Twitter started rolling out a new redesign to select users several months ago. I commented on the initial roll out of the Twitter redesign back in April, but it has now been rolled out to everyone and we’re all stuck with it. So, let’s make the best of it and accentuate the new features as best we can.
Making the Best of the New Twitter Redesign
The new Twitter redesign is all about highlighting the best of your content. It sort of works more like a forum where you have ‘sticky’ threads, which they called ‘pinned tweets,’ that are highlighted and stay at the top. The new headers also emphasize one great piece of content being featured prominently.
Your pinned tweets must drive emotion
Think of this as the tweet equivalent of your header. Just as that image needs to have impact emotionally, so does this tweet. Tweets that you’ll want to consider pinning with the new Twitter redesign include:
- Tweets that contain an event that is approaching
- Tweets that share an announcement (new product, contest winner, new location, etc.)
- The tweet that received the most interaction or shares
- Any tweet which acts as a summary of your brand
All four of these should have one thing in common: they create emotions. A new event causes anxiety over getting tickets, the announcements create excitement, popular tweets have demonstrated their effective emotional interactions, and tweets that summarize your brand must create excitement about who you are.
The example from Curtis Jackson, AKA 50 Cent, here is what you should NOT do. I saw this, shrugged my shoulders, and moved on (to da club, with a bottle full of bub).
Twitter header photos are similar to Facebook pages header photos
As I stated in my other post on the new Twitter redesign, the header photos are pretty much the same as Facebook. The good thing about this is we already have lots of information about what works, what looks great, and you may even want to use your Facebook page cover photo for the new Twitter redesign.
If you’re starting out from square one, here are some ideas to get you started:
- Let your fans take you photo for you! Run a contest that asks for fans to take photos of your products, or anything related to your business, and feature the best ones either in sequence with their Twitter handle imposed on the picture, or do a collage of the best ones.
- Give your fans a look behind the scenes at your employees. Do your best impersonation of The Office, heck, do your best impersonation of Parks & Recreation, The West Wing, or Sons of Anarchy. Just make it fun!
- Photos of your products and services had better be dynamic and fun. Traditional marketing tactics do not work on Twitter. You sell shoes? Show someone running through a forest trail – where the runner has your shoes. You sell lawn mowers? Show a freshly cut lawn in front of an elaborate mansion – with your best lawn mower on it.
Taking a screenshot of your latest TV commercial will not cut it…unless you sell women’s faces, or explosives. Choose a photo which complements the emotion you’re creating in the pinned tweet we talked about above.
Be careful with @-replies
Twitter is trying to organize conversation more with this latest redesign. This means that tweets that start with an A-reply to someone will be considered a smaller part of a larger conversation and will not be featured as prominently.
The Twitter redesign makes it so you have three types of updates that you can view:
- Tweets with nothing attached
- Tweets with replies
- Tweets with photos and videos
The Twitter redesign automatically sets your updates to just show tweets with nothing attached, and filters out @-replies. To get around this, put a word or character before the @-reply.
That one word makes all the difference as Twitter no longer classifies your tweet as part of a larger conversation between you and @RandomGuy, and will allow it to show in Twitter streams as a normal tweet.
Think about what you “favorite” on Twitter
Many people have been using the “Favorite” button just a random, whenever they felt like a tweet was nice to them, mentioned them, or said something cool. As a brand, you have to now be aware that the Twitter redesign has a Favorites Tab in the main navigation that is very prominent.
You should now be using your favoriting as a way to display exceptional content, not just mark anything and everything that happens to mention something that you kinda thought was cool. Your favorites will now reflect your brand even more.
Check out the new Photos/Videos tab
Twitter is doing more to move away from the simple 140 character formula of old. Photos and videos get incredibly high retweet numbers, some estimate as high as 150% over tweets without, and now it is going to become even more important to share visual content when you use the new Twitter redesign.
Most online marketers have known them importance of visual content on Twitter for a while. This may not change your strategy so much as reinforce it, and make it even easier to highlight those pictures that you work so hard to produce.