Twitter doesn’t want to be left in the dust with all the Facebook and Google+ updates so they have rolled out their own new fancy profile update. This new Twitter “Header” image will be made live for everyone in November but we’re sure you can’t wait so, you can activate it now.
You or your agency
will need to prepare cover art that is 1252px wide and 626px high. This new profile is optimized for iPad and mobile Twitter users as well. More customization creates better branding
and overall imaging throughout your social media platforms.Setting up the new Twitter Header
To add the new Twitter header, go to the right edit profile cog and select “Settings” in the dropdown. Then on the left, choose “Design.” Now you will see “Customize your own.” Here you can update:
The new “Header” with minimum dimensions of 1252px by 626px, maximum file 5MB2.
Background (position left, center or right)3.
Overlay in black or white (this is the transparent panel behind your tweets)6.
Save changes when finished
To view your handiwork, click the new “Me” item in the top navigation menu and this will bring you to your new profile with the fancy new Header.
Hidden in this rollout is a new drop down called “Twitter Ads.” You can find this in the edit profile drop down menu. I guess they didn’t want to update with just the ad message. Imagine that, Twitter really is following in Facebook’s footsteps.
Here’s a step-by-step video: How to Change Your Twitter Header Image
For the help of a professional, please contact us.What do you think? Do you like the new Facebook… oops, I mean Twitter Header design? Will you change now or wait until November?
We believe a big key to winning in today’s business world is a smart, integrated approach to marketing and communications. In order to make an impression in these busy, distracted times, design can be the differentiator. Sure, your image will be leaps ahead of the others — but your messages will also be fine-tuned and cohesive; your communications will be clear and user-friendly; but most importantly, they will be powerfully integrated together!
re:DESIGN is excited to share a few exciting projects that we believe do just that, as well as earning us three awards in a national design competition, The American Graphic Design Awards sponsored by Graphic Design USA.
What is re:DESIGN?
re:DESIGN is a boutique agency that specializes in strategic design, branding, social media, and communications — bringing standout design to our clients so their businesses rise above the competition.
We excel at helping companies and professionals achieve special things through smart strategies and sharp, award-winning design that gets noticed while delivering a clear, convincing message. From custom logos to comprehensive branding and cohesive communications strategies, re:DESIGN reenergizes businesses by creating integrated programs throughout all of today’s media touchpoints: from digital to print to experiential.
What are the American Graphic Design Awards?
The American Graphic Design Awards is the biggest and broadest of the three national design competitions sponsored by Graphic Design USA for nearly five decades. It honors outstanding creative work of all kinds and across all media, and is open to advertising agencies, graphic design firms, corporations, institutions, publishers and more. There were more than 8,000 entries and of these, only a highly selective 15% are recognized as winners with an Awards Certificate of Excellence.
We are proud to share a little peak into these three unique award-winning projects, representing three completely different types of projects and media: logo/branding design, website/mobile design and an exquisitely designed print brochure.
Logo/Branding — My Book Club
This is a classic example of a logo that is deceptively simple yet complex in its execution. The witty design effectively sums up the brand at a quick glance, conveying its personality — and all through the use of type. It was designed to work as well online as it does offline, and even at the smallest of sizes.
“Your logo symbolizes all that is your company, product, service or event. It is also the ‘handshake’ for when you can’t be there in person, so it is vital for a business to get the logo right from the very beginning.” ~ Paul Biedermann
, 12 Most Essential Ingredients for an Exceptional Logo
Website/Mobile — The Dorsey Group
A comprehensive redesign of a corporate web and mobile presence that was also bound up with a brand refresh that infused energy and new life into this company. With smart, strategic design and focused attention to detail, the site is engaging and easy to navigate while the custom mobile landing pages offer easy access while on-the-go.
QR codes were also utilized, linking print communications to these other digital communications, creating a cohesive, integrated brand experience no matter the touch point: viewing a website at work, checking a mobile device at a conference, or reading a print piece at home.
Print — McGraw-Hill Construction Outlook
This is a flagship publication for this business and the most highly respected economic forecast in the construction industry which includes detailed analysis, market research and industry trends. This exquisitely designed and printed communication is a valued resource that analysts and industry professionals depend on for timely information every year, culminating in an annual conference in Washington D.C.
