For the past five years Twitter has fueled past numerous leading social media websites like MySpace, Google Buzz, and Friendster establishing its stay power through progressive changes and easier to use features. Now encompassing more than 100 million active users, you, as a marketer, will be able to create more engaging content with the new social consumer with the latest version of Twitter as well as enjoy a svelte new look for your personal profile.
The new Twitter changes are slowly being rolled out with the big brands (Coke, Disney) and expected to hit mainstream early 2012. With new mobile-ads, easier user interface built to invite more active online engagement and create compelling ‘storytelling’ dialogue, Twitter is standing ground to its biggest rival, Facebook.
What’s coming next for Twitter in 2012? Brands will be able to create custom pages giving brand managers the ability to more freely interact with customers and potentials; users will have an easier platform via the web to filter contacts, respond to and use for both pleasure and business, active networking. Here are several top features in the line-up for Brand Pages & User Profiles:
A featured tweet—not to be confused with the “favorited” tweet—will more effectively help online communicators highlight specific campaigns, advertisements, promos over a longer period of time. Previously the shelf life of a tweet was much shorter (but indexed); however now an advertiser can expand its longevity with a featured tweet of a particular message. In addition it expands to display embedded photos, videos and media, too.
Expanded Header/Banner Image Area for Better Visibility
Using a customizable header image allows advertisers and brand managers to display their logos/tagline more prominently than under the standard format (currently covered up by the timeline of tweets).
Ability to separate the @ replies from @ mentions is a nice touch for marketers or page admins who manage numerous Twitter accounts as it will help streamline responses (however SM client management tools such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck already do a fantastic job with group/column functions).
New Twitter Profile Look
The new Twitter design features clickable icons for easier sorting and communicating to whomever you wish. In a nutshell, take a look at the lowdown:
Home Timeline – browser-style icon which contains a personal collection of Tweets featuring the latest news, comments from cherry-picked favorites (features on left-hand side). Photos, videos and conversations are embedded directly into Tweets so you can see the whole story at-a-glance. There is also better compatibility with smartphones (iPhones and Android phones). Think of this feature as a one-stop-shop on Twitter.
Connect - @ symbol is clickable and the easiest way to reach others and includes conversations where your handle has been mentioned. Everything that you’re doing socially on Twitter is located here.
Discover – # symbol displays relevant conversations where you have used the hashtag to engage in web conversation. A short icon will appear on the dashboard where you’ll enter in the search term for topics of interest. Marketers are saying this new feature will allow each user to engage in online conversation and make it a more enjoyable and personalized experience, It lets you tap into a stream information, and allows you to see what reflects your interests via geolocation.
Me – head profile icon is exactly how it sounds. An area in which events happening are grouped in one specific place (favorites, media, videos, photos) and allows tweets to tell a more compelling story about you. Others now have the ability to tweet directly to you and view your lists, favorites, followers, photos and more. The me tab is also where you can stay current on your direct message conversations.
Need advice or have a quick question? Send me an email. Read more about ways to help market your business on Twitter, read my well-known article 10 Ways to Use Twitter.
Stephanie A. Milliman is a socialpreneur, professional blogger, trainer, blog developer, and chief strategist at Fan Page Builds specializing in social media marketing in lovely Boulder, Colorado. Fan Page Builds is a social media marketing and design company helping small businesses get started using the most powerful social medium today. Connect with me @facebook.com/fanpagebuilds and @fanpagebuilds on Twitter and on Google+.