Study Finds Twitter-Hosted Images Get More Retweets

twitter-hosted images

Having a variety of Twitter clients and social sharing sites at our disposal makes it easy for us brand marketers to find the best tools for our needs. Unfortunately, new research suggests that there may be a bit of a trade off when it comes to convenience and engagement.

Dan Zarrella from HubSpot recently analyzed over 482,000 randomly selected tweets and the amount of retweets each received, and found that tweets with Twitter-hosted images were much more likely to be retweeted than other hosted images. Specifically, Zarrella found:

  • Tweets using pic.twitter.com are 94% more likely to be retweeted
  • Tweets including Twitpic links are 64% more likely to be retweeted
  • Tweets including Facebook image links are 47% less likely to be retweeted
  • Tweets using Instagram links are 42% less likely to be retweeted

Of course, the content and quality of your tweets will have a greater affect on how many retweets and how much engagement they receive than what image links they include. Still, if you’re interested in increasing your retweets by using these results as a guideline, we have a few steps you can take.

When possible, upload images through Twitter itself.

If you have access, log in to your brand’s Twitter account and post images directly through it. This will ensure that they’ll carry a pic.twitter.com url. If you’re on the go or live-tweeting a business event, log in to your brand’s Twitter account via the Twitter app itself. Just be careful not to confuse it with your personal account.

Shorten links via bit.ly or your Twitter client.

If you’ve already uploaded images through your Facebook or Instagram accounts, but want to share them via your Twitter, you can shorten the link using a service like bit.ly. If you use Hootsuite, you can also shrink the link so that it has an ow.ly url. The url will be more general in appearance, and might not push people away in the same way as an Instagram or Facebook-related url.

Don’t cross-post within the app.

Creating unique content for each network is much more preferable than cross-posting that same content across several networks. If you currently have your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts linked, disconnect them.

Even more advice awaits you in our social media marketing section.