Distilling complex information down into engaging, user-friendly experiences that communicate clearly and powerfully is something we excel at. re:DESIGN is proud to have consistently won awards for this report’s design and communications excellence, year after year for over a decade.Looking ahead
While it is an honor to receive such accolades, we are not ones to rest on our laurels — it’s literally back to the virtual drawing board as we continue looking forward. These are exciting times, but we believe the key is not to focus only on digital, social media, or any other flavor of the month — but rather to bring them all together in a powerful, integrated way that surrounds your particular market at every touch point, including print.
To our online community as well as our families and friends: thank you for the support — you are appreciated. We are excited for the future and all that it brings for re:DESIGN! What can we do for you?Read the Press Release Like us on Facebook!
Take a look at more of the logos we’ve designed
And here are more of our branding and websites
All images copyright © 2012 Paul Biedermann, re:DESIGN.
This infographic hits all the high points for “The Power of a First Impression
” of your website based on research conducted by the Missouri University of Science and Technology. “It takes less than two-tenths of a second for a potential customer to form a first impression of your brand when viewing your website.” Wow!
“Using eye-tracking software
and an infrared camera in Missouri S&T’s Laboratory for Information Technology Evaluation
, the researchers monitored students’ eye movements as they scanned the web pages. The researchers then analyzed the eye-tracking data to determine how long it took for the students to focus on specific sections of a page — such as the menu, logo, images and social media icons — before they moved on to another section.”
You can find other important information about your own website by viewing Google Analytics and checking the In-Page Analytics. This will tell you the average time spent on a page as well as where people clicked.
Featured image courtesy of Louish Pixel via Creative Commons.
Have you heard about Twylah pages? They are branded Twitter pages that are customized portfolios of your Twitter stream. Your tweets automagically feed to your Twylah page and are sorted by category.
These beautiful pages create a full picture of your social media efforts on Twitter, focusing on you and your message as opposed to a busy, tweet-filled stream of many people’s messages flying by.
The average tweet has a very short life span
— only 2.8 hours! Using a Twylah page, the life of your tweet is extended and it’s all about you, baby!Send Power Tweets from Twylah
Who doesn’t want to send a Power Tweet? From Twylah
: “A power tweet is a tweet you send from our platform that includes a custom back-link to a custom landing page. Your landing page includes the text of your tweet, embedded content from the link you’ve shared, and other related tweets of yours. Power tweets increase engagement by 4000%! Yes, that’s right, 40x. Viewers who click on Power Tweet links spend 3–5 minutes on average engaging with your original tweet and a larger portion of your Twitter content.”
More here from Jeff Bullas: How to Send a Power Tweet that Increases Engagement by 400%
- You have the option to customize your page. My Twylah page matches my website, Twitter page and all my other branded items. Fabulous!
- You have the option to manage topics by pinning some to the top and hiding up to ten others.
- Sent a tweet you don’t want on your Twylah page? Delete it.
- Your brand is clearly defined by the topics you tweet. You have the option of sharing your trending topics via Tweet, Facebook, and Google+.
You also have the option of hosting Twylah on your own domain name to gain more traffic to your website.“(Twylah) can be an absolute game-changer in terms of harnessing the potential SEO value of your everyday tweets.”
~ Neal Schaffer, Twitter SEO? Think Twylah Goodies
Add the Power Tweet bookmarklet to your browser for easy use. Twylah also has custom badges so you can put buttons on your website. I choose to put a Twylah widget on my blog
which shows my top six trending topics. Engagement Opportunities
Once people visit your Twylah page, they can retweet your content right from your page or share your trending topics. Each time I visit my page, I go to several of my friend’s pages to share their content as well. It is a great way to catch up on what your friends or, dare I say, competition are up to. Super smart.Who is on Twylah?
Celebrities, astronauts, the President and lots of regular people too!“Celebrities and brands take control of Twitter accounts with Twylah… social media gurus PAY ATTENTION!”
