How To Use Twitter Cards

Have you heard of Twitter cards?how to use twitter cards

Maybe you’ve heard them referred to as Tweet cards?

Twitter cards allow you to pull rich content like images, videos, descriptions, or calls to action directly into your tweets.

Twitter cards typically stand out from other tweets and therefore result in more favorites, retweets, more Twitter followers…and hopefully more clicks to your website!

By adding just a few lines of HTML to your webpage, users who tweet content from your site will have a “card” added to the tweet that will stand out from the rest.

This article will cover eight different examples of Twitter cards that you could use for your business.

1. Summary cards.

Summary cards are great for any businesses with a blog since the card includes not only the title but also the description, a thumbnail image and Twitter handle attributions. If you aren’t happy with the small thumbnail image, you could use the summary card with the large image (which does exactly what it says).

2. Photo cards.

Photo cards are great for businesses that are highly visual. Photographers would find these cards particularly useful, however any business that uses a lot of photography on their website can benefit from this card. The photo card features an image, title, description and Twitter handle.

3. Gallery cards.

The gallery card is essentially the same as the photo card with one exception: you can have up to four photos displayed in your tweet.

4. App cards.

App cards are pretty incredible if you’re in the business of selling apps. If someone sees a tweet about your app on their desktop, they get a link where they can view it. HOWEVER, if they are on their mobile device, they are actually prompted to download the app on the spot, significantly increasing the likelihood they will download.

5. Player cards.

When I first heard of player cards, I thought maybe they were for companies that sold games (hey, it made sense in my mind!). Turns out I was wrong.

Player cards allow businesses to put video or audio into their tweets so users can play them within the newsfeed without ever leaving Twitter! (Talk about something that’s going to catch the attention of your followers…)

6. Product cards.

Speaking of something that will catch the attention of your followers…if you sell products, you definitely want to try out product cards! These Twitter cards allow you to include not only the title, description, thumbnail image, and Twitter handle, but also other relevant details that your followers will want to know, such as price and availability. (Online shoppers beware: this one could be dangerous for your credit card!)

7. Lead generation cards.

Online marketers love lead generation cards, and there’s a reason for that: they allow users to click one button and share the email address associated with the Twitter account. With the single click of a button and without ever having to leave Twitter, users can quickly sign up for newsletters or special offers that they’re interested in. The seamless process increases the likelihood that someone will sign up for your list.

8. Website card.

Website cards are useful if your goal is just to drive traffic to your website or a specific landing page. This card includes the title of your website, a thumbnail image that represents your site and a Read More call to action button that encourages users to click through to your website. The goal here is to use these visual cards to increase traffic to your site or a landing page.

Something You Should Know

While Twitter cards are definitely a great feature, most have to be expanded. In other words, with the exception of Lead Generation Cards and Website Cards, the tweet needs to be clicked on to be expanded to show the image or video. I recommend using a very clear call to action in the tweet like “click to expand” and making the copy in the tweet as compelling as possible.

How do you add Twitter cards?

To install the Twitter cards, with the exception of lead generation and website cards, which I’ll address in a moment, you need only to add the appropriate HTML to the head section on your website.

To find the code just go to the developer page for each card. You can choose to install it manually for individual pages or use a plugin like JM Twitter Cards.

Once you’ve installed the code, use the Twitter Card Validator to make sure everything is working. Once you’ve verified them, they should start showing in relevant tweets (both yours as well as when other people tweet content from your site).

Lead generation cards and website cards, as you’ve probably figured out, are slightly different. So to set those up you need to go to the Twitter ads interface and click on Cards under the Creatives menu.

After you set up the cards, you’ll be given a link that you can add to your tweets.

Are Twitter Cards Worth It?

You may be thinking, “Because they have to be expanded to see them, are Twitter cards worth it?”

My thoughts: yes, absolutely!

They simplify the process of adding images to your tweets. You just need to be aware that every word will count.

Make your offer clear and your text compelling. Again, consider specifically telling your followers to “click to expand” in order to ensure maximum visibility.

So why wait?

Go ahead and start setting up your Twitter cards!  At the very least you can test them out and see if you notice an increase in clicks or website traffic or if your email list starts to grow more rapidly.

Good luck!

Sheena White
Sheena is a social media strategist and copywriter and is passionate about helping small businesses maximize the power of social media to increase the success of their online marketing efforts.
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