A recent change to the Twitter experience came last month where pictures and vines automatically appear partially 'expanded' in users timelines.
Before now, users where only able to see Twitter images by clicking on the expand button of tweets that include a image, however now we are show a preview whether we like it or not.
Of course there was a few tweets of discontent and disagreement from users as soon as this change went live, as is often the case when tech giants make changes to the services we've grown so accustom to. However, apart from the obvious issue of a NSFW image 'exposing' itself on your timeline, I find they have add some much need variety to what was a very text heavy system.
It also presents a huge opportunity for marketers and brands alike to get creative and really gain attention with the use of visual aids. With reports that tweets with images get 2x the engagement of text-only tweets.
How have brands taken advantage of the Twitter Preview Images
Some brands have embraced the changes straight away and are already coming up with fantastic and creative ways to enhance their message. By using an image that fits the size of the preview image you're able to display what effectively becomes a banner add.
Here are some examples of how brands can be creative and make full use of the new image feature.
Instantly digestible, sharable and simple. Xbox promoting the countdown to the launch of the new Xbox One.
McDonalds have started using images that fit the preview size to advertise their dollar menu.
Nike have always been great with their social media strategy, using the twitter image feature is no exception.
Advanced use of the Twitter Image Preview
One company I've noticed who've done more than just used the image preview as a banner ad is Spotify. They've utilised the fact that part of the image is hidden when the preview is showing. Using this, they've created a range of images that encourage the user to interact with the tweet to reveal extra information.
How to use the twitter image previews in your marketing (Twitter Image Size Templates)
If you want to emulate similar strategies to the above brands, we've included a few Twitter image templates and size charts to help you.
Standard Image Preview - Template
If you want to complement your tweet with a catchy image that isn't cut off then you need an image that is in the ratio of 880x440px.
The image will only display at 440x220 but I find having a larger image is beneficial for anyone who clicks or downloads your image.
Image Preview with Hidden Areas - Template
This twitter template is sized to allow you to have a viewable section with more information revealed upon expansion.
I've not seen too many businesses using this effectively yet, so go and be creative!
A few tips to remember:
- A image speaks a thousand words - Use it to compliment your tweet not replace it.
- Keep to the 140 word culture - Twitter is all about rapid consumption, keep your images punchy.
- Sharable - Make sure the image is suitable to be shared with your audience. You don't want to offend anyone who didn't intend to see your image.
- Don't abandon your original twitter strategy - Keep your tweets varied, bombarding with images can clog up your followers timelines.
- Be creative - This is a new feature on Twitter, you've got a chance to be creative and think of ways of leveraging the feature before others clock on.
Do you have some examples of brands using this feature well? Any ideas on how you can best use it for a particular industry? Let us know in the comments below.