~ Robert Scoble @Scobleizer
Read Robert Scoble’s article with a video interview
with Eric Kim
, Twylah co-founder.
Check out these Twylah pages: Whole Foods, Alyssa Milano, PinterestWho is Twylah? Kelly Kim
, the co-founder of Twylah, is the online social presence for Twylah. Always helpful and one of the nicest people you will tweet, Kelly is savvy, social and smart. Tweet her at @Twylah.How Do You Manage Your Twylah Page?
It doesn’t take much, really. It manages itself. Or you can manage your topics manually and tweak the way your page looks. Also, if you have a topic with a photo that you don’t like, you can send a power tweet of a photo that you would rather show instead.
The important thing is that once you start a Twylah page, use the link to your Twylah page in all your social media profiles when you have the option to add a Twitter link. Use your Twylah link instead and send people to your custom, pimped out page. Put it at the bottom of your email signature and tweet your trending Twylah topics. Cost?
Free. So what are you waiting for? Request an invite
. Let the Power Tweeting begin!
What is a personal brand
It is you. Your story. This intimate story is portrayed via an overall message that weaves throughout your communications and social media platforms.
Just as major consumer brands have well-known, universally recognized images, individuals can have them too. But more than just a mere surface image, it is important to have a deeper story
too. This serves as the backbone for all you are about, who you are and why you do what you do. How successful you are in telling your story will determine how deeply it resonates with your audience and will ultimately determine the success of your brand. When you are first learning about social media, you are usually unaware that you are creating an online persona for yourself with each post, status update and tweet. It is all experimental at this point as you learn how to navigate the various mediums.
The essential element in creating your personal brand is to be authentic
. ee cummings said, “it takes courage to grow up and be who you are.” Don’t copy someone else’s style: be yourself! Being an imitation of the most fabulous thing imaginable is still just an imitation, and people catch on to this behavior very quickly. Consider your avatar to be your logo: keep it fresh and real.Be outstanding
Each person has unique qualities and gifts
that make them special. Find yours and amplify them. If you are hesitant about what image you are projecting, find interesting blogs or links to share that fit within your strategy and build up your confidence as you go. Pay attention to what people “like” or retweet; figure out where you are connecting with your followers and build on that. Above all, please be interesting! You may start with a little kindling and end up with a big bonfire if you create the proper base.Consistency is key
If your goal is to be viewed as a professional
, this needs to be seen across the board throughout all of your social media efforts. The language that you use is the currency and relevancy to your message. Make wise choices and remember that the internet is permanent. Linking your social media channels together makes it seamless for a follower to travel from your Twitter bio or other social media page over to your blog. This does not mean that you should show all your tweets on LinkedIn and tweet your Facebook statuses. A separate, similar message is fine — no need to be redundant.
Your personal brand will evolve over time but you start projecting your brand from your very first tweet or post. You might not think you have a personal brand yet, but you do. Consider what this might be and polish it up if necessary. It is not just your avatar but all your interactions woven together to create a personal story: your personal brand
. Make it a good one!
Design. All important and all critical to the success of your business.
Design as function, that is. Design that makes sense of what your business needs to say and how best to say it. Design that establishes a content hierarchy so navigation is efficient and intuitive, allowing people to find what they need without extra precious seconds wasted. Design that is not mere surface decoration, an off-the-shelf theme or the latest shiny bells and whistles, but design that clarifies and never obscures. Design that engages and yes, looks absolutely terrific as it persuades and accomplishes the business objectives set forth at the outset.
Design that understands the big picture and how each website, each social media channel, each ad, brochure, sign, exhibit and business card are not separate entities but facets of a crystal where the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. This is your brand and is what will resonate in a noisy world if applied smartly, cohesively, and consistently.
In short, I am talking about design that makes your business sing. Nothing more, nothing less. The most admired companies in the world do it. You know them well and they know the power of design. It is part of their culture and in their DNA. You know them well because of the power of design. Whether your business is large or small doesn’t matter — the principles are the same. Isn’t it time you did the same?
