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Why Hide a Perfectly Good Image? You Likely Make This Biggest Mistake, Too!

Why Hide a Perfectly Good Image? You Likely Make This Biggest Mistake, Too!

Most people wouldn’t do it if they stopped and thought about it. And yet more people than not do hide their images, without even knowing it.

It happens like this…

  1. They post an image to Instagram.
  2. They post the Instagram link to Twitter. The tweets look like this…

Imageless Tweet

What a waste!

Almost no one will click on an instagram.com link. But everyone will appreciate a beautiful image, like this one that could have appeared on the first tweet above…


Instead, it’s just a link. Worst mistake possible!

At most, 1-2% might click on that instagram.com link. You lose the 98-99% who would have seen the image on Twitter, who might have engaged, cutting engagement to near-zero.

It’s the worst of both worlds .

Here’s What to Do Instead…

Crop the square Instagram version of a photo to a 2:1 landscape ratio and post it directly into a tweet…


(Note: 2:1 is the optimal shape for Twitter in the mobile app, which is how the vast majority will see Twitter. Web-based use is low and decreasing.)

Customize the tweet text, too.

If this is taken from your own Instagram account, there’s no need to credit it if you’re focusing on growing Twitter. Or add a link to “follow me on Instagram,” including a #BestofInstagram and/or #BestofIg hashtag (if you have room).

If it’s from someone else’s Instagram account, give credit.

So many people take the “lazy man’s way” to post their Instagram link on Twitter. Keep an eye open for it in your Twitter notifications.

Instead, download the best images from Instagram (yours and other people’s) and post them to your Twitter account, cropping for Twitter, adding your own text and, where appropriate, giving credit to the original poster (who will thank you!).

Following this simple advice will yield a jump in Twitter engagement!

How much of a jump?

Dan Zarrella analyzed 400,000 tweets and found that a tweet with an image is almost twice as likely to get a retweet than one without.

Using a Pic with Twitter

That, in our experience of studying hundreds of solopreneur clients, is conservative. Suffice it to say that you should not tweet without an image!

Bottom Line Takeaway?


Never tweet an Instagram link. Tweet images, yours and those of others.

Always add a photo directly to every tweet, Instagram or not.

Need more help on posting photos or GIFs on Twitter? You’ll find it in Twitter’s Help Center.

Ken Evoy (CEO, SiteSell)
Ken Evoy is the Founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of SiteSell Inc. He is the creator of SBI!, SiteSell's comprehensive Web business-building system. Ken is also a successful inventor, author, and emergency physician. He feels strongly that solopreneurs can be empowered by leveraging their income building potential online.
Ken Evoy (CEO, SiteSell)

Latest posts by Ken Evoy (CEO, SiteSell) (see all)

  • Good post, alternatively you can use a very simple IFTT applet to automatically post the image to Twitter when you trigger an instagram post via hashtag. You don’t get the 2 to 1 crop, but I still get a lot of engagement off of these tweets. Here’s a template which you can edit to your own Twitter handle. https://goo.gl/8HKcWL

    • Thanks Jeffrey! I do something similar with some of the quote graphics I create and share – I just make sure that the relevant text is centered.

    • I love that IFTTT recipe Jeffrey! It’s set up automatically on my mobile.

  • Your Instagram pictures looked fine in Twitter, in the past. Why is it a only a link now?

    • Hey Martin!

      That’s a great question. To understand that, we’ll need to go back into the Social media History archives to late 2012, when Twitter and Instagram decided to stop playing nicely together.

      At the time, the folks at Twitter thought that, in order to grow the platform, they needed to get more control over their API and user experience, and stop letting other networks integrate as much. One step they took was to stop allowing Instagram users to see and follow other Instagram users based on their Twitter followers.

      In response, Instagram changed the Twitter share button so that, instead of attaching an image, it uses a link instead. The result is that Instagram photos shared to Twitter get a link and a link preview, and of course it’s that link preview that looks cut off due to the differences in image ratios.

      I wrote about it here (https://www.thesocialmediahat.com/news/instagram-improves-app-fights-twitter-12102012) as part of a series of articles covering the back-and-forth between these networks.

  • Liz Alderson

    The same thing is happening with Facebook these last two weeks or so. They’ve stopped adding an image in some cases, just a link which makes the post virtually ‘invisible’.

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