The new Twitter header photo has arrived, ladies and gents, and it is an awesome branding and potential website traffic generation opportunity for your small business. The most important thing to note about the Twitter header photo is that there are currently no mentioned restrictions, like the laundry list of no-nos Facebook subjected us to when they launched their fan page cover photos.

Facebook Fan Page Cover Photo Restriction #FAIL

Twitter: 1.  Facebook: 0.

How many small business owners do you think will be hopping on Twitter’s jock to get their new Twitter header photo set up in a hurry?  It’s called freedom of speech for a reason.  I mean get a clue.

1. Use it to Direct Traffic to Important Pages.

Without overly-limiting restrictions in play (at least for now), you’re free to adorn your new Twitter header photo as you choose, thank you very much.  So why not use some of that screen real estate to bring attention to a second URL?

Keep it short, as users will have to type in your link by hand, as it of course will not be clickable when you build it into your header.

Hint: “Short,” but “word-based” — nothing like, silly.  It should be a domain URL, if anything; something attractive that users can easily remember and type in without revisiting your Twitter header photo every 3 seconds.

Holding a contest for Twitter users?  Want all Twitter users to subscribe to your blog?  Put a URL in your photo to get visitors to go where you want.

Critical Tip:  It’s best to make any Web address span the width of your new Twitter header photo, lest mobile users be unable to read it when it gets squashed into their little viewing area.

2. Get Twitter Header Photo Dimensions Right for a Professional Look.

To avoid pixelation, graininess, and other unsightly whoopsies, have your Twitter header photo sized to 1252 (width, clearly) by 626 (height, obviously) pixels.  [Source: Twitter Support.]

3. Use it to Solidify Your Brand.

First, think of those “Got Milk?” commercials.  How many businesses do you know with the money to fund such ambiguous and widespread campaigns?  Not small business owners, that’s for sure.  (“Funny,” then, how small businesses are forced to pay for them… but that’s entirely another story.)

Tip: “Branding-only” actions are generally reserved for those with bigger budgets… meaning that most small business owners can’t afford — literally — to use branding-only marketing.  Instead, we must combine branding actions with marketing calls-to-action.

Use your Twitter header photo to solidify your brand by incorporating your logo, using your business’s color scheme, and using the same look and feel you’ve used in the rest of your profile (and the rest of your Web presence in general).  Remember, your brand embodies your company’s “personality.” Does your Twitter header photo (and profile) help convey personality consistency?

Branding Tip: Make Sure the Colors are Harmonious.

Yes, color usage is one of the primary ways that you can solidify your brand across media channels.

I’m finding it kind of awesome how @TodayShow has totally meshed all their colors to create one beautiful, orangey “experience.”  The background rainbow, the logo colors, and the link colors all match the logo within their Twitter header photo… delicious. (If your avatar doesn’t match your header, it’ll be a huge fail.)

The Today Show's New Twitter Header Photo

The Today Show’s New Twitter Header Photo

3.5: Ensure that Header, Bio Text, & Avatar All Cohesively Portray Your Brand.

More about branding, so I couldn’t label this tip as its own whole number.  Notice how the Today Show logo, bio, location, etc., are all in the middle of the header?  Twitter did that.  So if you decide to implement this new profile change, note this:

Twitter moves your introductory text and avatar from the left of your profile, changes the text color to white, and plops it all smack dab in the center of your new Twitter header photo.

As a result, cohesiveness in brand message is even more important to avoid portraying a disjointed, disorganized company image to your audience.



The Twitter Header Photo Can Be Good News for Your Overall Marketing & Branding Strategies.

This simple new profile feature is an awesome opportunity to help further brand your business,strengthen your Twitter call-to-action, and hopefully get a little website traffic boost out of the mix.  So go on — put your Twitter header photo into playbefore your competitors.

Now if I could only find enough hours in the day to do mine