A new study from Twitter reveals what factors cause some tweets to be more successful than others. The research confirms what third-party analysis and user observation have long demonstrated: tweets that contain images prompt the most engagement. Posts with video and links also receive more attention.
Twitter analyzed over 2 million tweets sent from accounts within the United States. Researchers looked for tweets containing photos, #hashtags, links, videos and a number or a digit — such as a statistic or score.
The data is broken down into industries, including TV, news, music, government and politics, and sports. Not every sector demonstrates exactly the same results, but overall visuals are a clear winner. Tweets containing a photo received an average of 35 percent more retreats than those that did not. Adding a video increased retreats by 28 percent. Of the items studied, hashtags were the least effective at gaining users' attention.
Twitter has released an interactive graph showing results by industry:
Persuading others to share your social media posts is a key element of social media marketing. How can attorneys use pictures to build followers and activity?
1. Turn a quote into an image. Online photo editors like Pixlr and PicMonkey – and their more targeted counterparts, like Quozio – allow anyone to quickly create quote-based artwork. Quotes that resonate with people tend to generate a lot of shares, so the right choice of phrase and imagery can be effective. If you choose to try this strategy, be careful to use it in moderation. Quote-based pictures are very popular on sites like Facebook, and if they are overdone (or not done well), they can seem trite. Only share what you genuinely believe will resonate with your audience.
2. Announce a charity partnership. Run a campaign during which you will donate a small amount of money, like $1 per retweet, to a local charity. Choose a target amount you wish to donate and promote the partnership until you reach your goal. Brand your campaign with a picture and encourage followers to hit your donation target by a certain date.
Siemens, for example, is running a Facebook-based campaign to raise money for cancer research. For every pass of the virtual baton, Siemens donates $1 to Stand Up To Cancer.
3. Reveal some inside baseball. What goes on in your office? What are your attorneys interested in when they get a bit of free time? Are you participating in any events or competitions? It is likely that not everything that happens at the office is all work all the time. Letting people in on some non-standard, behind-the-scenes office moments helps create connections. Inside baseball could be anything from a quirky still life of interesting desk items to candid moments among staff and attorneys. Giving people a sense of your firm's culture – even the non-serious moments – generates interest among followers.
4. Turn a statistic into a picture. Find research relevant to your practice area and create a series of posts that combine facts with images. Statistic based posts can run the gamut from detailed infographics to simple statements of fact over an appropriate photo background. For example, a personal injury attorney could share statistics about texting a driving, or a business attorney could share facts from pertinent industry studies.
5. Share pictures of events. Personal or professional, events provide good photo opportunities. If members of your firm are participating in a community event, share it. If an attorney is presenting a seminar or educational event, share that as well. Showing involvement and interactions with others helps potential clients identify with your firm.