Can we switch up the images used on our Tweets & Facebook posts?

The short answer is “Yes”, but generally we don’t recommend it.

This article explains why.

How we schedule social posts (with images)

When we schedule a Tweet, Facebook or Linkedin post for you, our standard practice (also the best practice) is we simply write our text and include the URL of the blog article we’re promoting in that social post.

We do not define the actual image used in the social post at the time we create and schedule your social post.

The tool we use for social media scheduling is our own Ops Calendar.  The way social posts and images are handled from Ops Calendar is the same as they are handled from any other social scheduling tool such as Buffer, Edgar, Hootsuite and others, as well as posting directly to Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

So where does the image come from?

The image used in each Tweet, Facebook post and Linkedin post is the “Featured Image” used on your blog post—The image shown at the top of the blog article page, near the title.

Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin detect that a blog post URL is included in the text of the social post, they automatically go “fetch” the featured image, title and intro/excerpt from the blog post on your website and then automatically display those in the social post.

Here’s what this looks like on Twitter:

Here’s what this looks like on Facebook:

What happens when we attach an alternate image to a social post?

When an alternate image is attached to the social post, then Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin no longer treat the post as an “Article post” but rather a regular post with an image attachment.

This type of post looks quite different.  In this case, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin will not automatically fetch and display this article’s meta data (featured image, title, excerpt).

The link URL is shown in the text of the post.  Although it may appear truncated, the link still works correctly.

Basically, the social post is still functional, but it doesn’t look as good as when we allow the article’s meta data (featured image, title and excerpt) to be automatically fetched and displayed in the post.

Here’s what a Tweet with an alternate image attachment looks like:

Here’s what a Facebook post with an alternate image attachment looks like:

Our recommendation:

Stick with the best practice:  Let Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin automatically display the article’s meta data (Featured image, title, and excerpt) along with the text we write for each social post.

Why?  A few reasons:

  • It’s a cleaner and more engaging look for your social posts
  • The image on the social post matches the image shown on the page readers will land on, and that consistency reduces “bounces” since readers feel like they’ve arrived at the page they’re expecting to see.
  • By having your articles meta data shared on social networks, this can have a positive impact on SEO and findability in these networks.