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A Simple Tip to Get a Huge Increase in Engagement on Twitter

A Simple Tip to Get a Huge Increase in Engagement on Twitter

Have you thought about which foot has the sock fitted first when getting dressed in the morning? Is it the left or the right?

It’s called a habit and it helps us simplify our lives. We can drive home without thinking, get dressed without worrying about the routine and which side of the bed deserves your attention when crawling under the covers at night.

It’s efficient but sometimes it leads to habits that are not effective because there are better ways. We just aren’t aware or haven’t given it any thought.

Twitter adds image previews

Twitter since it started was all about text, but has been adding media over time to its offering. The latest addition was the 6 second video application “Vine”. Being able to Tweet pictures directly from your Apple iPhone has been a feature embedded in the Apple mobile  operating system for over 2 years.

In the past it you needed to  click on the Tweet to expand it to view the media. Twitter has now announced a new feature where media that can be viewed directly in the stream without clicking to view.

Here is how it looks.

A Simple Tip to Double Engagement on Twitter

For this feature to work you need to be using pic.Twitter.com (as featured above) to upload your images or Vine (as show below).

A Simple Tip to Double Engagement on Twitter Vine

Our Twitter habits sometimes means that we forget about using media including video and images.But there are some good reasons to start thinking about increasing our use of rich media on Twitter.

Maybe it is time to start modifying your Twitter routine and habits?

Why you should change your Twitter habits

Since Twitter has introduced the new function some users have noticed a significant increase in engagement. This means more retweets, favourites, mentions and sharing.

Buffer has been performing some tests and analytics on the impact of this change and has discovered the following:

  • Tweets with images received 89% more favourites
  • Tweets with images received 18% more clicks than those without
  • Tweets with images received 150% more retweets

Now this doesn’t mean that every tweet should include an  image. But it certainly means that wise use of images should be woven into your content amplification strategy. An increase in engagement on Twitter can be a very effective tactic to increase sales and traffic.

Examples of how you can use Twitter images

This change also offers a lot of promise for Twitter and brands on how use Twitter for advertising and content marketing. It also will enrich the impact of breaking news.

So how are some businesses and brands using Twitter’s new feature?


Here is how Nokia is using the new media function.

Nokia Twitter

 The Atlantic

Publications such as “The Atlantic” are using it for enriching news stories.

Atlantic Twitter


Here is how the Waitrose supermarket chain is using images on Twitter.

Waitrose Twitter


This is how Sephora is using it for advertising

Sephora Twitter

It seems that monetizing Twitter is a big driver behind this change. The new IPO may lead to this being a big part of Twitter in the future.

The danger is that your tweets could become just a huge advertising stream.

What about you?

How would you use the new “in stream” Twitter images? Do you think these changes to Twitter are for the better or is this something that may remove some of its charm?

Look forward to reading your thoughts and insights in the comments below.



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Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Thank you, Jeff. So simple I do forget. I needed the reminder.

  • Brandon Schaefer

    Jeff, as always, great tips. Being able to use images in my Twitter stream has literally propelled my Twitter account @90DayPro into overdrive!

    • Embedle

      Brandon, that’s great result! Jeff, wonderful tips! Have you guys tried Embedle? Embedle is trying to solve the twitter engagement issue from a different way: bring people who are interested in the same article together, and enable them to join the conversation and network with like-minded tweeters. If you click this link: http://t.co/mAP3JxgonM , you will see how it works in action.

  • Engagement for images is great but we’ve noticed overuse can annoy Twitter users (like hashtag overuse) and have a detrimental impact on a brand.

    • Agreed. I think that image engagement can be particularly effective, but only when done in moderation (like all good things)!

  • Geoffrey Winn

    My concern is that when this becomes pervasive it will slow down the timeline scroll and start to alienate users who prefer to click on a pic if they choose. Does that make sense?

  • Martin Reynolds

    I believe this is a good addition by Twitter but am cautious as also think this could lead to a constant advertising stream in Twitter feeds, saying that I have noticed a distinct increase in engagement on posts where I have used images for social media tips on my @MartinPReynolds Twitter account (sorry about the shameless plug there!) great article as usual Jeff

    • Yes, I will watch with interest to see how the stream unfolds! 🙂

  • If it is true that a picture can say 1000 words then I suppose that this should not have come as much of a surprise. Personally, I`m pleased because I have found Twitter to be a little plain looking as just text.


