5 Screenshot Tools to Aid Your Visual Tweets

15075800_mThere’s no single opinion as to whether visual Tweets (i.e. Tweets that have an uploaded image that go with them) are good or bad.

Some people claim they are annoying and people unfollow you because of them. Others say they see many more interactions with tweets that are accompanied by an appealing image (Stats seem to confirm that).

I personally love visual tweets but I do realize you need to use them smartly (any good thing can be ruined by over-use!)

Why Screenshots Are a Must Have For Twitter

These days visuals are pretty much a standard for any social network. A picture is worth a thousand words in the real world, but it is worth about a million on the web. Being creatures who respond more to seeing than hearing or reading, you want to post plenty of pictures to catch users attention.

Screenshots are a more efficient way of showing different concepts, offering evidence of claims, illustrating a concept, and more. Twitter is the perfect platform for posting them, because they show up so starkly against the wash of hashtags and text usually flooding people’s feeds.

  • You can annotate screenshots to be able to say more in 140 characters
  • You can animate screenshots to tweet mini-instructions and guides

 

With live updating making it harder to get seen before you are washed away under endlessly posted content, screenshots catch attention quickly.

Examples of Visual Tweets

FirstSiteGuide uses visual tweets to promote their blog content:

Christopher Penn uses screenshots to tweet stats:

And Barry Schwartz has an excellent example an animated screenshot:

Easy To Use Screenshot Tools For Twitter

Technically you could use your print screen button and paste in Paint if you want to post a screenshot. But who wants to do that? These tools are much better, more efficient, and make editing a posting a breeze.

Browser Plugins: Take Screenshots & Annotate!

Capture, Explain and Send Screenshots (Chrome)

Capture, Explain and Send Screenshots

I am not usually a big fan of Chrome extensions. Too many are bulky and cumbersome, running when you don’t want them to, requiring you to restart your browser window, and can be done using other programs that won’t constantly run in the background when you fire up a new window.

But this is one I think is definitely worth having, and I use all the time. You can capture any image, select a portion of a page, get a wider view without scrolling, and edit in the extension before saving.

Nimbus (Firefox, Chrome)

Nimbus

Usually considered the best screencapping tool around, Nimbus is an extension for both Firefox and Chrome.

If you want to be able to save your screenshots automatically to GoogleDrive instead of just as a local file, this is probably a better option for you than the first on this list.

Capture the whole web page, a part of it or the whole browser window, edit your screenshots in a very user-friendly interface and save the images to Google Drive.

Awesome Screenshot (Google Chrome)

Awesome Screenshot

The primary feature of this screenshot tool is the annotations, and that is why most fans recommend it to others. You can add captions anywhere on the screencap, in order to add context. It also have a blur option for hiding sensitive details.

If you have seen screenshots of social networks where the name was blurred out, this is probably the tool that was used. It is more extensive than most related tools, though can be a bit more difficult to use.

Mobile Apps

OneShot (iPhone)

OneShot is my favorite new mobile tool, and I use it almost every day. It works by allowing you to select a portion of a page on your screen and cap it, then crop it to what is most important.

From there you can post it to Twitter with customized captions. But you can edit it even further. Select background color, highlight areas of text that you want viewers to really pay attention to, and automatically gather the source link without you having to do a thing.

Twitshot (iPhone and web-based)

Buffer’s Belle Beth Cooper released an awesome statistic: Tweets with expanded images get 150% more retweets…150%! That is quite a jump, and using a very simple method that anyone can do. No analytics, no hashtag marketing, just expanded images.

In response, Twitshot was created. You can extract images from links and post them on your Twitter posts. This gives you an attractive tweet that can be capped and promoted elsewhere, or reposted on Twitter. A lot of people are using this as a cross platform tool, reposting images with shorter captions and a link out to third party sites, such as from Instagram.

Animated Screenshots

Recordit is a great desktop app that lets you quickly record what you are doing and publish on Twitter as an animated GIF.

It’s a great way to put together quick animated instructions to increase your tweet exposure.

I used Recordit to record Google’s Doodle when Google released its new logo:

Recordit

Curate Your Visual Tweets

I am always for making more out of content you put out there, so I always make sure I re-package and curate those visual tweets to grow my other channels and brand assets.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Curate your visual tweets using a Slideshare presentation. Here’s a good example. Tip: Slideshare allows you to re-upload existing presentations, so you can update your current one with new screenshots.
  • Curate your screenshots using a separate Pinterest board
  • Curate your screenshots using List.ly lists
  • Curate your screenshots using Storify stories
  • Archive your visual tweets using Cyfe. This way you can find them easier any time you need them!

Cyfe Twitter archive

Do you have a screenshot tool that will allow you to post screen grabs to Twitter? Let us know in the comments!

 

Lead/featured image: Copyright: ‘http://www.123rf.com/profile_haywiremedia‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

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Ann Smarty

Brand and Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas
Ann Smarty is the Community and Brand Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. She is also a host of two weekly Twitter chats (#VCBuzz on Tuesdays and #MYBlogU on Thursdays) and a regular speaker at the largest marketing conference Pubcon
  • Darren DeMatas

    Ive always used Awesome screenshot, but it’s good to know there are some other viable options out there 🙂

    • Thanks, Darren! There are really many options! I am sure there are more!

  • Pingback: Rays Marketing Digest – The Attention IssueRay Hiltz()

  • Adding images to my tweets boosted readership by 400%. Adding photos is a good habit to get into.

    • Andy Capaloff

      Warren, so sorry your comment slipped through the cracks. I agree that images are very important. We’ve become a society in need of instant gratification, so the right image is a perfect lure – in a blog, on Twitter or Facebook…..

      • no worries.. i’d forgotten it LOL

        Just skimmed though. Liked the post

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