Although none of us really like to admit it, let's be honest: first impressions matter. So if you're trying to build a remarkable social media presence, you can bet that the look and feel of your brand pages in social media will make an impression on new visitors who know nothing or little about you. It's no secret that people will judge a book by its cover. And if that's the case, wouldn't you want to make sure the first impression of your brand page is one that captures visitors' attention, making them inclined to stick around and learn more about you?
Take Twitter brand pages for example. The background of the page literally provides businesses with a blank canvas to decorate, so to overlook the marketing potential of this valuable Twitter real estate would be a disadvantage to marketers. Smart marketers are using this space to visually and creatively capture visitors' attention, emphasize their value proposition, promote offers and campaigns, and provide more information than the character limit in their bios allow. Are you?
If you could use some inspiration, here are some great examples of how real brands are painting their Twitter landscapes. And to get started designing your own Twitter background, check out our handy guide (with a video tutorial) on how to create a custom Twitter background.
1) Etica Wines
The Etica Wines Twitter page is a perfect blend of interesting design, branding, and links for visitors to learn more about the company, a wine guide and resource, as well as connect with them on Facebook or via email.
The Twitter background design for Spotify, a music discovery and sharing application for all genres, effectively demonstrates Spotify's value proposition, both in its imagery as well as its minimalistic copy.
IdeaPaint's Twitter background cleverly features the brand's signature product -- paint that transforms walls into whiteboards -- in action. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words!
The Twitter background design for Dropbox, a file and folder sharing service, features a cute and clever cartoon that embodies its brand/product. Your first impression? Dropbox is such a likable brand!
6) The Sales Lion
Similarly, The Sales Lion's Twitter background perpetuates the branding elements of its website's masthead while also providing visitors with a quick snippet of information about what The Sales Lion is and what it offers.
Snapple uses its Twitter background as a call-to-action to promote its latest Twitter campaign, which encourages Twitter users to tweet at the brand using either the hashtag #lemonade or #tea (depending on Twitter users' preference for which part of the popular Half & Half flavor is their favorite) for a chance to win 'Snapply' prizes.*
Online retailer Modcloth uses its Twitter background to feature one of its retro-inspired swimsuits in a way that is fun, feminine, friendly, and very on brand, at the same time promoting its other Twitter accounts to direct Twitter users to the most appropriate Twitter contacts for their particular inquiries.
Salesforce uses its Twitter background real estate to emphasize its cloud branding and also show the faces behind the brand's tweets. (Note: Using ^ followed by a person's initials is a way for brands to show who authors individual tweets when Twitter is managed by multiple contributors).*
While we usually find patterned backgrounds to be a little bit on the distracting/annoying/headache-inducing side, Target strikes a healthy balance between pattern and white space on its Twitter background, while also providing ways for Twitter users to connect with the brand on other social networks.
There's nothing wrong with a simple, clean design, and Zendesk's background definitely demonstrates that, along with an unobtrusive call-to-action to follow the brand -- and what you'll get if you do.
13) MLT Creative
MLT Creative, a B2B marketing agency, uses its page to feature its mission, to "make ideas work," and emphasize its agency's creativity. Clean, professional-looking, and intriguing!
Zipcar's background creatively showcases its happy users, putting customers at the forefront of its Twitter marketing strategy. The page also includes a call-to-action to learn more and sign up for Zipcar on its website.
15) IMPACT Branding
Inbound marketing agency IMPACT Branding's Twitter page proves that looking professional and appealing doesn't have to mean complicated designwork. With its sleek design, the page highlights IMPACT's value prop and where Twitter users can find more information.
Like Snapple, McDonald's uses its Twitter background to reflect its current marketing promotion, Dollar Menu University, an interactive game that it also promotes using its banner image and the pinned tweet at the top of its page.*
While we didn't find many examples of businesses using their Twitter backgrounds to feature calls-to-action for particular promotions, offers, or events, we're currently using HubSpot's very own Twitter background to promote our upcoming marketing conference, Inbound 2012. Don't be afraid to use your Twitter background to highlight your campaigns and drive Twitter users to action. Remember: you can update your background as often as you'd like!
(*Note: Use of features such as page banners/pinned tweets you see on pages like Snapple, Salesforce, McDonald's, and HubSpot is available only to businesses with Enhanced Brand Pages, currently only available to select brands.)
What other creative business uses of Twitter backgrounds have you come across? Feel free to share them in the comments below!