  • PeterJ42

    As usual, this works because not everyone is doing it so you stand out if you do. Watch it get ruined as the me-too merchants pile in.

  • Kids Eat Healthy

    I can’t understand how to make the images appear automatically! When I upload an image it still shows as a link. What am I doing wrong?

  • I definitely think these changes are going to revive interest in Twitter again, especially since images are half the reason Pinterest, Instagram and SnapChat are so popular. Even Google is in the process of a major design overhaul (or so I hear in the rumors). Bing is already there with stunning visuals, and I’ve already started to notice they’re gaining favor because of it.

    The future is aesthetic, and Twitter is just keeping up!

  • Noticed this changed recently. It really brightens up your stream … I have an account that is locally oriented. So I’ve been taking photos of my city and posting them on Twitter.

    One technique that’s worked well is to post a photo of an intriguing local landmark and ask about its background. It’s an effective starting point for conversations with people in my city.

  • Lisa Walker

    I prefer using Facebook because of scrolling through the images, but I can see how this could hinder those who solely use Twitter for the information feed.

  • Joseph Della Mora

    I’ve noticed this… it’s great!

  • If you’re an Instagram user your images won’t show up in the preview. However, this is easy to fix using any one of the hundreds of ‘Instagram to Twitter’ recipes over at IFTTT, so don’t feel as though you have to ditch Instagram if that’s your favourite photo option. You just need to throw IFTTT in between to get it to work properly.

  • twitter will soon launch more options competing with facebook and G+, anyhow it’s a good news that twitter is alowing images and as we know people likes visualization than reading the text. so it will help the marketers.

  • Images in Twitter’s timeline definitely changes the way the platform is fundamentally used. Though an image is quick to look at (just like 140 characters), including in what used to be a sea of text certainly does stand out. The increase in engagement isn’t surprising. I think brands should use these sparingly. Users didn’t sign up for Twitter for a feed of images.

  • Really impressive.. You have shared points that always need attention. Good work it would help many peoples.

  • Jeff, I love how the images look on Twitter now – what if all tweets contained them though, would it look like Pinterest? What percentage of our tweets should contain images? Thank you.

  • Aleksandra Prejs

    Definitely the introduction of images changes the way Twitter is used! It has also effect on the number of RTs and Favs as you can read here: http://blog.sotrender.com/2013/11/photos-on-twitter/

  • I especially like the tweets that use an image on white space. I need to see about doing this for my blog tweets. And if it gets too ad-heavy, we users can always unfollow the ones who get on our nerves.

  • I Have tried it with my mobile and it works. But I have had the same problem when uploading an image to Twitter when on my PC. When I click on the link later after publishing and hit refresh the image stays open. So I am a bit confused as to whether you need to publish from a phone or not

  • I just closed my eyes and imagined the tweet without the pictures and then with it. There is a ton of difference. Especially for the Typhoon Haiyan pic where it convinces you to go through the article and give it a read.

    Thanks for the share Jeff, its the reason why readers keep coming back to your blog time over time.

  • BaddaBing

    Great postings – appreciate the bandwith/scroll issues with pictures – but being visual has a greater impact sometimes …..

  • Ellen Butler

    I’m just finding this post, but the question is still relevant: what makes some pictures show up in the feed and others not? It seems inconsistent, a year later…

  • I am totally surprised when I wake up and saw twitter add new feature home it’s like that Facebook. By the way, then I’m too happy to twitter for this change. Now I am adding an image, video easily .

  • easily add our video and pic!!!!!!!!!!

  • This is really appropriate post for every1. TV shows, and Twitter allows specially kids to receive tweets directly from celebrities they admire, such as sports stars, actors, and musicians. These messages can be extremely influential to impressionable minds.. great

  • I really appreciate this post. I’ve been looking everywhere for this.But I’m not getting any follower on my twitter. What can i do for this?