Twitter Header How-To

24 09 2012

Heads up, Twitter users! Come November, your twitter profile is going to look a little grey if you don’t do something about it.

They’re changing the look to include a header image of your choice, similar to the timeline cover that is now on Facebook pages.

The fix is simple and here’s how you do it:

First, create an image. Keep in mind that the header image you’re about to create will show along with your existing background image, so make sure they don’t clash.

Open your image editor (Photoshop or Paint or whatever you use) and create a New image with these dimensions: 1252px (width) X 626px (height) and 300 (resolution). I like to set the resolution this high because it makes any text you put on the image look good. This holds true for your Facebook timeline cover, and maybe even more true for that image.

Design your image as you like and keep in mind that your profile picture and some of the text from your profile will automatically show up on the image once you’ve uploaded it and are done with it:

Log onto your Twitter page and click on the Settings wheel at the top of your page on the right side. In the dropdown menu, click on Edit Profile:

On the left side of your page where you see Account, Password, Mobile, and so on, click on Design:

Scroll down a little, and click on the Change Header or Header option. It might say something slightly different if you don’t yet have a header, but look for the “Header” box above the Change Background box on the right side of the page:

Click on the Header box and a box will pop up that is a directory of your computer. Make sure you’ve named your image something obvious and that you remember where you stored it, then click on the “Look in” dropdown at the top of the box and go find your image:

Once you’ve found it, double-click on it and a new box will appear saying “Upload a header image” and it will have a slider bar at the bottom so you can do any final adjustments to the image. You then click Save or Cancel on the box, as you like:

Assuming you clicked save, it will do so and then you scroll to the bottom of the Design page and click “Save changes.” To see your new header, click on “Me” at the top of your page.

And that’s it! Do you have some Twitter headers you’d like to share? We’re all looking for great ideas!

By Trish Parnell Tweets Right!

4 11 2010, a coalition of several federal agencies, uses Twitter and other social media such as Facebook as cornerstones of their communications strategy.

These efforts support the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which has three primary goals

  1. Reduce new HIV infections
  2. Increase access to care and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV
  3. Reduce HIV-related health disparities

Such broad strokes are perfect for the likes of Twitter, according to the team.  Twitter as a health communications tool is exemplified by the success of the recent National HIV Testing Day Twitter Town Hall.  

A Twitter Town Hall, a group of people tweeting about the same topic at the same time (and using key hashtags), is an excellent method to reach a wider audience using social media with a relatively low investment of organizational resources.

The types of Twitter interactions may vary—from dialogue, to link and picture-sharing, to retweeting—but one thing is clear: different demographics can be reached using Twitter, versus Facebook, radio and television. 

For health educators, a broader reach is always a good thing.

Try these tips from to increase your organization’s Twitter effectiveness:

  • Integrating Twitter into an overall communications strategy
  • Consistently tweeting news and updates
  • Promoting your organization’s Twitter work on business cards, websites and other materials
  • Interacting with Twitter and making sure to share links and retweet information from those in your industry

Like this story? Retweet it!

New Twitter New Functionality?

21 10 2010

Like all social media, it seems Twitter functionality changes almost daily, adding and then removing features, offering a seemingly endless array of ways to make sense of the stream of endless conversation. Here are ways of using Twitter to help you manage your time and resources wisely.

1. Managing Your Twitter Stream

Sometimes the most onerous of all Twitter tasks once you follow and are followed by numerous people, is sorting through the vast streams of incoming content.  Among the newest and niftiest tools, Cadmus holds great promise for the slightly Twitter-whelmed.

It takes a while to upload and sync your account, but once you do, Cadmus has some great features, including ranking tweets by their relevance to pre-selected topics, trending conversations for all of Twitter, and trends within just the groups that you follow. So, for instance, if you’re interested in hepatitis B, you can prioritize those within your Twitter followers who are talking about it.

2. Twitter To Go

iPhones, Androids, and Blackberries, oh my!! As if streaming your Twitter account to your Blackberry weren’t enough, now you can use specialized applications that bring a smarter Twitter to your iPad.  This integration allows Twitter to serve as your intelligence when surfing the web remotely and increasingly allows you to categorize and manage different areas of your life online.

3. New Twitter Functionality

But of course the biggest news is that Twitter is unveiling a brand-new layout with even greater integration with media stars like YouTubeDeviantART, Etsy, and Twitpic.  By adding photos and videos into the Twitter stream, the methods for companies and individuals to use Twitter will expand. Now groups can use pics and videos as well as 140 characters to announce late-breaking news, or promote a new flu-prevention campaign at the state or national levels.  Some argue that Twitter is just becoming Facebook.

While Twitter has always pitched itself as more of an information rather than social network, the integration of multi-media into the streams and additional two-way communication devices (“You both Follow” for example) means Twitter is becoming a major player in the realm of social media destinations.

Whatever happens, one thing is clear, micro-blogging will never be the same.

Nonprofit Social Media Superstars!

7 10 2010

Here at PKIDs we’ve been talking and thinking about social media and nonprofits, particularly health-related nonprofits, for the past year.  Our Communications Made Easy Program focuses on helping immunization educators use social media to reach a broader audience.

 As part of the program, we host how-to webinars for immunization educators.  To listen to any of our social media or social marketing webinars, go here to register and you’ll have access to our library of webinars. To date, we’ve covered a number of topics including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

There are plenty of nonprofit groups who could teach us a thing or two about effectively using social media, so this week marks the beginning of a new blog series we’re calling Nonprofit Social Media Superstars! Once a month we’ll highlight great examples from around the Web of groups using their social media chutzpah to make a difference.

