Hey, good morning internet fans. It’s Ryan Perry with Simple Biz Support, and it is Wednesday. Therefore, it is Social Media Wednesday. Today is December 2nd, I hope it is. Hopefully, if it’s Wednesday it is, and I’ve got something going on in the background. I’ve done it again. Alright, kill that. Sorry. It’s been kind of a hectic morning. I apologize. Today I have Sarah Giometti, go figure. Sarah Giometti with ICT Marketing, and my local social guru that I use for all of my accounts. Today Sarah, you wanted to talk about Twitter images. Now I think when most people think about Twitter, they don’t think about placing images in the Twitter feed, but you’re actually suggesting that people do that. Is that correct?
Sarah giometti: That is correct. I am. Twitter now, not recently, a while back, they started showing pictures in the news feed so that you don’t have to actually click any link to open the picture. It’s just visible right as you’re scrolling through your news feed. But a lot of businesses aren’t taking advantage of that opportunity, because the images still show up even if you’re using some other tracking platform. You still see the images. And so, you really want to take advantage of that, and I’ve found a lot of businesses aren’t. So, as we’ve been talking the last few weeks about 2015 goals and planning your social media to improve it next year, this is a great area where you can focus on is adding images to some of your tweets and taking advantage of that. Especially your most important content. Add some visual eye candy, for lack of a better term, to encourage people to… The picture will bring them in, and then they can read the content, and if you’ve got a link that goes off to a blog post, or a white paper or something like that, you got a better chance of conversion because the image has drawn them in and caught their eye, versus a page full of just texts.
RP: Right, so I guess the big question is for those people that have been using Twitter for a long time, or used to just having that news feed or that Twitter feed just boom, boom, boom, boom, boom being text. If we start posting images on a regular basis, or everybody starts posting images, seems that’s really changing the dynamics of Twitter. Are there any insights as to whether or not you might piss people off by posting too many images?
SG: No, there hasn’t seem to be any backlash to adding images to your post in Twitter. I actually think people have liked it better, because it’s one less click. Especially if the text part of the tweet is really good, it used to be a click in order to see the image that goes with it, and sometimes it could be a letdown. It’s not an image you want to see. So, having the image front and center with the text is just easier for people. It takes less time. So us with the instant gratification, it gives us just that. It gives us our instant gratification. We can make a decision immediately without any other actions, whether or not we want to take more actions.
SG: And also, we’re not seeing a ton… I look at my news feed all the time, and I’m not seeing a ton of pictures coming through. So it’s not overloaded. Not like Facebook, and so, you do want to use it judiciously. You want to make sure it makes sense. You don’t want to just add a picture with every tweet just for the heck of it, because then it doesn’t make sense. You still want to have a strategy behind why you’re using the picture, what the picture is, and how it goes along with the information in the tweet.
RP: Okay, now let me ask you this. We got holiday parties are starting to happen. It’s that time of the year. So, large business. Have a holiday party, and I go out and I shoot a bunch of pictures, and I want to upload those to Twitter. Do I have to upload each image separately, or can you do kind of an album, if you will, or upload two or three images at a time?
SG: You could upload up to four images per tweet. So, obviously you can’t do more than four, and so, I would stick with one to four images at a time. There are no “albums” like Facebook has. So, doing a complete album fits better on Pinterest and/or Facebook, and Instagram. They work really well over there more than you’d want to do it on Twitter. With holiday parties, if you’ve got a company party coming up, I would recommend one or two tweets with one to four images just to show that you’re taking care of your staff, and you’re having a party to celebrate the holiday season to thank them for their work for the year. So, you show that human element of your company, but you don’t want to overload it with pictures like you would and can get away with in some of the other platforms.
RP: Right, but I guess ultimately if you had a pin… Maybe not Pinterest, but if you had some sort of album website, you could create an album there and then of course share the link through Twitter with maybe one image to that album for people that wanted to see more content at that point.
SG: Yep, absolutely. That’s a great way to drive people to your website is… Or drive them to another social platform. You can put the album on Facebook, and send the link and send them over there, or put on your website and send them there, and you get people on your website looking at the human side of your company. So, there’s a lot of ways around that for images that you can use and that would be really beneficial.
RP: Okay, now do you know… We didn’t talk about this beforehand, it’s a question that just kinda popped in my mind, so I’m not sure if you have the answer, but on mobile devices do you know if you could actually take a picture and upload it at that point?
SG: Yep. You can, using the Twitter app, you can add a picture to the tweets on the mobile apps. Well, I’m speaking from Android, and so I assume usually and Android and iPhone are pretty identical with these apps, so since I can do it on Android, I’m sure iPhone’s got it.
RP: For some reason now I see an influx of celebrity selfies hitting Twitter. I don’t know why, but just knowing celebrities and how much they love themselves, I can just selfie, selfie. Maybe we’ll start doing that. What do we… “Selfie Tuesday” or something. We could have a Selfie Tuesday, and we could see who can get the most Likes on our Twitter account for a selfie.
SG: Yeah, hopefully they keep their selfies over on Instagram. They don’t bring them on to Twitter too terribly much.
RP: Okay, so I guess the big thing for small business owners is, that if you’re active on Twitter, if you’ve been thinking about being active on Twitter, the last two or three weeks Sarah and I have been talking about 2015 goals, plans, how you’re going to incorporate social media into your marketing efforts in 2015. And so, one of the things that you can do to separate yourselves, since a lot of businesses or a lot of Twitter folks aren’t doing that right now is uploading the proper image with the proper text, you still need to have a very compelling short whatever. But you might be able to tie or you should tie those together with the image and we should talk real quickly about images just because it’s so prevalent as far as copying something off the internet if you don’t have exclusive rights to it, really don’t recommend doing it.
