5 Ways Images on Twitter can Put Your Tweets in the Spotlight

If you have been paying attention you would realize that Twitter is becoming more and more visual as a social platform.

Images on Twitter not only get retweeted more, but photos, graphics, slide presentations, videos and GIFs grab attention on this traditionally text-based social network.

In this post, I share 5 ways to use Images on Twitter to put your tweets in the spotlight!

5 Ways to Use Images on Twitter to Shine the Spotlight on Your Tweets
SpotLights by Shutterstock

 

It is well documented that images on Twitter get retweeted approximately twice as often. Dan Zarrella (the Social Media Scientist) did extensive research to prove it and let’s face it, images on Twitter catch attention. There’s no doubting it.

Want the Skinny about Images on Twitter?  Buffer’s mega-article explaining the stats will motivate you! Buffer quotes research by people like Dan Zarrella  as well as their own research into the use of Twitter.

Click here or click on the image below to read the full article. The team at Buffer include great tips for how to leverage the power of images on Twitter – this post was released after images began to show innately on the newsfeed, and is still highly relevant!

chart_1

In summary, the team at Buffer found that Tweets with images get more Clicks, Retweets and Favourites. You have to love that!

So let’s jump in and look at some ways that you can leverage the power of images on Twitter:

 

How to Use Images on Twitter to Catch Attention on the Twitter Feed

 

#1  Set up Your Blog for Easy Image Sharing by Others on Twitter

Let’s start with the easiest first.  If you have a blog and you have images on your blog, you are missing a whole bunch of free marketing if you don’t set up Twitter Cards.

I won’t reinvent the wheel – Kim Garst produced an awesome article about how to set them up, so be sure to check it out.

Twitter cards are great in that they pull in additional information from a post, including images, and add it to the tweet. Here is an example of a tweet with Twitter cards enabled (showing the full summary):

 

Twitter Card Example
When someone tweets your image, the image and expanded description goes with it.

In the example above, all Social Media Examiner had to do was set up the Twitter Cards – now whenever anyone tweets their article, the image and description goes with it.

Don’t miss the opportunity for others to do your marketing for you!

#2  Use a Twitter-Size Template

If you want the tweet to show up natively in the Twitter Feed, I have a tip for you. Size it to fit the preview image exactly. Here are a few images that I posted during Social Media Marketing World last year that were “sized” to suit the Twitter Preview:

twitter-preview-pix

Quick Tip:  The images above were created on a Canva template. I would keep a tab with the template “open” on my laptop after creating the first image, then when I heard a great quote from a speaker, I just had to change out the text + add images to create another quote image – Voila!

It’s super easy to be responsive and create original content quickly!

By using a template that is sized perfectly to Twitter you can easily create a series of images to post at a live event (or at any time!).  The templates worked so well in the above example I was able to post them while the speakers were still on stage.

Now…I could give you the dimensions, but let’s face it, they often change. Instead,  I’ll give you something better.  Go to Canva – and choose their Twitter Template …the template is the best size for Tweet sized images.

Twitter Sized Image Template on Canva

Sometimes it is effective enough just to change out colour, font or background. Peg Fitzpatrick is a wizz at making shareable images. I watched Peg create these speaker quotes at an event we were both speaking at recently. She came prepared with templates ready to go – each with a different background colour!

Peg-Fitzpatrick-Live-Image-Tweet-2

All Peg had to do was make a few clicks and add/change text and background colour and boom – new images in just seconds:

Peg Fitzpatrick live tweeting

 

#3  Pre-prepare your Tweets for Live Chats

When it comes to having your tweets stand out, the bar has been raised people.  Raised!  …in a super fun way.

I had a few minutes to spare last year and I dropped by #BlogChat. I love doing Twitter Chats or “Tweet Ups” and I wrote about them here.

Basically it involves a group of like-minded people getting together to chat under a particular #hashtag on a common topic of interest at a regular weekly time.

There is often a guest user and a moderator who adds questions and helps the guest respond and replies to some of the questions or topics.

The nature of Twitter means that these chats become very busy under the hashtag feed, with a lot of conversations going on. Enter Mr Problogger,  Darren Rowse. (by Mr Problogger, I mean that Darren founded Problogger, one of the most successful site about blogging).

Darren was the guest “blogger” at this particular #BlogChat.  Oh my.  Darren came prepared. Here are just 2 of a dozen or so visual tweets he prepared earlier:

Darren Rowse Blog Chat Twitter Image

Darren’s tweets stood out. Got noticed. Drove the conversation. Helped people to follow along.

If you are holding a tweet chat or event, and you are a speaker or guest, consider pre-preparing some tweets that will start the conversation.

Even text based tweets will impress your guests but if they include images, you will blow the participants away.  And you may just save your hands typing so much as, you know what they say – a picture tells a thousand words!

#4   Make your Twitter Feed Image-Centric

Savvy brands are recognising the power of Images on Twitter. When I want to know what works, I often visit a few key B2B brands that I know do “social” well.

Let’s face it, if a B2B brand can make social work with what could be considered boring content, then there’s hope for the rest of us to do it right, isn’t there?

