The New Twitter: Design, Functionality and Strategy

By on January 24, 2012

There have been a lot of changes to a range of social sites over the past few months, but none quite as excellent, as Twitter. For some reason, the Twitter team really gets it right. There are a whole new range of possibilities to consider early this year, as they roll out a dazzling variety of changes, that are making businesses smile all the way to the bank. Today, we take a closer look at your future Twitter strategy.

Redesign and Simplicity

Twitter’s mantra has always been about simplicity, and they do a great job of keeping that intact with these new changes. The redesign has shifted their basic navigation buttons to the left, instead of the right – and the three main buttons are now home, connect and discover, at the top. The most interesting is the discover tab that pulls in articles and posts from around the internet, that have been tweeted about.

Twitter Brand Pages are Coming

Aside from small improvements to search and navigation – the biggest change was the introduction of Twitter brand pages. Right now, you can’t set yours up yet, but the microblogging platform plans to open them to the public in the next few months. This is what you’ll want to keep an eye out for, as it enhances your business profile on Twitter. More clicks, media and sales are on the horizon.

The brand pages are outstanding. They’re reminiscent of Youtube’s brand pages, only they’re much easier to look at, and use. When the brand pages are rolled out, you’ll be able to display a much larger logo or avatar to your fans – and you can upload a ‘banner’ graphic below your information for better brand identity.

In the spirit of providing great content to your Tweeting fans, you can also pin certain tweets to the top of your page. This means businesses can promote certain tweets continually, without having to tweet a million times about something important. On the right, you’ll have a list of your information – like who you’re following, and what lists you’re involved with.

But I have to say – the best part of the new brand pages is the media functionality. Now, each tweet that contains a video or image has the ability to expand that media right on the page. And every single reply that you get from fans is detailed below the tweet, so that others can join in the conversation more efficiently.

Improved Communication Across The Board

This has turned Twitter into a much more convincing social community. Before, on personal profile pages, messages were disjointed and it was difficult to keep track of group conversations. The new layout means that videos and images are equally as important as Facebook videos and images – as they prompt additional interaction.

Brand page owners can set certain tweets so that the media is open, for visual impact, to enhance their pages. The pitfalls of this new functionality are already becoming apparent. Coke for example, spends a lot of time replying to individual tweeters, which makes their brand page seem one dimensional.

The new layout and design will have Twitter marketing strategists searching for ways to even out the content influx and replies. Timing, scheduling and media are definitely going to become more important. All in all, a fantastic step up for Twitter. We can’t wait until we can get our brand page up!

Check out these live brand pages: @DisneyPixar, @CocaCola, @McDonalds.

Do you like the new Twitter layout? Tell us what you like about it!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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