Twitter Galleries, search and your businessPosted 31 August 2011 by Sandy Cosser
On 9 August Matt McGee reported that Twitter would soon be launching Twitter Galleries, which would collect and display all a user’s photos uploaded to Twitter no matter which app was used. On Monday 22 August, Galleries went live amid some concerns regarding nudity and some good news for businesses.
According to the Twitter help centre, people with unprotected accounts will have to be careful because their images could end up in search results. But this could be just the thing for businesses on Twitter that want to increase their online presence, searchability, advertise products and give their company a human face.
Currently, it’s possible to upload photos to Twitter via several third-party apps, like TwitPic and yfrog. This means that it can be tricky to find all of your photos as they aren’t in the same place. The galleries feature will change all that.
Now, your most recently uploaded images are shown in your Twitter profile with an option to view all.
As mentioned, you can stop random people from viewing your photos by protecting your account, but as most people (I believe), don’t have protected accounts this means that the entire virtual world will be able to see more deeply into your life.
The feature will be post dated so that images uploaded all the way back in January 2010 will appear.
Search and business implications of Twitter Galleries
Businesses, if they are smart, don’t have publically accessible Twitter profiles. Already this helps them appear in search, or it should. Having a bunch of images available will help them even more.
Ilie Mitaru provided some tips on how businesses can capitalise on the new feature, without making a hash of it. Tips include:
- Using photos with discretion. Businesses can include some images of their most important products (with appropriate titles), but they shouldn’t include photos of all their products. Basically, don’t treat the gallery as an extension of your products pages.
- Don’t upload blurry, grainy pictures. The photos represent your business and you want them to look as professional and possible.
- Use photos for crowdsourcing. If you’re thinking of changing your brand or logo, or have a new product that is still in the prototype stage, upload a picture and open it up for comments. Note that it’s important to respond to these comments.
I’ll add two of my own:
- Don’t upload pictures of drunken farewells or end of year bashes. Nothing tarnishes a business’s credibility more than pictures of the CEO wearing a Christmas hat and reindeer boxer shorts while dancing on the table.
- Alternatively, if you have non-alcohol-related photos of team building events, feel free to share those.
Like all things social media-related, galleries can help search efforts tremendously, but if they’re used carelessly the chances are they could backfire spectacularly.
(Image by Rosaura Ochoa, CC by 2.0, vial Flickr)