Twitter has become an important social media platform for marketers because it presents a casual way of interacting with target consumers, without prying into their privacy (i.e. Facebook). Advancing a Twitter presence is important for any brand looking to successfully promote their organization. In this post, I will review the new Twitter dimensions, and how brands can further use the platform’s image updates to reach target consumers more effectively.

 

The Split—Instagram and Twitter

As you may already know, Instagram was purchased by Facebook in 2012 and, shortly there after, disconnected from Twitter. Instagram’s reasoning behind removing themselves was to revamp its entire web presence. Instagram preferred their web traffic come directly through their own site, instead of coming from Instagram images via Twitter.

Currently, Instagram has deactivated photo integration with Twitter. Consequently, photos cannot be viewed in tweets or user photo galleries. While tweeting links to Instagram photos is still achievable, users cannot view photos on Twitter the same way. In response to the split, Twitter has innovated and revealed new image functions with photo filters very similar to Instagram and image-based tweets allowing more branding opportunities than ever.

 

The Profile Updates

This year, Twitter renovated the design of its user’s homepages to something akin to Facebook’s user profile layouts. The Twitter profile features a changed profile picture dimension, and a cover photo behind it. The traditional background image has been replaced with new dimensions. Twitter claims they changed the profile format for a better consumer experience. Within this new format, buttons and pictures are more accessible to Twitter users.

  • The new profile picture is 400 x 400px
  • The new cover photo is 1500 x 500px

 

The In-Stream Updates

Within the Twitter-sphere, the new in-stream updates have been the most innovative part of the Instagram-Twitter split. In-stream images have changed the Twitter experience through:

  • Changing the size of the Twitter preview image
  • No longer needing a link in order to post images
  • Allowing users to tweet up to 4 images at once, without using any characters
  • Allowing users to tag up to 10 other twitter users per image without using any extra characters

These updated image features offer exciting new branding opportunities!

 

How to Use the Updates

No longer do in-stream photos need links that take up any additional characters to post. Now, these characters can be concentrated on your brand’s messages and stories. In order to adequately market with these new updates, it is imperative to know the proper dimensions for your tweets. In-stream images are generally:

  • 440px wide x 220px tall (2:1 ratio)
  • Cannot be more than 3MB
  • These images are cropped on the twitter feed, but when a user clicks on the twitter post itself the interested user can view the entire image.

In-steam images allow brands to optimize communication and engagement through storytelling on the new twitter preview. By understanding the new dimensions, brands can utilize the opportunities involved with the updates and create a clickable, interactive brand story for consumers.

Research by Dan Zarrella, social media scientist, explains that pictures uploaded through Twitter get about 94% more retweets than competitors without attached picture tweets. Users also respond 40% more often to content featuring pictures as opposed to a normal 140-character tweet. To take advantage of this platform, brands and professionals need to utilize these marketable innovations. Similar to advertising on television, brands can create a marketable story to catch a consumer’s attention and further promotions by:

  • Creating mini “postcards” out of your twitter preview
  • Creating a collage out of multiple images to tell a story
  • Using the cropping 2:1 ratio to get clicks and interest in your specific brand

Twitter-Image-Dove Twitter Image from Web Talent Marketing Twitter-Image-1

Creating mini-postcards is a simple and fun method for brands to attract attention to their images, and subsequently their messages. By adding text, the image becomes a story the consumer follows, instead of a rudimentary add-on to a post.

Tweeting up to four images at once in collage format is a great way for brands to tell audience members what they stand for in an inventive way. Properly curated images can create a concise and interesting story for your media followers to engage with. Generate interest in your products or services by using Twitter’s 2:1 ratio in your favor. Post images that pique your followers’ interest.

 

The Tagging Update

With the tagging update, twitter users can tag up to 10 people within a single image. Tagging on the image does not use any extra characters. This is a great way to interact directly with specific followers without sacrificing valuable character real estate. Tagging other Twitter users allows brands to:

  • Draw attention to an event or promotion
  • Give shout-outs to followers

For events and promotion, tagging specific Twitter users shows consumers that brands are paying attention to their followers interests. By appreciating their followers’ interests via tags, brands make a personalized connection with their audience members.

In most tagging cases, when a user is tagged in an image, they are more likely to retweet that photo — resulting in greater brand reach for your business.

 

Beware!

  • Always try to pick the highest resolution image possible for Twitter. The image may be changed in translation to the Twitter stream. Images can look fuzzier after being posted to the in-stream, especially if they are vertically oriented.
  • Tiny details of high resolution pictures can be lost through in-stream posting
  • Twitter suggests the largest side of your image should be 1024px
  • Twitter is not entirely stable in their photo sizes, so a general 2:1 ratio is recommended
  • The mobile Twitter app’s in-stream images tend to crop the vertical edges of images slightly
  • Social media scheduling tools like Hootsuite and its prescheduled posts will not be able to post images without a link—however, images posted in real-time do not have a link

Utilizing Twitter’s new image updates allows marketers to achieve more effective promotions via this social media platform.