Have you added your Twitter header image yet?

Earlier this week Twitter added the ability to add a header image which appears on your Twitter profile in both web page and in the official mobile apps.  Just like Facebook's cover photo, it allows you to add a bit more personality as well as enhance your brand display options beyond the thumbnail photo and background.

There are a few differences between Twitter's header image and Facebook's cover photo besides the obvious size difference.  The biggest of which is the fact that Twitter's header image serves as a background to your profile information including photo, bio/tag line, location, and website URL.  This obviously physically limits how you can use the photo since it's largely covered up, so we recommend using it as more of a wallpaper as opposed to a banner with information on it.  While Twitter's header image is physically limited due to what's on top of it, as of the writing of this post they have yet to publicize any usage limitations like Facebook's guidelines/restrictions.

The other way in which it differs from Facebook is that the header area on Twitter disappears if you don't upload a header image, or if you remove it.  If you're too lazy to upload a cover photo in Facebook, your profile or page ends up with a large grey area at the top, which is always enticing.  So if you choose not to use a header image on Twitter, while you'll be missing an opportunity for added appeal on your feed, you at least won't have an ugly and boring looking page.

If you're having trouble choosing what image to use, we suggest finding something that either shows your personality or that reinforces your brand image by using elements or colors from your logo.  You may even be able to use the same image from your Facebook page if it works in the different size.  Like we say over and over again, brand consistency between all of your social media accounts is critical.  

Just like with your website, users should be drawn in visually by the images you choose for your background, photo, and header.  These images are also an opportunity for you to illustrate what your brand is about so that the user can quickly understand what you offer. And keep in mind that since your background image doesn't show up in Twitter's smartphone app, mobile users will be only have your header image to give them some extra visual excitement on your feed.  This is good news since before there was nothing but your avatar to visually represent you on mobile devices before now.

"How do I add my header image" you ask?  It's easy:

  1. Once logged into Twitter, click the cog in upper right corner and choose Settings from the drop down menu
  2. Click on Design in the Settings menu on the left and scroll down below the pre made theme thumbnails
     
  3. Click on the Change Header button and select "Choose existing image" - Twitter recommends images no smaller than 1252x626 pixels to minimize noise or pixellation, but no larger than 5MB file size 
  4. Use the pop-up window to select the image on your computer and click the Choose button to upload the file
     
  5. Adjust what will be displayed using the slider to zoom in and by dragging to get your image framed just like you want it, then click Save

That's it!  Keep in mind that the image will be darkened a little to make sure the text put on top is legible, so your colors will be affected slightly if you're a stickler for those kinds of things like I am.

One last tip: don't go too long without swapping out your header and cover images.  It's always nice to see spruced up social media pages, and it indicates that you are active in engaging your fans.

Have you updated your Twitter header? Send us your Twitter URL in the comments below! We'd love to see it. 

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