Many small businesses are in a constant struggle to increase their engagement on Twitter. Believe it or not, the solution to that problem can be very simple: Twitter images.

Simply attaching images to Tweets has been found to increase your Twitter engagement by as much as double. Another study of verified accounts showed Twitter Images resulted in 35% more retweets.

Take a moment to discover how to use Twitter images, best practices for increased Twitter engagement, and some brands that you can look to for inspiration.

How to Use Twitter Images

To attach an image to a Twitter message within HootSuite, enter the compose box and click the paperclip icon, then select your Twitter account and the image you want to use. HootSuite now offers a pic.twitter option for publishing Twitter images which allows the images to appear prominently in native Twitter feeds and also be added to your Twitter profile’s photo gallery. The pic.twitter option can be turned on within your social network settings, as demonstrated in the following gif:

HootSuite's Twitter Images feature

New Twitter Image Features

Twitter has recently released two features that give businesses even more options — and more opportunity — when it comes to Twitter images. They are Multiple Photos in One Tweet and Photo Tagging.

Each Tweet can now include multiple Twitter images, offering you more opportunities to showcase visuals that represent your brand or product. Up to 4 images can be added to a Tweet, and will then be displayed in a very shareable preview collage.

The new photo tagging option allows you to tag people in the Twitter images you share. This has big implications for businesses that share the photos of their followers and fans. They can now tag these individuals in the photos, adding a level of recognition for followers that may encourage them to engage even more on Twitter.

Best Practices for Increase Twitter Engagement

To really make your Tweets engaging, the image shouldn’t just be an afterthought. Twitter images should be chosen based on their appeal, relevance to the content and sharability. Don’t share an image just for the sake of having a visual component to your Tweet.

Finding an image doesn’t have to be a struggle. In fact, one of the best ways to improve engagement is to run contests or ask for submissions from followers. Sharing their photos is a great way to keep them involved, and coming back.

When using Twitter images, make sure the photos are clear when viewed within a Twitter stream. If the photo is too small and needs to be expanded to be understood, you will likely receive less engagement and sharing.

While sharing the same content in multiple Tweets is fine, as long as they are spaced out, sharing the same image likely won’t draw the same degree of engagement in second or third Tweets. If the content you are sharing has multiple images, try sharing a different Twitter image for subsequent Tweets. This is a great way to add new appeal to content you are reusing.

Finally, using promoted Tweets containing images is a powerful way to tap into a specific, targeted audience that is likely to engage with your brand. Learn more about using Twitter Promoted Products here.

Brands Using Images For Increased Twitter Engagement

Herschel Supply (@HerschelSupply) is a manufacturer of bags, travel supplies and accessories. They’re also an amazing brand on Twitter.

Herschel does a great job of using high-quality Twitter images that are shareable. As a bag company, they’ve recognized that their audience likes to travel. With that in mind, they use Twitter images of their product captured in beautiful and remote locations across the globe. They’ll also incorporated a hashtag, #WellTravelled, which they attach to these images and their followers are encouraged to do the same.

Pact Coffee (@pactcoffee) is a coffee delivery service in the UK that used Twitter to increase their audience and engage with customers. In a Twitter case study, Pact Coffee explains that they created tailored messaging, with an equally tailored Twitter image, specifically to appeal to the interests of their target audience. The Promoted Tweets received over 5 million impressions, but more telling was the increase in engagement. The Tweets received 13 times as many retweets during their campaign.