Rule no. 10: Always keep an eye out for updates and new features

Within days of setting up the brand new social media pages for my new employer, LinkedIn and Twitter rolled out new updates for profiles.

So what do the updates mean apart from more work for social media managers?

LinkedIn

The most recent update on LinkedIn focused on redesigning the company pages to give brands more freedom (and real estate) to showcase themselves.

The screenshot below is of Experis Switzerland’s brand new company page.

Screen-Shot-2012-10-09-at-20.21

Key things to note are:

  • Cover photo – following Facebook’s example, LinkedIn has included a cover photo on the main page. The size dimensions are: 646 x 220pxwith a file size limit of 2MB. The cover image is an excellent opportunity to showcase your brand identity or highlight your products or offerings. Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn has not issued any major restrictions for the cover photo so you are free to add your website URL to the banner.
  • News Feed – when you post a link within your status update, there is now a larger area to display the image that goes with your update. Furthermore, LinkedIn has added a “Feature this update” button that allows you to pin a specific update to the top of the news feed. The targeting options has also been expanded. Hopefully this means that page followers will only see updates which are relevant to them.
  • Company Information – before, the company information was at the top but only showed a few lines and required the viewer to actively click to read more of the description. With the redesign, the full company information is visible at the bottom of the page.
  • Sidebar – the sidebar now features a Products and Services section. If you have purchased job slots with LinkedIn, there is also a new section that shows jobs on the sidebar. One thing to note is that with the redesign, LinkedIn ads are now pushed further down the page.
  • Insights – for page administrators, each update on the news feed now shows the number of impressions and level of engagement that the post receives. The statistics are visible after 24 hours of posting.

Twitter

Just like LinkedIn, Twitter has released a new functionality that allows users to have a “header photo” on their profile page.

Note that your profile photo is still the image that appears inline next to your tweets. The header photo is a background image that appears near the top of your profile page. Your profile photo, appears as an icon on top of your header photo as seen in the example below.

Screen Shot 2012-10-10 at 21.28.32

The header photo’s minimum size requirements are 1252 x 626 pixels with a maximum file size of 5MB. You can download my own Twitter header photo template to help you along.

How to set up the header page:

  1. Once you’re logged into Twitter, click on the gear on the top right corner and select “Settings” from the drop down menu.
  2. From the sidebar, click on “Design” and then scroll down to the “ Customise your own” section.
  3. Select “Change header” and upload your image – you can zoom in or out of the image and adjust the positioning once you’ve finished the upload.
  4. To finish off, just click “Save”

At the moment, the information you have in your bio as well as your location and links to your website appear as white text on top of your header image automatically. There is no functionality yet to customise the text colour so bear that in mind when choosing your image. Another consideration is the fact that the header image is visible when you use Twitter on different devices. As such, the image dimensions will vary on each device so stick to a relatively simple image that will look good across the board.

The take-up on this new feature is currently quite slow with only a few accounts worldwide who have opted to use the header image. As such, it is worthwhile to get ahead of the curve and differentiate yourself from your competition by having a more visually appealing profile.

But not all updates are good. Twitter has announced that they will stop supporting third-party image hosting apps. Going forward, you’ll only be able to use Twitter’s built-in service to share images via its apps.

By keeping an eye out on upcoming updates, you can make sure that you are not caught out by the changes when the social networks roll them out. With Twitter and LinkedIn’s updates, the difference between the old page and the improved pages did not cause too much of a problem. However, imagine if you were one of those who got caught out by the transition from the old Facebook profile to the new timeline…

Staying ahead of the curve or at least keeping up with the pace of technology is integral to being an effective social media manager.

 

* Disclaimer: The author is currently employed as the Digital & Social Media Assistant by Experis Switzerland, part of the ManpowerGroup. The contents of this blog are my own and are not representative of Experis Switzerland.

About Maebellyne Ventura

Maebellyne Ventura is a digital marketing professional writing about social media practices. She is also a founder of the online start-up Clever Biscuit. Follow her on Twitter @Maebellyne

2 Responses to Rule no. 10: Always keep an eye out for updates and new features

  1. Thobile Ntaaka November 30, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    Hi there

    What programme am I suppose to use to run this header template? Tx

  2. Maebellyne Ventura November 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    You can use Photoshop to edit the template. Let me know if you have any problems with it.

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