Key Idea: It Is possible to add images to Click-to-Tweets. It's so easy, even I can do it.
Tweets with image links get 2x the engagement rate of those without.
My latest book, City Farming, has an awesome and engaged street team. These are people who are interested in the book and willing to help spread the word about it. I am working on coming up with ways to make it extremely easy for them to share news, quotes, and information about the book.
To make sharing simple, I often use Click-to-Share links or buttons.
These are prepared messages that make it easy for your audience to promote you on social media sites. All they have to do is click on a link or button. Sounds simple! But there are always roadblocks, aren't there? One roadblock that I came up against was the inability to include a photo in Click-To-Tweet buttons.
Tweets without images can easily blend into background without notice. Most of the time, if you're tweeting out a link to a web page or blog post, you'll want to attach an image to help it stand out in the rapid Twitter stream. But Twitter does not allow images to be automatically attached to share links.
So how do you attach an image in a Click-to-Tweet? These are the steps:
Tweet a message that contains the photo that you want to use in your Click-to-Tweet.
Here is a message that I Tweeted and that I wanted my audience to be able to Tweet from my website, KariSpencer.com.
Click on the time stamp in the tweet.
When you click on the time or date next to your profile name, a new window will open showing a close-up view of the tweet. Here is a photo of the time stamp in my tweet.
If you are using Chrome, right click on the close-up and select 'Inspect.' (See instructions for Explorer below.)
A window showing the source code will open. Click the Control and F keys on your keyboard simultaneously to open a search field.
Enter pic.twitter in the search field to find the URL of the picture, which is embedded in the source code. Any line containing the term pic.twitter will be highlighted in the code so you can easily find it. The URL will start with pic.twitter.com/ and end with ten seemingly random letters and numbers. In this case the picture URL is pic.twitter.com/6te7AaWtU9. Double click on the URL and copy it.
Using Explorer, find the menu in the top right-hand corner of the page.
Select 'F12 Developer Tools' to view the source code. At the top right of the window, you will see a search field. Type pic.Twitter in the search field to find and copy the source URL of the photo. Just as in chrome, the picture URL will start with pic.twitter.com/ and end with a combination of ten letters and numbers.
Select a free Click-to-Tweet service.
Now that you have the URL of the picture, you are ready to create your Click-to-Tweet message. You can do this for free using a click-to-share link creator. There are several of them online. Below is a list of a few sites that I recommend in a clickable PDF file. Feel free to save, Pin and share it.
Create your Click-to-Tweet message
Using whatever click-to-share service you selected, craft your tweet. Twitter limits messages to 140 characters. Create your message and then add the pic.Twitter.com/ URL (that you copied from the source code) to the end of the message. The URL counts towards your character limits.
Below is a Click-to-Tweet that I created for a contest using GiveawayTools.com. Notice the picture URL at the end of the tweet and that I still have 5 characters left (I could use them to create another hashtag.)
When a follower clicks on the Tweet button or link that you created, the tweet text and photo will appear in their feed.
This is how the Tweet button looks in the Giveaway Tool that I created. When a follower clicks on 'Tweet,' the tool automatically tweets my message and photo on their Twitter feed.
Once you have created a click-to-Tweet URL, you can attach it to a Tweet button.
Some click-to-share services will create the button for you. Others provide you with a URL that you can attach to a share button, if you choose to do so. It is okay to simply share the link, but buttons tend to encourage more clicks.
The resource file below has a link to a free button creator, ShareThis.com, where you can create share buttons to use on your site.