When’s the last time you checked out another business’s Twitter page? I don’t mean when’s the last time you saw one of their tweets. I mean, when’s the last time you clicked through to view that company’s full Twitter profile and saw its Twitter background design? I’m betting it’s been a while. For most of us, any Twitter profile other than our own is out of sight and definitely out of mind.
But sooner or later, we all find ourselves exploring someone else’s Twitter profile. It usually happens when we’re searching around for new tweeters to follow. Sometimes it happens because we want to scroll back through all the person’s recent tweets. Every once in a while it happens because we’re just bored out of our gourds and have nothing better to do than surf through random Twitter usernames. (You thought you were the only one who did that, didn’t you?)
Although it doesn’t happen very often, people do sometimes look in on your Twitter profile. When they do, they see not only your profile picture and a string of your most recent tweets, but also your Twitter background image.
Your background image can say a lot about your company. It can say, “Here’s who we are, and here’s what we do.” It can say, “Here’s what sets us apart from our competition.” Or it can say, “I don’t particularly care about making a strong impression on you, my potential customer, so I’m using a stock background image designed by Twitter.”
Here are examples from three successful brands that use their Twitter backgrounds to really say something about themselves:
Coke uses its background to let viewers know other ways they can connect with the company in the social media space, specifically via Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr. For a huge, international company like Coca-Cola, offering fans multiple ways to connect quickly, easily, and personally with the company on individual bases is a great way to avoid being perceived as a corporate monolith. Instead, their Twitter background helps them to come across as approachable.
Furthermore, Coke is also proving that it understands its audiences. If you’re on Twitter, then you’re almost definitely on Facebook, and you probably drop in on YouTube and Flickr too. Coca-Cola’s Twitter profile is a social media page for social media users, plain and simple.
Threadless, a t-shirt company based in Chicago, IL, cleverly uses its Twitter profile to showcase some of its product designs. The little paper octopus on the left hand side of the screen above is a design from a t-shirt that people can buy through Threadless’ website. The company changes its image regularly, so there’s an ever-rotating product showcase happening on Threadless’ Twitter profile. Not only does it give tweeters something to see, but it gives them a reason to come back later and see more.
The use of an oversized image of a simple cup of coffee may not come across as particularly creative, but it is pretty clever. While Starbucks’ background image is technically a product showcase, that’s not what makes it a smart choice. Rather, it’s the size and style of the image that sets it apart. The photo completely and coherently wraps the Twitter feed, making this an intimate profile. Furthermore, the coffee cup in the photo is the size of an actual coffee mug. This photo could be taken by any one of us at any Starbucks location in the world. It’s authentic. The image really makes the viewer feel like he’s in a legitimate Starbucks online space instead of just another Twitter account.
Coca-Cola says, “We want to connect with you.” Threadless says, “We want to show you our products.” Starbucks says, “We want to immerse you in our culture.” What does your company’s Twitter background say? Have you come across any Twitter backgrounds worth sharing?