A picture might be worth a thousand words, but according to Hubspot’s Social Media Scientist Dan Zarella (@danzarrella), recent research reveals that tweets which have an accompanying picture jump a whopping 94% in likelihood the tweet will be re-tweeted. Naturally it depends on how compelling your content is, and perhaps there are some situations where the likelihood might be greater (Bieber, Grumpy Cat, Ellen selfie) but you get the idea.
The way Twitter works now is, if you upload a photo directly to pic.twitter.com, or via your twitter dashboard app such as Hootsuite, the image will now appear more often in the tweet stream. So imagine this long page of textual information interrupted with your compelling image, people will notice it and this is a huge opportunity for savvy inbound marketers. Visual content is much more engaging when done well. But there’s another newsflash for content marketers. Instagram pictures used to work the same way on Twitter, but then Facebook bought Instagram and well, you know how that goes. What’s interesting is, tweets with Instagram URL’s are 42% less likely to be re-tweeted compared to tweets which have had the picture uploaded to pic.twitter.com.
The chances of a re-tweet decrease dramatically perhaps due to trust issues and credibility issues. Zarella said “If I don’t know you super well and I see an Instagram link, I’m going to assume to some degree it isn’t going to be real interesting, unless you have a really great caption.” The assumption here is that people who are sharing from Instagram are packing a lot of non-relevant hash tags into their posts. Another interesting stat is Facebook images which are uploaded to FBcdn (the Facebook content delivery network), tweets which include a Facebook image link, it is not going to pop up in the stream, these tweets are 47% less likely to be re-tweeted. The other thing to consider when relying on FBcdn for image tweets are the privacy settings. Because Facebook is mostly a closed private community, unless it is a public post, there is a strong likelihood that people will not be able to see the image.
- Definitely use visual media in your posts to increase engagement.
- If you would like your picture tweets to show in the stream, post to pic.twitter.com
- For more great insights on Social Media check out Dan Zarella’s SciChat Group on Facebook