New Trick For Getting More Clicks On Twitter

So you’ve got a Twitter account, but you’re having problems getting people to engage with your tweets.  Join the club.


I’ve got good news for you…about a week ago Twitter made a huge change.  All pictures shared on Twitter now automatically appear in Twitter news feeds.
Before this change users had to select “expand” to see pictures, but not anymore.
Armed with this knowledge I ran an experiment that resulted in a 833% increase in engagement, and a 144% increase in clicks.  How did I do this?  Keep reading…


What I Did

Here’s what my old Twitter feed looked like:


Notice how Craiglist boring it is. 
Here’s what my new Twitter feed looks like:


Yeah. It’s way better than the old one…and my followers agree.
All I did was add pictures to my tweets.


How To Do It

Find an awesome article that you think your audience will enjoy.  There a lot of great sources for finding quality content in this article.
Download a picture from the article or do a Google search to find a different picture.  If you’re doing a Google search make sure that you’re not using a copyrighted picture.By the way…I noticed that if your picture is too small it will not always automatically appear in Twitter feeds. 


Type the message of your tweet.  Copy and paste the link to the article.  Don’t forget hashtags.
Now attach the picture you downloaded, and post the tweet.  Whala.  You’re done.


Why It Works

I don’t know exactly why it works, but I do have some theories.  
You get three times as much real-estate in a news feed when you use a picture.  More real-estate means more chances that eye balls will roll across your tweet.
Visual social networks are more viral.  Just look at Pinterest.  80% of the content shared on Pinterest is re-pins, which means that the vast majority of stuff shared on Pinterest isn’t original content.  It’s a share frenzy.  

Prior to this update to Twitter only 1.44% of tweets were retweets.  I believe that this percentage will increase overtime with more users utilizing pictures.

When It Won’t Work

If you don’t have a following on Twitter than it won’t matter how nice your tweets look, or how amazing your content is…you’re probably not going to get a lot of engagement or clicks because no one is following you. You may get some additional followers with the clever use of hashtags and mentions, but you really need to dedicate some time to building your following.   The number of followers you have, and the amount of engagement you see are positively correlated. 


The best way to get more followers who are specifically interested in your content is to follow people who are interested in the content you’re sharing. When you follow people on Twitter there is a 15% chance or higher that they will follow you back.  If you want to make this process really easy I recommend you try out The Grow Tool.  It works.  Try it.


The data was only collected over a one week period because this is a new feature to Twitter.  

When you post a picture you’re actually creating two links.  One for the article, and one for the picture. The data collected for this article came from the article link, not the link to the picture.  We didn’t track clicks to the picture.  We were using bit.ly.

It is possible that we got more clicks than we actually tracked due to individuals clicking on the picture when they were actually attempting to click on the article. We compared clicks and engagement between tweets with pictures and tweets without pictures.   Posting a picture does count against your 140 character limit. 

Be mindful when including pictures to leave a little room just case someone decides to do a traditional retweet.  


Use pictures in your tweets, and grow your Twitter following.
Have you used this trick yet?  Do you have any other tricks that people should know about?  Comment below.

Josh Light

Josh Light

Josh Light is the CEO and Co-Founder of PoliticIt.
Josh Light


I enjoy tweeting about startups, and economics.
@adamdangelo enjoyed your interview on Econtalk. Fascinating insight on Quora being a signal and helping to create content. - 2 months ago
Josh Light

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  1. I love the grow tool, great information does it cost money to use it? Great idea to sell to business, just not political things. Engineer that came up with it smart. #businesssmarts

  2. Thanks Half um,

    Right now the grow tool is only available on our political software, but we are coming out with a new software for businesses. The political software costs 29.99 a month to use, and comes with a free trial.

    If you’d like to sign up to be an alpha user for our business software just send me an email Josh@PoliticIt.com. We won’t have the Grow Tool released in the first version, but we will have a smart publisher that is really cool. Plus we have a free version for it.

    We are also looking for some businesses to test out some new features that are in development. If this sounds interesting just send me an email.

    I’m glad you found the post informative! We will keep publishing content to help people best utilize social networks so stay tuned.


  3. Pingback: How To Communicate With Male And Female Voters On Social NetworksPoliticIt

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