This week’s Nonprofit Social Media Superstar: GAVI Alliance (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation)  for their Facebook page (pictured below):

Even though GAVI has resources not available to many nonprofits, the methods they employ to maximize their organizational presence on Facebook are simple but effective. GAVI’s Facebook page does these four things particularly well:

  1. Customized Page – By adding a banner, a person coming to this page immediately learns something about GAVI (they support children) without reading anything further.
  2. Quality Interaction – GAVI posts regularly (several times daily) about global happenings, including those not directly related to their mission and projects. They also engage their fans (page audience) with conversation starters and discussions.
  3. Organizational Information – Every page allows organizations to post mission statements or brief accountings of work. GAVI adds a simple sentence that engages and challenges the reader to take action. “The world needs changing. Join us.”   
  4. Shameless Self-Promotion (in a good way)  – Many nonprofits are either too swamped or too reticent to promote their good work. GAVI places information about their projects and related pages right on their main fan page (see below).

If you’re doing the work, why not share as much information about it as possible? Facebook makes it very easy, by allowing you to promote your projects and programs in the sidebar.

If your organization has decided to invest time in social media such as Facebook, following GAVI’s example would behoove you.

See a nonprofit doing wonderful things with social media, or think your group deserves nominating? Send an email to and tune in for our next Nonprofit Social Media Superstar!

5 Quick Tips for Nonprofit Success on Twitter

6 08 2010

Twitter, the micro-blogging social media tool of choice for over 105 million people worldwide, can seem at first blush to be a funny tool.  Users write messages in 140 characters or less, and share links and news updates with those that follow them.

Brevity has necessitated its own language on Twitter (abbreviations anyone?) and to the uninitiated it can be quite difficult to understand.

However, for those willing to press on, Twitter can be an invaluable tool to reach a wider audience, share news updates and events, and quickly create “buzz” about an issue, product, or concern.

This holds especially true for nonprofits, who can use Twitter’s virtual megaphone to communicate their health- or other mission-related messages.  However, like all tools, it’s only effective if the operator has some tricks up her sleeve.

These five quick tips for nonprofit success will help put any group on the map with Twitter:

  1. Hold a Twitter Town Hall – A Twitter Town Hall is a virtual event that allows people, during a set period of time, to talk about the same topic with other people and organizations on Twitter. To launch National HIV Testing Day CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, held a Twitter Town Hall. The Town Hall is an excellent way to build a nonprofit’s mission and vision, and an excellent promotional tool for an event or annual celebration.
  2. Involve a Key Leader – We can’t all get Ashton Kutcher or Demi Moore to tweet on our behalf, but most nonprofits have key leaders within their organization or on their board who have a knack for pithy (Twitter-friendly), mission-focused comments or questions.  Offering access to a director or board leader grants twitter users an opportunity to engage effectively with a new audience.
  3. Start an intelligent conversation (by asking good questions)  – Twitter users, like most people, get excited by the prospect of giving their opinions. Nonprofits often have time-sensitive or newsy questions that can spur debate and inspire great discussions. For example “Will you get tested on National HIV Testing Day? Why or why not?”
  4. Utilize favorites to organize your tweets and give users a quick way to see what your organization is about. Favoriting is a way of showcasing the tweets that you find most interesting or helpful. You can favorite your own or another’s tweet by selecting the star at the end of a particular update. These favorites will show in the right-hand column of your Twitter profile page.
  5. Create a poll  – A more targeted way to prompt conversation amongst your twitter users is to post a poll relating to your work.  Polls allow an organization to ask multi-layered series of questions and gain in-depth information. Sites like twtpoll and polldaddy allow you to design and then tweet a poll. These are particularly useful for multiple choice questions. For example, “Would you prefer to receive your health information via:  a. Text, b. Mobile App, or c. Email?”

As with all social media tools, a regular presence, high quality discussion, and contributing to others streams of information will help build a loyal following.

And don’t forget to follow PKIDs on Twitter.

Join the conversation!

Researching Health Information on Twitter: Tip#1 – Hash It!

19 05 2009


Social media has made the spread of information lightening fast.

One of the most interactive and helpful social media Websites is Twitter, a microblogging service that lets you make frequent 140 character updates.

As an avid Tweeter myself, I have found quite the handful of useful tools to navigate the Twitterspace. Some of these tools can be used to stay abreast of pertinent health information.

Tip #1 is the hashtag (#). The hashtag lets someone follow a conversation or relate his or her tweet (a.k.a. message) to a topic.

Take a look at one of  PKIDs’ tweets:


In the post, there are multiple hashtags (#cellphones, #germ, #health) that, when typed into Twitter’s search box, will allow you to follow the current trends on that subject.

View what the search box looks like below. It’s also featured on the bottom right side of your Twitter profile page (or look at


The search function also shows recent hot topics and allows you to search for topics you’re interested, i.e. #health for health information.

So, why use the hashtag?

Not every hashtag has a conversation attached, but the # attached to a word allows Twitter users to tag relevant posts so others can find them, even if you aren’t following their posts on Twitter. Hashtags before a specific word, like #health, also help exclude irrelevant posts like “I am a health freak,” which wouldn’t teach you much.

Here are a few good hashtag choices for health info:

If you want more specific health information use the specific disease or virus name, like #hepatitis or #H1N1.

There are also Twitter-independent tools you can use to follow health information on Twitter, without getting a Twitter account. TweetDeck and are two that are easy and free to use.

And remember, as with all information on the Web, not all of it is credible. Consult your doctor before acting on any health advice from a third party.

Stay tuned next week for another tip on social media and your health.