When Twitter announced their layout revamp, you startled.
Your profile was doing so well, you even added a custom background for your followers to learn more about you and contact you when they finally decide to pick your services.
Now, all of that is gone. Your old background is no longer of use.
Sure, you could stick to the classic layout and end all the hassle there, but you know how these things work - your followers will get used to the new layout sooner or later, so you will be forced to do the switch anyway. Why postpone the inevitable?
It May Be Inevitable, But It's Not The End Of The World
Twitter designers implemented the new layout because they were confident it would enhance their users' experience with the platform and make it more aesthetically pleasing, too:
You might not like it, it could look too similar to Facebook, but the fact is Twitter designers were probably right- you can see it already: more and more users choose the new layout over the old one (and there might be a day when the new layout becomes the standard, replacing the old layout entirely).
Since the change is in action, something must be good about it. Right? It's inevitable, but it's not the end of the world, because for every design change come new opportunities to showcase the best traits of your business and potentially attract new leads.
Want to know how to get more eyes to read your tweets and follow you?
A social network like Facebook or Google + is a wall and every post is like a forum thread. On the contrary, Twitter is more like text messaging- more personable, shorter, informal. You have only 140 characters to attract people's interest and get them to interact with you.
"As a brand on Twitter, you have to be human. Scripted answers and robotic tweets will get you absolutely no where." -Brittni Castilaw at TheWrightMessage.com
In this aspect, the old layout was good, but the redesign comes with some plus points.
Plus Points You Can Leverage
Larger space for tweets
When you text a friend or a client, the simple and 'scarce' cellphone design makes for an improved focus for the receiver. They don't get distracted by sidebars, navigation menus and other cluttered widget boxes- they only focus on the text you sent them along with your name, phone number and time it was sent.
The new Twitter layout applies the same principle- once it got rid of all the old clutter, there's more and larger space for tweets, bigger eye-catching fonts and a design that makes it easy - and pleasant - to read.
Your tweets now can truly stand out!
Big profile banners
Hey, we're talking about 1500 pixel long header banners here! Talk about making an impact! Look at the examples below to get a glimpse of how you can turn your profile banners into CTAs that make your Twitter account convert on autopilot:
Vikram Narayan uses his banner as a launching platform for his 2014 Facebook Marketing Guide for Authors, a smart move that not only boosts his e conversions, but even helps him establish himself as an expert in the Facebook Marketing niche.
Roxana Nasoi uses a softer approach- she is an SEO consultant and uses her banner to convey a message to prospective clients and readers alike that the only SEO she likes doing is White Hat SEO, with not even a shade of gray (no literary pun here).
The new banners help smooth your branding efforts, because the banner is the first thing a visitor coming to your profile will see- they get an immediate idea of what kind of services you offer, your business approach and what a kind of person you are.
Also, they get quickly acquainted with your brand elements (logo, personality and message).
This is one of the most useful features of the new Twitter- you can pin a tweet on your profile so that it stays on top like a sticky.
Pinned tweets are a clever tool for announcements, special discounts and limited time offers, and they are great to just share a useful freebie you or someone in your professional network produced.
It would be interesting to see a case study about the response percentage to pinned tweets. What's certain is that they boost the engagement factor that's generally low for an ordinary tweet.
No more a continuous, cluttered Twitter stream - now you can filter replies out of your main stream and have a separate tab for media tweets.
This is good, because it gives your followers and visitors a way to read your original tweets (and retweets) in the main stream, without the added noise caused by conversations. That makes for a cleaner, more readable profile!
But your conversations do not disappear- visitors can still take a sneak peek by clicking on the "Tweets and Replies" tab next to "Tweets" (your main stream) and join them if they like; it's just that they don't get these replies (tweets that begin with @name) shoved in their faces anymore. Needless to say this is a benefit, because most visitors come to your Twitter profile to read your updates, not your conversations.
If you upload media (images or videos) with your Tweets, these will show up in your main stream, but even under "Photos/Videos" (https://twitter.com/username/media). This feature makes it easy for a visitor who looks you up to only search your uploads.
The old Mentions and Interactions tabs have been replaced with a single tab called Notifications.
Under that, you get two subtabs on the left, Notifications and Mentions, but all you need is the Notifications tab to keep track and interact with other Twitter users.
This cleaner look makes it easier to respond to relevant tweets and track your Mentions count. Also, it keeps your conversations in order, with no risk of losing older messages earlier in the stream.
Bigger Profile Photo
Your profile photo on Twitter used to be a tiny thing, barely adding a face to your brand whenever a user decided they were up for a try.
Well, things change to your advantage with the new design- your photo is now a prominent factor on your profile, so you can't just show visitors the face behind the brand, but you can also add brand elements to it.
Ann Smarty's @MyBlogU profile is a great example of this technique- the 'photo' is a group illustration representing all people involved with the MyBlogU project, including Ann Smarty. This profile photo gives both the brand and the people behind it a personable, friendly face.
Bigger fonts and less clutter make for an easier-to-read website. With the new Twitter design, reading and interacting should be definitely more pleasant for you and your visitors.
To enhance readability, write clearly and concisely. Punchy, active verbs definitely work on Twitter!
Looks Like a Landing Page
This is important for your brand - a landing page look-alike increases your chances to convert visitors into customers or subscribers.
Optimize your Twitter-'landing' profile with:
- a memorable, informational banner
- great pinned posts that invite your visitors to take action
- a good photo that adds brand elements to your image
- a clever bio that makes people want to learn more about you.
Use all the tips under the "Plus Points" section of this post to make your Twitter 'landing page' stand out.
Minus Points To Counterattack
Like with everything else, there are pros and cons. The new Twitter design comes with some 'minus points' you should counterattack in order to make an impact on the visitor.
Yes, we didn't really need a clone of Facebook. However, it's interesting to notice how the trend is running among different social networks- users are familiar with designs similar to Facebook, they use them with confidence, so that's a natural step for most developers.
Counterattack! Use the new approach to your advantage- now that your visitors perceive Twitter as more personable and friendly than before, so make your content captivating and friendly, too.
Some Users May Need Time To Find Stuff
For some users, the new Twitter is not as intuitive as it used to be. Even I (generally fine with most 'weird' designs) found it a tad harder to navigate the first time.
Counterattack! Give your visitors specific instructions to find stuff on your new Twitter profile- sentences like "Click Photos/Videos to find my latest webinar!" or "Hit Tweets and Replies to find our latest niche chat!" will help them speed up discovery and lessen frustration.
Still No Categorization
It would be helpful to categorize your tweets by category, but there's no such option for now. Out of all changes Twitter implemented, this one would have been pretty useful.
Counterattack! Use #hashtags to categorize your posts.
Profiles Take Too Long To Scroll
Not as slower as it was with the old layout, but pagination would be handy.
Counterattack! - Keep your most relevant tweets on the first page (before the first scrolling happens).
Needs A Tweet Search "Per User"
Right now you can search tweets, but not per user, which is kind of discomforting when you need to search a user's tweets about a certain topic.
Counterattack! - Assign a #hashtag to your profile and use it on all your tweets. Users will then be able to search your posts via the #hashtag.
The new layout is totally pro-conversions, but to make it work, you should play all 'plus points' to your advantage, no omissions. Don't want your profile to be one of the many out there, do you?
Comment below if the new Twitter profile is bringing you conversions and new followers! I want to write a round-up next time and invite you to contribute your experience.