So, by now we all know that the visual elements of social media are important, right? Your brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, visual cues boost information recall by up to 65%, 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. We all know that images play an important role in building brand and maximizing engagement, which is especially true in the increasingly fast-paced news feeds of our social networks. And, of course, the fastest paced social network is Twitter.
Twitter's focus on real-time news and information means that tweets fly by at an overall rate of 6,000 per second. If you wanna' be noticed in that tweet stream, you need to do all you can to get people to pay attention - when you consider, too, that the average life span of a tweet can be measured in mere minutes, the importance of taking the time to consider your tweet construction becomes ever more relevant.
Visuals are one of the best ways to boost engagement on Twitter. Research shows that tweets with images get a major boost, generating up to 35% more re-tweets and 18% more click-throughs than those without. Incorporating visual elements into your wider Twitter strategy is a must - to help you do this, Twitter's Small Business team has outlined a three ways brands can use images on Twitter to help build their brand and maximize audience response.
1. "Maintain a consistent palette"
This is something worth noting on all platforms and in all your images - and probably the most often neglected or missed opportunity for brands when utilizing visual content.
When you post images on your social platforms, those images represent your brand, and as such, they need to be chosen carefully. This doesn't just mean posting quality images - an important element in itself - but it means considering the wider look and feel of your presence, how your brand is being conveyed through those visual pieces.
With strategic use of consistent color and tone, you can reinforce your branding and help establish associations in the minds of your audience.
As noted by Twitter:
"It's a colorful world out there. But limiting your marketing materials to one main color and a few accent hues can make your ads more distinct than using the whole rainbow. This choice will also ease future design decisions, because you'll always have a starting palette."
In this example, we see how Kingray use their distinctive color palette in every post, reinforcing their brand and creating a level of consistency with their audience. This can help you stand out in the fast moving Twitter feed - if people come to know and associate your color choices with your brand, it can help them locate and interact with your content as it scrolls by.
2. "Evoke a feeling with filters"
Another way of maintaining consistency with your images is to use Twitter's in-built photo editing tools, including filters, to give all your content a similar look and feel.
In this example, Real Home Chef uses the same image composition and color theme through every post - the same bright images, the same framing of each dish (often spilling out onto the table). While these are professional looking photos, it is possible to create your own variations of such content without pushing up your costs. With a little persistence and testing, you can create your own thematic styling for your image content, and once you have, you'll be able to establish a formula you can stick with, making it easier to think up your next image (as at least some of the decisions are made for you) while also enabling you to maintain a consistent brand presence.
3. "Claim your business's images with text overlays"
This is also a great tip. So, let's say you've created these great, amazing images which people like. Maybe people really like them, maybe people start re-tweeting and sharing them. That's an excellent result, and a great endorsement of your strategy, but if they're being shared without any direct link back to your products, you're missing out on an opportunity to expand your presence.
By using text overlays, you can ensure that every share, every re-tweet and every re-post is also helping to grow your reach.
As noted by Twitter:
"Tweets travel. Make sure everyone instantly knows an image is yours, even when it's Retweeted by your followers (or target audience) to users who are less familiar with your business. Place your business's name or Twitter handle on your media and ensure potential customers can always trace their steps back to you."
Of course, they don't have to be as prominent as these branded images from Yurbuds, but the key is to ensure you overlays don't detract from the quality of your image content - ideally, they compliment, even improve it. The text overlays used by Yurbuds clearly indicate their branding, whilst also adding to the overall look and feel of the content - but even if you just put a transparent Twitter handle in the corner you're working towards extending your message.
Images are an important part of social media and content strategy, and image quality and composition is important, more important than many realize. As highlighted in Twitter's examples, there are simple ways to create consistent, quality visuals that can help build your brand. But that consistency is key, repeated process is important. It can take some time to refine that process down to exactly what you want, but once you do, it'll streamline how you do things, while also helping to underline and reinforce your brand with every post.