So I turn to brands like General Electric to see what they are doing. And guess what?  Their Twitter Feed is very image-centric:

Here’s just a taste, but please, click on the image (or click here) and scroll through their feed). Note all the pretty pictures?  Most of their posts are visual:

General Electric's Twitter Feed
Scroll on down – each tweet is insightful..and illustrated!

General Electric get it!  They would not be posting this way unless it impacted their Retweets and engagement, trust me.

Check out these brands too:  HubSpot and Constant Contact. When you want to know what works, watch what these guys do (on any platform) – especially when it comes to visual content.

Constant Contact know how to use Images on Twitter... and video.

Constant Contact post a lot of video as well as images, photo headers for blog posts and behind the scenes photos of their team. Again, watch closely what these guys do on social. They “get it” too!

#5   Send a Personalised Tweet with an Image

There’s one thing that stands out to me – it’s a personalised tweet. I don’t have an issue with automation for the sake of sending out great content from your own blog or especially others you want to promote .. but when it comes to engagement or sending a personalised tweet, you just can’t automate it.

One type of tweet I have noticed some “savvy” creative approaches to lately, is the thank you tweet. This might be for a retweet or to follow up on a meeting or just a thank you for a follow – when people that go the extra mile to say thanks with an image… it really stands out on my newsfeed.

Here’s an example of a clever “thank you tweet” for a an attendee at a webinar I did recently:

A great example of how to go the extra mile with your thank you tweet.
Krithika goes the extra mile with a pictorial, personalised thank you tweet!

 

Now as with all good things, automation can come along and ruin it. I have noticed a lot of generic thank you tweet images lately, but Krithika, in the image above “gets it”.  She personalised her tweet so I knew that it was just for me – by mentioning my webinar she attended, this tweet became super personalised.

And it stood out on my mentions feed – because it contained an image. There are 3 ways this tweet is super personal, over and above the actual image:

  • It includes my name
  • It mentions the webinar
  • It contains a hashtag which shows she listened to the content.
5-Ways-to-Use-Images-on-Twitter-to-Shine-the-Spotlight-on-Your-Tweets
Like this post? Pin it for later. Spotlight by Shutterstock.

 

It can take a little extra time to create these images to tweet, but it’s worth it when it comes to standing out.

Take George’s example below to thank me for following. Again, super-personalised while leveraging the power of visual content to catch my attention:

Example of a personalised thank you tw
You can’t get more personalised than seeing your name ON an image.

How can you personalise your tweets?  If there is someone in your industry you want to catch the attention of, consider using an image tweet.

Your Turn

Do you love visual content on Twitter? Do they stand out for you and do you use them yourself? Leave a comment below and tell me which of the 5 strategies you are considering implementing in your own Twitter Strategy.  

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is the founder of Socially Sorted, a Top 10 Social Media Blog Winner in 2015 & 2016, and winner of the 2014 Best Australian Blogs Competition (Business Category). Donna helps businesses, bloggers and entrepreneurs use visual social media and content strategy to get more traffic, shares and sales in their business. She is a contributor to Entrepreneur Online and Social Media Examiner and has been featured in Forbes, NBC, Yahoo, the Huffington Pos, Entrepreneur and Problogger.
  • Absolutely brilliant Donna, thank you. Have a great time over there and if you get a chance look up Tracy Raiteri who is from Townsviile. Can’t wait to hear all about it.

    • Thanks Cassandra – glad you liked it. Yes I know Tracy, and I am sure I will bump into her!

  • Krista Wiltbank

    Late to the party, but…

    While I do have Twitter cards enabled on my blog, I also use the Social Warfare social sharing plug-in. It lets me customize what populates into Twitter when they hit the button, including an image that I’ve created for sharing (using Canva, of course). That customized image/text capability is not limited to Twitter, it includes Pinterest, G+ and Facebook too. It’s a premium plug-in, but worth every cent.

    • Yes I love Social Warfare and I am about to speak at it at a conference tomorrow – we will be using it on this site soon as I know and trust the founder Dustin Stout (from Dustin.tv) For now I use Yoast SEO plugin which also allows you to customize images – both are awesome. Thanks for letting me know yet another person loves Social Warfare…

  • Hey Donna first congrats on getting in the top 10 on Social Media Examiner. Pretty impressive. I am happy to finally find a blog site located in Oz that deals with Social Media. Love your post about the use of images to increate your tweets. Also the time to personally respond with a thankyou. I am yet to investigate twitter cards, but will put it on my list of things to check out. I see you follow a lot of the top Social Media Experts as I do. I have booked marked your and will come back to check in. Cheers Kim 🙂

    • Cheers Kim – Glad you liked the post… have just arrived over at Social Media Marketing World funnily enough and just got back from drinks with the SME crew before we all speak on Thursday/Friday – and yes Twitter Cards are awesome – free advertising rocks!

  • Thanks for this. You’ve had a ton of great content recently about images and social media I’ve seen. This is becoming my go to place for any questions I have regarding image optimization on social media!

    • Thanks Ben – glad you like it! I’ll try to keep it useful for you in future posts :o)

  • Laura Hall Briedis

    I’m going to use # and #5 today! Thanks so much.

  • Great tips. #4 is something I’ve always believed in. Text is great and it’s definitely needed… but it’s not like having a great image.. visual is everything.. it’s a quicker way to appeal to your audience. It’s a must-have and it should be placed well.

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