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What background image should you use on Twitter?

Twitter used to allow for space to brand yourself on your Twitter feed through your background image. Mashable had great tips for the old background, but most of that visual real estate is gone now. Drew Binkley at 38pages has created a great template to create a useful background image and gives instructions on how to use it. And if you are curious as to what screen resolutions are most popular, w3schools has posted a dataset of their most frequently used screen sizes.

As far as what to include for an image, choose something that will help to tell your story, your brand, and how you can be reached. Mashable offers some tips and Twitbacks has some great free and paid backgrounds. If you’ve visited my Twitter recently (@mccuedan), you’ll see I’ve placed a photo I took of the American Gothic house in Eldon, Iowa during a vacation in 2008. Maybe I need to update my background, too…

Using social media to tell your story

Yesterday, I had the privilege of meeting with a group of students and faculty at DePauw University as part of their Sophomore Institute. Just prior to my presentation, they met in small groups to answer the question, “Who am I?” This is a Deep Question and the students answered it with thoughtfulness and depth. No mentions of title, income, or fame. All collaborate with others to serve others and improve lives. It will be to their benefit – as well as ours – for them to make their answers a reality.

As each of us answer the question “Who am I?”, we begin to form a story of ourselves.  Penelope Trunk wrote recently of her experiences in telling her story. We choose facts, experiences, relationships and arrange them to craft an arc that is moving forward. We can tell that story using social media and with this blog I hope together we can find share examples and techniques to do that. At DePauw, the students, faculty, and I did just that. One student asked why it was necessary to have profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. “Different audiences, different connections,” one student replied. Another added that with Twitter she could say something to a celebrity and get a reply.

Answering the question “Who am I?” guides you on the path of how you should use social media. Over half of the students attending had a Twitter account. One had two, to separate her personal and professional interests. One faculty member used Twitter to connect with and listen to thought leaders in her field and confessed to keeping Twitter blocked until after 5 p.m. so she could stay focused on her work. Another student asked about posting high school activities on LinkedIn – absolutely, if they are relevant to that story.

How do you use social media to tell your story?