RP: That, and I have a friend who develops websites and their client gave them pictures to install and one of the images was actually a Reuters photograph and apparently it was really small, it wasn’t a big image, it was relatively small image in the overall scheme of the website. However, they wanted something like $7500 because they use that image on their website. So if you were to grab the wrong image from the wrong source, it could be a very costly mistake. One of the places that I go to personally for images if I’m not using my own personal images that I had taken myself is the dollar club… Is it photo dollar… Dollar Club Photo? Something like that. If you Google dollar club photo basically all their images are a buck. Regardless of what the images and they’re all very high resolution so if you’re on a budget that would be a recommendation. I believe Flickr also has royalty free images that you can get for free?
SG: Yeah, I believe so. And I use freeimages. So freeimages.com, they are connected to iStock which used to be inexpensive and now they’re owned by Getty, so they’re just as expensive as Getty now. But the freeimages… Pretty sure it’s freeimages.com. Obviously, the first couple of rows that show up are paid ones through iStock, but the rest of them are royalty free.
RP: Oh okay. And you don’t even have to pay a dime for them.
RP: That’s better than the Dollar Club.
SG: Yep. They’re not always great, so you might have to do some fishing for what you’re looking for, but that’s what…
RP: Yeah, if you’re on a budget maybe start with free images and then if that doesn’t work out, bump up a notch to the Dollar Club. Don’t worry, I’m not only a member I’m the president.
SG: Well, you definitely don’t want to do a Google search and just download a picture that you find in the Google images results, because like you said, you have no idea where that original image came from, and if it came from somewhere like Reuters or AP, they’re going to ask for a pretty penny for you to use it and you can get in a lot of trouble. And for small businesses it’s just not worth… We don’t really have the money to pay those kinds of fees and it’s just not worth the hassle when there are options for royalty free images that you can use.
RP: Alright, okay. Do you happen to know as far as Twitter goes, are there any stats out there that you’re aware of as far as incorporating an image, can you expect a 5% boost or anything like that, do you know?
SG: No, I haven’t seen anything like that that comes up. It’s gotta be… It still has to be a compelling image. It’s gotta be a good image. If you’re trying to drive people to a blog post, download a free image and superimpose the title of the blog over it so it draws them in or have some sort of text that draws them in. That will just convert better no matter what than just a plain old image that just says nothing, it’s just a picture. But I haven’t seen any stats come through, however I did see a stat today that there are on average, there is about 6000 tweets per second on Twitter, so with not a lot of them being pictures, you really need to stand out when they’re 6000 tweets a second. The average person’s got a couple of hundred followers or they’re following a couple of hundred people kind of on average. Businesses are a lot bigger, so you can imagine that news feed is flying by… We’re visual people, and so, those images just stand out that just, your eyes are naturally drawn to it, so it’s a really great way to just kind of stand out from the other 5999 tweets.
RP: Sure. The other one we didn’t talk about is, besides images is also video. I believe you can play video within Twitter nowadays also. So if you do a link to like a YouTube video…
SG: Yep. So yeah. Video… Because again, it’s the visual so the images… We started out doing four images because you can maximize the real estate and get four messages across. Having the video out there too is really… Again, it’s visual, you’ve got the picture right there, and they can click it right away and play it. And so, these are great ways to improve your Twitter strategy and improve your performance and your conversion rate in getting people to take the actions you want them to take.
RP: Right, right. Okay, perfect. Well, I think the message on this one is pretty simple, it’s pretty clear. You can upload images on to Twitter. A lot of people are not doing it already, so separate yourself from the pack. Be conscious about doing it though. Make sure the images are relevant… And that’s, again, the whole reason behind… Start planning now for 2015. Start coming up with some different ideas and messages, may they be blog posts that you want to talk about. And then, spend a little bit of time and actually find a relevant image that you can use, not only in the blog post, but you can upload it to Twitter. And then, of course, we already know about Facebook, so, incorporating that image into Facebook is going to be very powerful.
RP: So, if you haven’t done it already, go out today, upload a Twitter feed, or a post on Twitter, and incorporate a picture, just to see how simple it is and just to at least get the system started. And then you can go ahead and spend some more dime in making sure that you’re finding the right images. With that, Sarah, any last words?
SG: Yeah, a quick side note. Doing it directly into Twitter works well, the pictures show up properly. Doing it in TweetDeck, the pictures show up properly. When I tested it in Hootsuite, the pictures all showed up as four links, when I did four. So, it does depend on where you’re doing it from. And there are tons of third party software that auto-tweets, sends the tweets to your account for you. So I would test…
RP: Right, so make sure you test them.
SG: Test it, and immediately look and see what it looks to see if you can use that platform, or if you need to do your images through somewhere else.
RP: Alright. And always make sure… If you’re going to check it, and you don’t like it, delete it. Delete it.
SG: Yes, absolutely. I did three tests this morning just to play with that, to remind myself which worked and which didn’t. And you just post it, see what it looks like, delete, gone… No one never knew it was there.
RP: Alright, perfect. Next week… Oh, you know what, today is the 3rd not the 2nd, my goodness. Next week is the 10th. So we’ll be seeing each other a couple more times before Christmas comes around. With that being said, Sarah, as always, I appreciate your time, and I hope you have a wonderful day.
SG: Thanks, you too Ryan.
RP: Alright, take care.