For many professional services, the Twitterverse is 24 hour a day rolling conversation about the latest, the greatest and the minutea of our industries.
If you’ve ever surfed a trending topic in your industry, you may well have shared the thrill of “being there as it happened”.
Last Saturday I relied on the #IMKona hashtag for reports across the entire field over 12 hours. With over 2,000 professional and age group competitors swimming, biking and running 126km, the official broadcast is stretched to the limit just trying to keep track of the professional male and female leaders, let alone report on hometown heroes from across the globe.
Twitter breaks news, allows a microscopic zoom into issues and condenses it all in 140 or fewer characters for speed comprehension.
If you want to be part of that conversation, as a professional, it makes sense to extend your visual brand across your profile page.
Here is a checklist for your your images:
- Optimise images for allowable dimensions in each instance
- Be yourself – use original images instead of standard stock shots
- Customise images with your colours, logo and other visual cues that support your brand
Image optimisation for Twitter includes: making sure pictures are the correct size, and that they are not too big for the channel.
Resizing is easy with free image editing software called GIMP. (Mac & PC)
Follow the sizing requirements on this cheatsheet.
Use Original Images
At worst stock images look like sanitised versions of the real world with all the flavour bleached out, and at best provoke the embarrassing addmission, “No, that’s not me, it’s a stock shot”.
Taking your own images is as easy as holding up your smartphone and snapping a frame.
You can add effects, filters, borders, blurs, stamps, text and more using any of dozens of free and paid apps. (I’m a hopeless Instagram addict)
Sharing the image with your social media account can be done from the phone, or via the iOS PhotoStream. And once your account is connected, it’s easy to share your new image within moments of snapping the action.
Customise Images for your Brand
GIMP, the free image editing software allows anyone to add their logo to a image.
If you want to design an entire background or header image, Google “free Twitter background template”.
I recently invested 5 USD on a pack of Photoshop Social Media templates by Andrew MaCarthy. $5 saved me hours of researching screen sizes, creating files and testing the results. I can see the proof of how they work by quickly flipping through some of Andrew’s accounts, and in my opinion, it’s worth way more than $5.
Import your original photos, logos and profile pics into the template. My current Twitter background uses Andrew’s PSD template, thumbnails from recent blog posts and a free Photoshop brush from the Adobe.com.
It took less than 30 minutes to compose thanks to the guidelines. (Less than the time it took me to create the images and collate links for this blog post.)
If you run into trouble, or have questions about creating your own Social Media account images, make sure you leave a comment.
Otherwise, enjoy creating. :)