A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Retweets (and Then Some)

Inplace #2

ADOTAS — As the old saying goes, “a picture’s worth a thousand words.” In the new age of social media, this is more true than ever. Visual social sites Pinterest and Instagram blew up last year. Other social giants strove to catch up with updates after updates, optimizing their old streams to make them more visual friendly. Twitter, known for its 140 character limit updates, made a few tweaks, putting the emphasis on visual. Your Twitter feed now includes photos and videos directly instream.

This is old news. However, initial research from Buffer sheds light on how much of an impact this update had on Twitter’s engagement. Buffer found that tweets with images get 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites and a whopping 150% more retweets. This is over 250% increase in engagement on Twitter. Adding an image goes a long way, but it isn’t as simple as uploading anything you can find. You should optimize your photos with correct dimensions for a visually engaging feed. Images are also searchable on Twitter. Take advantage of this feature by having bold photos with correct tags and headlines so they’ll stand out in search results.

Loyal Twitter fans have cried out against the new changes. But with these results, there is no reason why you shouldn’t start incorporating images into your own feed and on other social networks as well. The new generation of social media influencers love to consume visuals, evident from how quickly entirely visual platforms became popular. Websites and eCommerce are following suit with mobile optimized sites and larger visuals than ever before. Product pages have become product galleries, for a completely visual shopping experience onsite. Users are not just consuming, but also creating. Now that cameras come standard on phones, users are able to quickly snap photos almost anywhere they go. These visual social platforms are filled with user generated content. And brands are definitely taking notice. They’re creating branded selfie campaigns and featuring fans in product galleries. Social commerce is running towards visual.

Technology is advancing at a faster rate every day. Users are beginning to adopt wearable tech, such as smart watches and Google Glasses. These come standard with even higher-resolution cameras than phones. Taking a photo is almost seamlessly integrated with our movements. With Vine and Instagram Videos building up steam, micro-videos are also becoming a prominent form of social media for us to create and consume. When everyone can be a photographer, director, or actor, photos and videos will become ubiquitous. And the results will be evident not only in social feeds, but also in eCommerce and the web as a whole.