Twitter has began rolling out its newest development: custom pages for brands. The company announced the changes in a statement last December, but Thursday 2nd February saw the unveiling of Twitter’s brand pages among a handful of brands.
21 brands were invited to come forward and test the pages in their beta version, including the Huffington Post, Coca Cola, Nike and EA Sports FIFA. Only organisations that spent over a certain amount in advertising on site were eligible for the trial. In a statement, Twitter stated that it would be rolling out the service to other brands soon:
Enhanced profile pages will continue to roll out to advertising partners, as well as other select partners, charities, media organizations and individuals (Mashable).
However, the real question remains; what does the new Twitter for brands have that the old one didn’t, and how can brands use it effectively?
Although the trial stage is still invite-only, there is no additional cost associated with any of the new functionality, which means brands will be able to experiment more freely with their visual identity and be more creative in their choice of messaging.
The destination pages are also designed to appeal to the greater digital market, rather than just current Twitter users, which means that new brand pages will be visible for users browsing Twitter without an account, or who are not logged in.
Image is everything
At first glance, the whole design seems slicker than the standard Twitter pages but you can’t really tell what’s changed. It looks a little as if Twitter just had a really great haircut, but no one has noticed yet. These brand pages are allowing brands to present a more attractive and cohesive destination page for users looking to browse a company’s Twitter page. Twitter described the new page as ‘completely yours’:
Your enhanced profile page is completely public, entirely yours to brand, and accessible to every viewer. In addition, no other companies’ advertisements will appear on your enhanced profile page (Twitter)
On closer inspection, the profiles showcase an integrated header across the top of the brand page (normally divided into several functional boxes), which includes a long banner that can be filled with a customised image specific to your brand. This header looks a lot like a slick banner ad you might see at the top of a traditional web page, however, there is currently no plan for click-through functionality to be added in, so all links are visually signposted.
This is a great opportunity for brands to create an appealing landing page and to truly take control of the content, branding, images and messages put forward on the platform. In addition to the new header’s appearance, brands will be able to upload a custom background image to their profile.
Check out Coca Cola’s profile for an example of how the page has been tied together by the banner along the top:
Content is king
Twitter for brand sees content take the top spot, if not literally then figuratively. Twitter has added new functionality allowing brands to pin a chosen tweet to the top of the brand page. This means that brands can control the key messaging that new users encounter when landing on this destination page.
This can be used to either point users to in-depth information about the brand, or to highlight a current marketing campaign or digital initiative. As an extra bonus, if the selected tweet includes a link to rich media content, this will appear already expanded in the Twitter feed for users to see.
The biggest advantage of this functionality is the control over which a brand has over its key messages. For example, on ASDA’s new brand page, the new header and pinned tweet each point to the same key campaign – their price match guarantee. One points to their comparison app (with two strong brand signposts; ASDA itself and Apple’s Appstore) and the other to an advert promoting the same campaign.
This space in particular will become prime territory for brands, and could see a shift to a more authoritative Twitter voice, given the more permanent nature of the pinned tweet.
I believe that this will become more interesting as the platform rolls out brand pages to more and more companies, and then we will see people begin to do creative things with this new landing page.
What do you think of the new Twitter? What brands would you like to see trying the new profiles?