4 Tips on Using the New Twitter Updates with Your Nonprofit’s Page

Twitter is pretty basic. You’ve got 140 characters, a teeny-tiny profile picture (known as an avatar) and you can set your background to something having to do with your nonprofit’s brand. That’s not a lot of room for creativity. (Well, at least to the average Joe.) But you, friends, are not average and chances are you’re not named Joe.

Twitter’s new profile layout gives users a new opportunity for personalization. So what does this fancy schmancy change mean for your nonprofit’s Twitter profile? It means you have an opportunity to improve your nonprofit’s branding on Twitter. Here’s 4 ways to make the most of these recent improvements.

Join Forces

The biggest and perhaps most noticeable change is the addition of a header photo—it’s essentially the equivalent of a Facebook cover photo. And much like the creative uses we’ve seen for Facebook’s profile picture and cover photo, Twitter’s new banner gives your nonprofit a prime opportunity to do something clever and unique. Uniting your avatar and header in one fluid design gives your nonprofit a rare chance to more accurately represent your brand.

Is it fun? Funky? Somber? Serious? Carefully consider what message you’re looking to get across in your nonprofit’s Twitter page.

The recommended dimensions of headers are 1200 x 600 pixels and maximum file size of 5MB. While I know some of you are dragging your feet at having to find a header photo, I’d encourage you to embrace this change in layout. While it hasn’t been made mandatory yet, it’s expected that (like Facebook Timeline) Twitter will eventually switch everyone’s profile over. So go on, be an early adopter, put on your game face and take on this new challenge with zest!

Utilize Your Control

Users will now have more control of the alignment of their background image. This sounds like a small change but it actually gives quite a bit of design flexibility. With the new alignment options, users have more room to get creative with the left and right sides of their profiles to display engaging content. Check out Spotify’s clever use of the left side of their profile below—they give a quick rundown of their services. Could your nonprofit use a similar technique for its background image?

Use Quality Images

Your Twitter’s photostream is becoming more of a focal point. And a recent ROI Research study found that “44% of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures than any other media.” So get to snapping those pics—and make sure they’re high quality and reflect your nonprofit’s brand.

Keep the Important Stuff Floating at the Top

For no additional cost, Twitter will allow your brand to “pin” the most important tweets to the top of your profile page. Have a tweet that you think perfectly encompasses your nonprofit’s cause or culture? Stick it up at the top so new followers see them at the top of your timeline.

Any thoughts on Twitter’s update? It’s been getting a lot of bad press for being too much like Facebook—opinions? Let me know in the comments below.


Kathryn Pauley

Kathryn is a regular contributor to the Nonprofit Hub. Soon to be college graduate, she enjoys helping nonprofits understand better how to reach the millennial demographic—cause we are living in a millennial world, and Kathryn's a millennial girl. With experience leading the largest student-run charity event on her campus, she looks forward to bringing her unique perspective to the Hub team every day.

October 5, 2012

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