Think design. Bring it into the earliest phases of your business strategy and listen to the pros, not the hucksters. And I know you have impeccable taste and two eyes just like anyone else, but please do not think that you can “do design” yourself. Yes, I know you know PowerPoint and maybe even a little Photoshop — well, not to be insulting, but you don’t know what you don’t know. Playing around with software, widgets and tools is not design any more than wielding a brush is painting. Respect yourself and your business enough to entrust the difficult work of design to a trusted, dedicated professional who has the talent and experience to do it right.
Effective design also incorporates solid marketing principles and communication skills. It values client input, understands market trends, analyzes the competition, pays attention to metrics, utilizes and optimizes for the latest technologies, accommodates manufacturing concerns, respects budget restraints, meets real-world deadlines, stands on its head, rubs its belly and chews gum all at the same time. Left brain meets right brain. Design does all these things and if it sounds like a challenge, it is! But it can be done with the right team.
So what are you waiting for? Got design?
Got Milk image © California Milk Processor Board. Gem image courtesy of stock_xchnge. Photo illustration by Paul Biedermann, re:DESIGN
I know what you're saying: email has been around since the beginning of time so what’s to know? Well, yeah it has. :-)
So then... why can't people get it right? I see emails every day that violate the most basic tenets of communication and disregard simple common courtesies.
Just like social media, common courtesy applies and if you behave in a way that doesn't fly in real life, you're probably doing it wrong. If you don't want to be a dumbass...1. Respond
You should usually be able to get back to someone within a few hours. If you can't, let them know you received their email and will respond more fully later. If on vacation with limited access to email, let them know that too. Bottom line — respect people and their time: after all, they took the time to contact YOU! Let them know they exist.2. Reply all
If other people are cc’d in an email, don't forget to hit “reply all” when responding. Simple. Otherwise people are left out of the loop and well… you know what you’ll look like then.3. Get to the point
Nothing is worse than long emails, especially when they're loaded with verbose redundancies. Emails should be succinct and to the point. Sometimes longer emails are inevitable, but you risk looking like a… yeah, you know.4. Use meaningful subject titles
It's the most effective way of finding emails later and keeping a tidy email thread. It's a lot easier to search for an email with the relevant topic named in the subject line rather than trying to find something generic in a haystack.5. Include your contact info
Rather than forcing more email and wasting time just trying to ascertain basic info, include these vitals at the bottom of every email.6. Create a branded signature line
Taking the need for contact info one step further, emails are powerful branding touch points, especially if they include your company name, logo, website url and social media links.7. Never email sensitive subject matter
When you least expect it, and usually at the worst possible time, that little rant you couldn’t resist putting in writing and send to a confidant will unwittingly be passed on. Avoid this potential business and social embarrassment by never sending this stuff through email. Otherwise, you know who’ll be the real… you got it!8. Save important emails as text files
This is a smart thing to do with emails that you will likely need to refer to or repurpose for another need. For some reason, these are the emails that always have a way of getting lost or trashed. Just save them to relevant folders and they will be there when you need them.9. Craft emails carefully
A clear, well-conceived business email takes time but saves time in the long run. Good emails can serve as powerful reference documents/checklists for getting a job done quickly and efficiently, especially when multiple people are involved. Bad emails waste valuable time by confusing people and generating more questions and more emails — you know what they’ll call you then!10. Cover your butt
Forgetting to document the important steps along the way of an important project is a big no-no and can cause serious business woes. An email trail can be very handy when handling delicate business matters and vindicating you if necessary, especially when big bucks are involved and people start pointing fingers. But since you have what you need in writing, you’re covered!11. Answer all questions
This is a pet peeve, as I often need specific questions answered before I can proceed to the next phase of a project and meet the deadline (usually the same one imposed by the very same person I am emailing!). Answering only some of the questions doesn’t cut it and wastes valuable time with more back and forth when it could have been handled in one email exchange.12. Write complete, grammatically-correct sentences
This still counts, especially in the business world. Spell out words — texting lingo doesn't fly and if you use it, you will look like a real… YUP!
So what have I left out? I’m sure there are a few — let me know in the comments below because we all need to do our best in protecting each other from being that most vile of living beings… a dumbass.
Feeling pretty good about yourself? Now lookup “dumbass
” in the Urban Dictionary and see what it says.
