With the unexpected launch of new brand pages, Twitter is taking yet another step towards appeasing its most important demographic – advertisers. You see, Twitter has a problem. As Justin Timberlake so eloquently said in his portrayal of Sean Parker in the film The Social Network; “You know what’s cooler than a million dollars? A billion dollars.”
For Twitter to stop playing Robin to Facebook’s Batman, it has to get serious about advertising. And for Twitter to start getting serious about advertising, it has to start doing whatever it can to court advertisers. Long yearning for a more Facebook-like experience, Twitter’s new brand pages—available to anyone, not just those willing to put forth a minimum spend—grant brands a greater level of control over how their page looks and what users see when they first land on the page.
Twitter has been actively seeking to unify the user experience of the platform for a couple years now. Its upset a lot of people along the way, but without a seamless experience Twitter’s advertising potential was always going to have a limited glass ceiling. That’s why they created their own link shortener, put the kibosh on third-party clients, enforced stricter API limits, and just this week eliminated third-party image services.
Fortunately for us marketers, this unification, as well as new brand pages, are the best things that could happen outside of analytics to organic activities (please give us analytics Twitter!). Here’s a quick refresher on Twitter brand pages, including information about the new profile header.
Uploading a Twitter Profile Header
This is the new space Twitter has made available and it really allows brands to prominently display their style. Here is the profile header from @TodayShow used as an example in Twitter’s announcement .
Bonus Tip: Twitter, unlike Facebook with its Cover Photo, has not put forth any language restricting promotional language or call-to-actions in the Header Image. Until they say otherwise, experiment away!
Selecting a Twitter Profile Image
The profile image is the image associated with all of a brand’s tweets and can be thought of as a brand’s identity on Twitter.
File Size: Up to 700kb
Recommended Dimensions: 73px x 73px
The basics of the profile haven’t changed but there is an interesting design consideration to take into account with the new Profile Header.
Notice how the profile image for @RyanSeacrest is actually a part of the profile header? Leave it to Ryan Seacrest (or, more likely, his social media team) to do something really creative!
Optimizing a Twitter Profile Background
By far the trickiest of the image assets on Twitter, optimizing a Twitter profile background can be difficult because the amount of real estate you have to use is not fixed; it’s dependent on screen resolution. What is fixed at 865px is Twitter’s centered content block, which allows us to figure out how much screen real estate you have at your disposal based on browser statistics from w3schools .
The folks over at Banyan Branch  even have a handy image to show the data!
Crafting a Twitter Profile BIO
The final piece of Twitter profile optimization, the BIO section, can be up to 160 characters long. The text in this space can also include hashtags, Twitter handles, and URLs, all of which become clickable objects to users. There is also the option of listing a physical location of the brand, as well as a link to its website.
Bonus Tip: Write the BIO section as you would a meta description for a URL. It should describe the brand, not be overly keyword stuffed, and contain a strong call to action.
So what do you think of Twitter’s new profile layout? Let us know in the comments section or reach out to the author directly @davidcarrillo