post instagram photos to twitter

How to Post Instagram Photos to Twitter

If you’re already using Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to share photos of your business, you’re probably trying to find ways to streamline your time on social media. Using a dashboard like Hootsuite is a big help, especially in taming the fire hose that is a Twitter newsfeed. One of the common ways to shortcut the work is to use the sharing button on Instagram. If you’re posting on Instagram, it’s simple to click on the Facebook and Twitter  buttons and consider that your post to those networks for the day. Just because it’s a common way to share Instagram Photos to Twitter doesn’t mean it’s the best way to do it!

Sharing from Instagram to Twitter

When you click that share button on Instagram, here is what your Twitter followers will see.

sharing Instagram Photos to Twitter

But wait!? Where’s my photo? It’s hidden behind that Instagram link. Twitter and Instagram are not BFFs. Twitter no longer publishes the photos from Instagram natively (hasn’t for a few years now). And let’s be honest…how many people are going to click on a link to see a photo? Obviously one, in this case. If you really want people to see that photo on Instagram, your description had better be compelling! The little bit of market research I did on this topic (read: I asked Twitter and five people responded) indicates your followers are not likely to click on an Instagram link.

This is a huge missed opportunity. If they don’t click on the link, they don’t see the dress, or the sunrise, or the special of the day. That could be a lost sale. Again, I reiterate, social media isn’t all about sales! However, if you want people to see your product photos, you have to show them the photos!

How to share Instagram photos to Twitter

  1. One option is to post your photo to Instagram, then log in to Twitter and post the photo natively there. This ensures the photo will be seen by people scrolling through Twitter. Some people think this is too much work.
  2. A second option would be to use a  cross-posting tool, like Hootsuite, to write once and post twice. But you still have to log in to Instagram to allow the post to be published there.
  3. The third option is to use to automatically post your photo to Twitter. Once this is set up you won’t have to do a thing except remember to NOT click on the Twitter share button within Instagram.

Using IFTTT to share Instagram photos to Twitter

The good news is IFTTT is FREE! It automates many functions from emails to calendars, from Facebook to Dropbox, from Google Drive to LinkedIn. The key is setting up appropriate “recipes”. In this case, you’re going to set up a recipe from Instagram to Twitter.

  1. Create your IFTTT account.
  2. Connect your Twitter and Instagram accounts under “channels”. You’ll need to know the passwords for each account to authorize IFTTT to post on your behalf.
  3. Create a recipe:
    • If THIS (click on “THIS” to continue) = Instagram
      • Choose Trigger = New Photo By You
      • Click Create Trigger
    • …then THAT (click on “THAT” to continue)
      • Choose Action Channel = Twitter
      • Choose Action = Post a Tweet with Image
        • You shouldn’t need to change anything here. Tweet text should contain “caption” and image url should contain “sourceurl”.
      • Click Create Action
    • Check the Recipe Title and change if needed
    • Click Create Recipe

Now your Instagram post looks like this on Twitter:

instagram photo to twitter with ifttt


Isn’t that better!? Now your followers will actually SEE what you’re posting. They don’t have to click and switch networks to see it. And since you’ll have beautiful, interesting and eye-catching photos, they’ll stop scrolling when they see it and actually LOOK at it, instead of just scrolling by another link. Opportunity cost recuperated.

NOTE: This will auto-post EVERY Instagram photo to Twitter, so if you like to pick and chose which photos are sent to Twitter, this is not a good option for you.

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Comment (1)

  • Hashtags on Twitter and Instagram: What's the difference? Reply

    […] If you’re clicking on that “share to Twitter” button, you’ll want to ensure any insta-specific hashtags don’t transfer over to Twitter, but I don’t recommend you use the Twitter button on Instagram. There is a better way to post your photos from Instagram to Twitter. […]

    June 8, 2016 at 9:49 am

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