With only 140 characters to work with on Twitter, you might not be thrilled at the prospect of shrinking that number down further by including a link to a picture in your tweet. But if you run a business or work as a blogger or freelance writer, tweeting without ever including a picture is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid. Almost everyone has an Instagram app on their phones or uses Twitpic to share pictures both on Twitter and elsewhere on Facebook and Tumblr and the results are almost always genuinely positive. In fact, they've gotten so well-received that we're now including pictures in our statuses more than ever.
If your business has yet to start enjoying the perks of constantly Instagramming life all around them, here are a few reasons why these pictures are more than just fun with filters.
1) It's Personable
10 years ago, the vast majority of brands and companies, big or small, were hardly filled with faces we recognized. The face to pay attention to was the brand or the brand mascot, if your company had a fairly notorious one. While this is very well and all, typically you don't call the brand when you have a question or want to start up a partnership - you call the people who work at the company. Tweeting out pictures that include members of the team from your company helps attach more faces to names that your customers work with. And it can be thrilling to see a tweet from the company and realize that "Hey, that's my sales rep!" or "I email back and forth with their PR girl all the time - nice to see her!"
2) Aesthetically Pleasing
We like pictures that look good or are shot from interesting angles or include cute babies or pets in the mix. These types of subjects tie in with our emotions and the nice thing is that with Instagram, you can really capture the moment in a unique light with the various filters included available to use.
3) Involves the Customer
How do YOU feel when you @ mention a brand and they reply back to you? Or when they retweet your response for thousands of their followers to see and read? You get excited and might even screenshot the moment and repost it on Facebook with pride. For a moment, it's like that company was listening just to you, out of thousands of other customers, and really saw you and what you did. And you're probably more inclined to keep buying from them too.
Get your customer involved when you're tweeting with pictures. Request that followers show your brand just how they use the products you create and retweet the best replies. Or retweet all of the replies. This great word of mouth will get bounced around through so many different connections that you can't help but share 'em all!
4) Quick and Easy
You aren't in the '90s anymore waiting to get the film processed and developed - if you have your Twitter account synced up, Instagram automatically uploads the photos for you.
5) You're "In the Moment"
It's one thing to say that you're somewhere (i.e. checking into your office on Foursquare) and another to show that being "somewhere" is really like by snapping a quick photo of office holiday decorations or a birthday celebration being held. It's on site reporting at its finest and usually, the behind the scenes look is what we crave being able to view and be a part of the most, even if it is through looking at a picture.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.