre-plan your tweets don’t forget that Twitter is a “social” media platform so try and interact with people’s tweets and when you receive communication on your own tweets, respond back for Pete’s sake!
The more you personalise people’s experiences with your social media accounts the more you will gain in online respect as a social media influencer.Like in the real world talking and giving importance to others views and opinions helps to build relationships, no one likes to be just spoken to and not heard…
Hootsuite is a great social media management program and to be able to schedule tweets is just one of the many great features that it has to offer. I highly recommend you take a little adventure through this management program and see just what can be done with it.
If you have any feedback or have a question please don’t hesitate to contact me below or hey, why no on my twitter account?
So you have your Twitter account and you have a few thousand Twitter followers, great stuff! After a small amount of time, you notice a feature on your twitter account to the top left called lists. “What the heck is this for, Twitter lists!?” you think, why on earth would anyone need a list feature? Well in this post I hope to help decipher exactly why Twitter lists are useful and how to use them effectively to improve your social media experience.
What is a Twitter List?
As your twitter followers increase and you start following lots of relevant Twitter users, being able to keep up to date with all your favourite Tweeps and finding useful tweets can become difficult, if not impossible. One feature of lists is to help you cut through the noise to find the diamonds amongst the coal!
Twitter Lists help you organise tweets you are interested in
A list helps you organise your favourite Twitter users into a type of “Twitter Groups”. So for instance, if you look at my Twitter Lists on my personal account you will notice at the time of writing this blog post I have around ten lists, three of which can be seen below.
Being able to add your favourite Twitter users to groups makes it easy for you to organise the most influential Twitter users you follow into categories like “Web Design“, “Graphic Design” Typography” etc and is useful for when you are having a day where a specific interest is grabbing you. I guess you could compare twitter lists to a telephone directory, it makes it much easier to find people and information you are looking for.
So why should you bother creating Twitter Lists?
There are several reasons you may want to create Twitter lists, one I have already discussed to keep track of your favourite Tweeters but there are more.
Another reason is to build relationships with those who really matter to you in your personal and professional life.
Build Relationships using Twitter Lists
By adding someone to one of your lists that Twitter user is notified and it is almost like giving that person a little high five to say “Yo! My hommie, your tweets rock my world!” and helps to build a mutual respect between the two of you, after all, you think that Twitter owner can add a lot of value to your digital life.
Recommend other Twitter Followers
When you create a new Twitter list you have an option to make it private or public. If you think that some of the people you have in your lists should remain private ( i.e. family members, celebrities you like or a bit of a detective keeping track of your competitors tweets) then do consider making a list private otherwise keep it public.
This helps the Twitter account user benefit from a little bit of publicity should your followers check out the twitter list they are on.
Make a Twitter Search for Twitter users easier by sharing lists
You don’t have to keep your lists stored away in the Twitter closet…get it out!
Simply navigate to the list you would like to share, copy the url and post it into your Twitter Feed. Hey presto! Twitter list shared!
Do you have to be following the user you include in a Twitter List?
This is a question I asked myself when I started creating lists and the good news is, you don’t have to be following them!
This is particularly good news if you are reaching your “2000” limit and unable to follow any more users ( until you have a 10% followers to following ratio ) but don’t want to loose some really influential and educational tweets.
To gain the most benefit from this part of the twitter list feature then you need to use twitter tools like justunfollow.com.
One of the features that Justunfollow has is that it allows you to find who is following, not following and unfollowing your Twitter account cutting out the mystery of who to follow and unfollow.
There are more features to this Twitter tool but I recommend visiting the site for more information.
Ok, so I kind of understand Twitter lists now but how do I create one?
Rather than rewrite the wheel, so to speak, I have provided a link to Twitter’s very own guide in how to do this here.
Should you have any questions about twitter lists or have some more information you would like to share navigate to the bottom of the page and please leave a comment.
P.S. Please add me to some lists too and I may just return the favour! Cheers my dears! 😀
“You there What is your profession?” The soldier replies ” Im a potter…sir”
the king continues integrating “…and you, what is your profession?” “sc-scultper sir”
And he askes once more ..”you?” “BlackSmith”
“Spartans what is your profession?”
Building your Spartan Twitter Followers Army
There are several ways to build your Twitter following on Twitter but there are two common ways. Follow people in the industries you are interested in and they will follow you back or alternatively you can pay someone to give followers.
Slow and steady follower gains but a strong small and influential group
The first path of following people and receive follow backs to those in my particular professional industry is the option i chose. Admittedly it takes time to build a large Twitter following this way but like 300 Spartans going to war, having 300 relevant Twitter followers compared to 30,000 you have paid for that have no real interest in you or your business is a waste of money and a weak following regardless of numbers.
Paying for a fake Social Image
I know some people pay for a following so they can look like they have integrity and are a powerful online social force with something important to say but strength doesn’t come in numbers it comes in the quality of the few and I can quite proudly say every follower I have on Twitter is someone in my area of expertise that may retweet what I tweet and get some benefit from my tweets.
How to spot someone who has paid for followers
Usually spotting a Twitter User that has paid for followers is easy. One key factor is having very few tweets for the amount of followers they have gained. A sure sign something fishy is going on.
You are being decieved by the seller if you pay for fake followers
Not only are you being decieved by the seller of the fake followers but they will also abandon you before you know it. I do know somebody who has bought Twitter Followers and they have started loosing quite a few of those followers a couple of months later.
Do you want to deceive your potential clients?
The worst part of buying Twitter Followers is that you are deceiving your potential clients into thinking you have integrity and influence if they follow you on Twitter when really your reach and influence in Twitter is small.
My final note is this, fight your fight the proper way, take your time ( believe me it takes time! ) and build your following by following others in your industry, retweeting, favouring and sharing other peoples content, build strong relationships with followers and you will gain respect as a true Twitter Power then you too can call yourself a Spartan Tweeter.
A top tip to build a truly powerful twitter army
You may already know this but there is a great online program called justunfollow.com. You can see who has followed you, unfollowed you, even copy followers of people you follow which is ideal for building a relevant Twitter Following. I use it every day on the free version but for just a small fee you can follow and unfollow as much as you like and build your following much quicker.
What social media is best for me? Choosing the right social media platform for your needs & business mission can be quite tricky as more and more social websites start to saturate the market. Depending upon your product and goals different social media platforms will better fit your needs to use than others. Below is a infographic I discovered when on pinterest. I think this helps in making it clearer what kind of value your business will likely gain ( if used correctly ) from each platform.