This post first appeared on the best list site on the web, 12 Most.
Today Google+ made an update and changed all the sizes for your profile images. The new art required is broken into three definitions and sizes:
1. Profile picture — larger than before with a minimum upload of 250 pixels X 250 pixels and a recommended format of jpg or png.
2. Cover photo — a large panoramic style photo that goes behind and extends past your profile picture on the right side. This new format ties the images together nicely, making a lot of impact. It can also create a beautiful branded image for you and/or your company. The size is 940 pixels X 180 pixels and the recommended format is either jpg or png.
3. Scrapbook photos — these can either be five individual photos or one large photo cropped into individual squares that are 110 pixels X 110 pixels. The recommended format is jpg, png, or gif.
So, you have the option of using one large cover photo, five individual photos or five coordinated photos that make one long image (see image above). The cover photo is deeper and extends further across than the scrapbook configuration with the five square photos.
Once you have chosen your photos, go to the profile and click “Edit Profile” to edit your photos. Alternatively, if you mouse over the cover photos, it asks if you would like to “Change Cover Photo.” There are two small graphics over the scrapbook photos where you can choose a template for the large cover photo or the five scrapbook photos.
You can preview your work before making it public, which is always a good thing. Enjoy!More information can be found on Google.
Admit it; you don't go on Google+ very often because you aren't sure what the heck to do. Get over yourself and join the conversation.
Now that we have that out of the way, I am going to share ten things to get you excited about Google+ and really get you grooving!
Google+ is an exciting way to show the world who you are with a beautiful visual display and customizable, editable text. These elements can take your brand to a new level, generating new followers and interest in your message. Use this to your advantage and have fun in the process.
- Get photo fabulous! The optimized photos on Google+ are amazing and really catch your eye as they update on the stream. Choose the best photos from your last trip and share them! Picasa is a great way to share and tag your photos. All your photos on Facebook? Use Move Your Photos to transfer them. Photos are organized quite nicely with photos from your circles, photos from your phone, photos of you that you were tagged in, photos from your posts and albums that you created.
- There are tons of really cool Chrome extensions to trick out your G+. I particularly like Favorite Posts for Google+ and Extended Share for Google Plus. Extended share gives you little chicklets to easily share to your other social media platforms. Spend a little time loading a few free extensions and make your G+ rock!
- Create an AH-MAZING bio! Google+ gives you the absolute best profile in social media: plenty of places for links, huge section for an introduction and a visually appealing presentation of YOU! Don't miss your opportunity to shine and show people why they should circle you. Make sure you link to all your other social media platforms!
- It’s really easy to find people to circle! Here is a list of public circles that you can search. Pick an interest and find some like-minded people. Then join in the fun.
- This just in… there are games. Who knew? Oh… they have Angry Birds!
- Meet new people. You may have lots of Twitter followers but Google+ is a way to connect in a much more significant manner. The commenting style is a combination of Facebook and blogging so the conversations are very interesting. Look around and find one!
- A great place to share all your amazing finds from Pinterest.
- Google+ plug-ins for WordPress make it easy to bling out your blog and connect with more Google+ fans. I really like the Google+ widget that you can add to ask people to circle you on Google+; it is easily customizable and looks great.
- Lots going on every day, check the search for the daily activities: Science Sunday, Travel Tuesday, Wine Wednesday, and my personal favorite… Caturday! You can use a hashtag or just search in the search bar for something fresh going on in Google+land. It’s like having Julie, The Love Boat Cruise Director, but better.
- Foodies! All the foodies are out in full force on Google+, you can always find a great recipe or something yummy to look at. Why? It’s fun! And who doesn’t like food?
You will find that Google+ is an awesome dichotomy of super smart, fun and sometimes downright silliness. You can make it exactly what you would like; all you have to do is give it a try.
Take your social media brand to the next level and get in there with the big boys. What are you waiting for?
Image courtesy of stock_xchnge.
Whether you like it or not, people DO judge a book by its cover. Fact of life.
Just as you wouldn’t apologize for brushing your hair or brushing your teeth in the morning (in fact, it would be embarrassing if you didn’t!), one also shouldn’t need to apologize for wanting to present themselves or their business in the best possible light.
