Did you know that we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text?
It's no wonder that social channels like YouTube, Instagram, Flickr and Pinterest are so popular.
It's simple really. We just prefer to look at pictures over words.
And Twitter now shares that same popularity.
Twitter automatically shows images right in the feed as you scroll (much the same as other social networks, like Facebook and Google+). Users on Twitter no longer need to click a link to see the image.
Why are they important to marketers?
HubSpot ran some A/B tests and determined that including an image can increase lead generation by 55%.
It also improves clicks, retweets, favourites, and overall engagement. This is GREAT news for marketers, who can include text (like a headline), a link to content or a landing page (per usual), and now, a link to an image to draw people's attention.
Nike used the "Add Photo" option when crafting this tweet. It stands out in the feed because the graphic automatically appears as the user scrolls. The URL is automatically added by Twitter.
How to place an image in your Twitter feed
When you post or schedule a tweet, use the "Add Photo" button to upload your image. The button looks like this:
Your image size should be around 440 x 220. For the visual to appear right in the feed like the example above, the height of the image should be half the width (or less), making it a horizontal rectangle. Your image should be no bigger than 3MB.
Be frugal with your text. Uploading an image means Twitter automatically adds that image URL to your tweet, which usually takes up approximately 26 characters of the 140 you can use.
In many cases, it's important to include the text and image, but also add a link to your content or landing page. Some tweets may be for exposure and getting followers, but others should drive traffic to pages you own.
Levi's effectively uses text plus an image, as well as a call-to-action (the link back to their site, which appears right after the text).
Are you familiar with Lead Gen Cards?
In August of last year, Twitter opened up this new feature to all advertisers. Twitter Cards are multimedia drop boxes you see below as a tweet. A lead generation card is a specific version of this feature that allows marketers to collect information (like email signups) right from within a tweet – no clicking to a landing page needed by the user. (Note: this is only for promoted tweets, not your usual organic posts).
Why are they important?
This is an easy way to help generate leads, as it decreases the actions a user needs to take to convert and theoretically decreases drop-off. Twitter also provides custom analytics to show the performance of your cards, including leads, cost per, and ad spend.