We encourage all of our customers make Twitter part of their marketing strategy. Twitter is an extremely effective tool to communicate with your audience, build connections and promote your business. When most people set up their accounts they choose one of the default background designs for their page. While that’s fine to get started, take advantage of the fact that Twitter allows you to upload a custom background image – this is valuable branding real estate that should not be overlooked. Take this opportunity to provide additional information, showcase your product and reinforce your brand. Why have a generic looking page when you can stand out from the crowd with a unique branded page? Here are some ideas to help you craft an effective Twitter background:
Idea 1: Utilize the left side for additional information, branding elements, or calls-to-action
The Twitter content area has a fixed width of 765 pixels and is centered on the screen. With most screen resolutions at 1280 pixels or higher, plenty of the background image is visible on either side of the main content area.
The left side of the background is a great place for useful information that you can’t fit in the top bio area. Create a sidebar that contains your company’s phone, email, Facebook url, a blurb about the company, etc. Or, prompt the user to sign up or learn more with calls-to-action (unfortunately background images are not clickable, so make sure to include your contact info). I don’t recommend putting such information on the right side; we read from left to right so you want people to catch the information before their eyes move to the Twitter feed. The left side can also be used to promote your company’s other Twitter accounts. Let’s look at some examples:
AA’s left sidebar contains a blurb about the company, their website and social media site urls. Lots of good information here but there is too much copy in my opinion. The copy welcoming people to their Twitter page can be eliminated and the blurb about the company can be shortened. When in doubt, less is more.
UPS has about a dozen different Twitter accounts that are listed on the left. What I like about this background is the way they utilized the upper-left for branding elements without cluttering up the page.
Zipcar’s page uses the left side for a simple call-to-action to get help/join/learn more. Additionally, its background image is very effective in showcasing their product, which I will talk more about below.
Idea 2: Showcase your products/services with a photographic background
I love websites or Twitter pages that use beautiful photos to fill the entire background. A photographic background is a simple way to show your product. Furthermore, photos set the mood of the page and help communicate what it would feel like to experience the product. The Zipcar photos featuring happy customers feel genuine; they almost serve as visual customer testimonials. Let’s look at a few more Twitter pages that make great use of photos:
Home Depot’s background image provides a nice visual contrast, and the mood it creates is right on brand. The social media links in the upper left are cleverly incorporated into the photo.
Virgin America’s cabin shot with their ambient lighting is very enticing; it makes domestic air travel look cool.
IdeaPaint is a paint that transforms surfaces into whiteboards. The background photo shows the product in action.
Idea 3: Graphic background patterns
I recommend this if you are already using a distinctive shape or pattern on your printed material or website. Having consistent visual elements across your various branded experiences is good practice. And as an added bonus, reusing elements will save you a lot of time. If you must create a brand new background pattern, make sure it does not distract from your Twitter feed. I’ve seen many background patterns that have the unintended dizzying and annoying effect. Let’s look a couple of successful background patterns:
Saks’ Twitter page reuses the same pattern seen on their shopping bags and boxes. Sometimes there is no need to create more work for yourself – use what you’ve already got to achieve consistency.
Target’s page leverages its iconic logo. However, had the execution been a little different, the background could have easily fallen into the “dizzying” category. The white space at the top is critical – it brings visual balance and prevents the page from looking busy. I also love the circular treatment of their social media icons to match the target icon.
Idea 4: Use the background to promote your current offers or new product release
Launching a new marketing campaign? Releasing a new product? Use your Twitter background as a free advertising space to promote. Of course this requires you to create a new background image, which sounds like a lot of work. But if you are already creating new visuals for your website or brochures, it may take just a few tweaks to make it work as a Twitter background.
Nordstrom is currently promoting their half yearly men’s sale.
Ready to revamp your Twitter page?
Hope you’ve been inspired to create your own distinctive Twitter background. Have fun with it, just remember the following points:
1. Be consistent with your company’s branding. Use your existing color palette and visual design elements.
2. Less is more. Don’t clutter it with too much copy.
3. Test it live. This is the only way to see how good the background actually looks. It might take you a few tweaks to make it perfect!
4. Change it up once in awhile. Just like your website, it’s good to give it a fresh new look every so often.