If you are the face of your company or the passion you wish to share with the world, making a good impression is that much more important. And it better be an effective one!
Professionals with poor brand images suffer the consequences or at best, are simply ignored. Just like companies and products. One could have the most impressive list of experiences and talents in the land; a company could provide the best services and products ever seen but with poor branding the perception will be less than the reality. And no matter how successful they may already be, they will be penalized. Perhaps in ways not readily seen, but they will be penalized nonetheless.
People can always be more successful; businesses can always have a larger following. There can always be “higher quality” clients that are more aligned with your passions; your unique talents can always be shared with more people; your beliefs can always have a greater impact.
This is important because it is part of the human condition: we want to do better. It is innate.
Is “personal branding” becoming a dirty word?
“Personal branding” is the buzz word tossed around these days for creating a palpable presence that gets noticed in a busy, distracted world. Important stuff for those who, just like any business or product, have a desire to let the world know “what they’ve got”.
Over time, popular buzz words (as in “buzz word” itself) always seem to create a backlash. It happens to media stars who rise to the top only to crash and burn later, becoming the next fallen star. Naysayers of personal branding seem to focus on those who build false images where real substance is lacking. True, there are many. But I believe there are many more who are looking for the best, most honest representation of themselves that will simply get them noticed.
It is quaint to think that a good reputation and doing good work is in itself enough to get noticed. I have been guilty of that myself only to see the “talkers” get more recognition. The same is true of those who know how to self promote, including branding and other tactics to get noticed. As a sales executive revealed to me early in my career, bullshit sells. I think those with substance also deserve a fighting chance.
When it comes to an individual whose name is the same as their business name or who’s product or passion is closely associated with them, it only makes sense to make their personal name visible and recognizable. It is the only way to get attention for whatever it is you desire the world to know and increasingly so in such a competitive, noisy world. Being good is not enough.
Rebranding personal branding
Maybe it is simply the talk about people as “brands” that gets some people’s underwear in a knot. Personally, I preferred the term “corporate identity” a lot more before everything became called “branding.” Before then, brands were things like “Tide” and “MARS Bars.” But at some point in the 90’s, it was all suddenly called “branding.” Fine.
Admittedly, the word “branding” itself can have as many negative connotations as it does positive ones. We have learned to live with the term as it is applied to big consumer companies and products. But when we apply the term to a person things tend to get muddied.
Done correctly, what we call personal and business branding should get to the essence
of who and what you are, embodied in all the ways one engages with your customers, audiences and communities while encapsulated in a simple but powerful brand image
that resonates with people. Nothing more, nothing less.
In fact, this process should be one of the most honest things a person and/or business will ever do. It takes self analysis and uncommon self awareness
. Possibly even a gut check
. Then it takes more guts to lay it all out there for all the world to see. One’s “brand” should say “this is who I am” and “this is what I stand for.” Clearly, compellingly, powerfully.
But maybe a new name is needed since the word “branding” can imply, among other things, a false image like so many of those created by legions of ad agencies, merchandisers and downright hucksters that advertise and sell products through crass commercialization and manipulation. We are in a new era of social engagement where people have a voice and reject any sign of being sold to. Perhaps “personal branding” just doesn’t cut it anymore.
If personal branding were instead called “one’s true self, encapsulated so others understand what you’re about in a quick glance” or “ your earned reputation, honestly represented and packaged in a well-defined, simple, recognizable identity,” maybe it wouldn’t be vilified the way “personal branding” is starting to be by some people. But those names suck. Perhaps personal branding itself
needs a rebranding. “Self-potential declaration.”
I’m sticking with it.So what do you think about “personal branding”? Do you think it needs a new term or is it just fine the way it is? I would love to hear what you have to say in the comments below.
This post was inspired by a Twitter conversation and friendly debate I had with Olivier Blanchard
, author of Social Media ROI. My partner, Peggy Fitzpatrick
, created this Storify which captures much of that discussion and I think you will find it very interesting: Personal Branding.
Images courtesy of tj scenes licensed via Creative Commons and stock.xchng