1000heads: How do you use yours?

We’ve just changed our Twitter background like so:

Why? Well…

We think, when it comes to talking to brands, it’s important to know exactly who you are talking to. Putting a human face to the oft-faceless corporations is something we believe in and, fortunately also specialise in.

Obviously the above method isn’t for everyone – I still have artichokes as my personal background (it’s a long story). But by updating your contact info using this under-used medium is just one way of maximising the impact of your company’s Twitter presence.

If you’re using twitter from a brand perspective, as we are above, how do you use your background?

^JW 😉

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Author: James Whatley

Chief Strategy Officer in adland. I got ❤️ for writing, gaming, and figuring stuff out. I'm @whatleydude pretty much everywhere that matters. Nice to meet you x

17 thoughts on “1000heads: How do you use yours?”

  1. I don’t. I never use the twitter website. I’m either on a mobile – using an app like SocialScope – or on the web using http://dabr.co.uk/ .

    As a consequence, I’ve missed all the hoo-ha over people changing backgrounds, adding funny or useful things to them. How many people, I wonder, use 3rd party tools which don’t show the background?

    Incidentally, you may want to style your phone number as “+44 (0)” if you want foreign types to contact you – you don’t explicitly say you’re UK based.


  2. It’s never occurred to me to change my Twitter background. But now, I’m really not sure why… off to do some doodling 😉

  3. I think it’s worth noting that even if 65% use the web interface most are seeing the stream, their mentions, etc. What % go to users profiles on a regular basis?

    I know I don’t—I noticed the other day you had artichokes as a background James, and I’ve known/followed you for how long now?

    Personally I opt for a plain background, the link to my homepage has all the contact details you’d need. Now a brand is different from an individual—personally I prefer brands with 1 author, this isn’t always scaleable, and there’s no great solution out there yet. (I don’t like the ^DS syntax)

    Twitter’s proposed solution that they’re testing looks nice, and once it’s integrated with CoTweet et al I suspect will work very well. But let’s wait & see…

  4. I don’t have to worry about this anymore, but it’s firmly in the ‘soft-sell’ department.

    It’s the classic click-username —> read first page of tweets / scan bio / judge background —> follow or not user flow. We all do it, we all know it well.

    So if anything, overcooking the branding elements could be a potential turn-off to new followers. I like the approach you’ve taken listing everyone since nothing irks me more than faceless brand tweeting which is fast becoming the norm.

  5. Your background on your brand’s twitter account could either be a great opportunity for people to see, at a glance who you are and what you’re all about. However it is also important to discover how your potential customers or clients are accessing Twitter (they might not be able to see your background).

    You need to strike a balance between the eye-catching and the off-putting. But also that potential customers will also be able to get a sense of who you are and your expertise by just reading your tweets.

    Personally I think having extra information (but importantly not being off-putting with a garish design) makes all the difference. Especially if your tweets can appear higher in specific google searches. Being as comprehensive as possible can only be a good thing.

  6. A twitter account for a business, however you look at it, is an extension to their web presence so absolutely it should be branded.

    The light-hearted nature of twitter also IMHO gives the brand an opportunity to have fun with its identity, or even put special offers to make visiting the web-based version of the site a rewarding experience.

  7. hey guys, a few different questions involved i guess. The big one in the 1000heads case above being the cross over between professional and personal life. My personal stream doesnt necessarily have content on it that would be appropriate to be associated with clients from an agency perspective. I’d suggest that if i were to put a link to my personal stream on the background of the company i work for, that i’d have to censor my own voice to a degree. Not that I am normally that inflammatory, just that i’d have to think ‘if a prospective client puts my @name in and i’ve just said something they don’t like, they might walk’ i tweet when i’ve had a drink for instance, which isn’t always wise! So if the question is, do we use the personal accounts of our employees? Then i guess it’s a brand by brand answer, i definitely wouldn’t say the answer is always yes! also, there’ll be employees who wouldn’t want their personal lives (almost) directly accessible from their employers twitter page i’d imagine.

    Other than that, i’d just say a brand should have something reasonably eye catching and include a phone number, web url, address, all the usual gubbins really. Has there been any twitter studies that ask if people pay more attention to backgrounds or bios or urls or content when landing on a profile? That’d be interesting in formulating an answer to the above!

  8. I’ve just changed mine, after not doing anything with it for well over a year. I didn’t seem to care about the Twitter background and it didn’t bother me that it was one of Twitter’s generic designs. But, since I’ve just been designing my website (it’s been a *long* time coming), I figured it might be nice if they matched – so just imported the design over.

    I guess if you’re a bit of a pedant and quite like having an online persona with associated images, then it’d be right up your alley. Otherwise, it doesn’t really bother anyone as Terence Eden has stated, as we all use Twitter through various means, devices and applications.

  9. While some commenters have mentioned that people rarely go to an actual Twitter profile, isn’t it important that they get a good impression when they do? A nicely branded design does the job.

    It doesn’t have to be in-your-face advertising. In most cases subtle and classy creates a good first impression.

    I think it’s worth having details about who’s tweeting but that will soon be available through Twitter’s multi-user account feature which will credit individual tweets to specific users.

  10. I agree with the people above me that if you’re twittering on behalf of a business, your Twitter should be branded. However, it should also be used correctly and engage with customers. I’ve seen plenty of great looking Twitter backgrounds for companies that never use it, and vice versa. As for my personal Twitter background, I’ve always thought about changing it, but I tend to just update from Tweetdeck, so I never go to th actual site/check out anyone else’s background.

  11. I like it James but to be honest I wouldn’t really refer to the contact details there. I would imagine a lot of people would though so no harm in having at all. When we look after big brands just a simple name like the bio here http://twitter.com/VodafoneIreland is what we think works, a human touch behind the account and all that is needed IMO.

    We have big issues with our own Twitter account. We just don’t think there is that much you can do with a business account. Sure we could send out links to all the social media stories we find on Digg and on Twitter itself but everybody see’s those anyway. We just use it to share our blog posts and of course talk to people as soon as they talk to us but we prefer to direct people to myself and Lauren’s profiles to see what we are like personally. We are lucky that it is our company and we can do what we please but not all larger companies will have that luxury.

    There really is no definite answer. Lots of different options.

  12. my only advice: be sure to hire a good designer. oh and keep an eye on your dimensions as only the feed scrolls, not the actual background. sure you can’t cater for everyone but work with 1024×768 in mind…

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