What are Twitter Cards? What do they do? Are they really worth using? Well what if your followers could download your app or sign up to your newsletter without leaving twitter? Maybe I haven’t quite perked your interest yet, what if they could do this for free?
Today we’re going to talk all about Twitter cards and talk you through how to set up your own to ensure your followers never miss out.
What are Twitter Cards?
Let’s answer this one first. Twitter Cards are a few lines of meta tags added to a website that allow media to be attached to tweets. This means that anyone who tweets your content will be accompanied with your ready set Twitter cards.
This is an example of a Google AdWords campaign that uses the Website Twitter Card to display a section of the website and a simple click through.
What do they do?
So Twitter Cards are a basic tool provided by Twitter that allows rich content to be shared along with tweets. It’s nothing too special, but it allows a sneak peek into the content you’re sharing. Rather than a plain URL or some text, even hashtags aren’t as effective, the tweet will be accompanied by a preview and potentially an image or video, depending on which Card you choose to use.
Are they really worth using?
Social media is a severely underrated platform in some businesses and those that don’t know the true power will find themselves left behind. By keeping up with trends and implementing change, companies will be able to attract new customers and demonstrate their versatility. Plus, it’s all about creating an awareness.
How many Twitter Cards are there?
I’ve scoured Twitter for the best B2B Twitter cards I can find, and some are even our own clients.
- Lead Generation
This card enables users to opt in to newsletters directly without leaving Twitter. To make things even easier, Twitter will even fill in your email address for you, meaning all you have to do is click ‘yes’.
This card cannot be created via inserting code to your web page, you’ll need to visit the Twitter Ads Dashboard to get started.
- Photo card
This one seems self-explanatory. Just like attaching an image to a tweet, the Photo card puts the image at the centre of the tweet and allows for the opportunity to insert a caption and a link back to your site.
- Gallery card
Perhaps one of my favourites, the Gallery card lets you post up to four images per tweet and will display them together. Clicking on the photos will display them in their full size. Perfect for the storyteller.
- App card
The App card encourages users to download mobile applications by appearing whenever the specified app is mentioned. The card displays the price and description of the app alongside the possibility of downloading straight from the App Store.
- Player card
An important must for musicians and YouTube enthusiasts. The player card allows rich media such as videos, GIFs and music to be played without leaving Twitter.
- Website card
This card will direct users to your website with the call-to-action button. These cards will often avoid being swept away in users’ streams and will stand out. There is space for an image, a link to your website and some text.
This is another card that doesn’t require web code, just visit the Twitter Ads Dashboard.
- Summary card
This gives you a sneak preview of content before clicking through. This is often the ‘default card’ and is great for blog posts. It includes a title, a description, a thumbnail image and creator acknowledgement.
- Summary card with large photo
This works in the same way as the Summary card but sacrifices a small amount of text space to make way for a larger image. For those who are photographically inclined, this would work perfectly.
There are other types of Twitter cards, but these aren’t used very often:
- The Product Card – Product Cards are ideal for anyone working in e-commerce as they provide a full 200 word product description, creator acknowledgement and a thumbnail image. This allows you to showcase products with a ‘buy now’ button currently in beta testing.
- The Audio card – Just like the Player card, this card will let you listen to audio straight from your Twitter feed and now you can ‘dock’ the audio tweet whilst you keep scrolling.
So far this all seems pretty straight forward, and it is, but if you don’t have experience coding websites, this could be tricky. Twitter Cards are implemented by inserting meta tags into the coding of a website. If you’re using WordPress then you can use the SEO plugin supported by Yoast which will do this bit for you.
Let’s start with creating a Summary card – the simplest. You will need a minimum of five meta tags when creating a Twitter Card:
twitter:card – this will specific which card you are using
twitter:url – this is the URL for the card but will more than likely be the same as your website
twitter:title – this is the title you wish to see on the card
twitter:description – a 200 word summary of your content (hashtags are not indexed and linked by Twitter when thay appear here)
twitter:image – this is the image that you want to appear on your card. In most cases, your logo is sufficient but if you have a particular image in mind then you can use it here
These are the meta tags required to make the Summary card.:
<meta name=”twitter:card” content=”summary”>
<meta name=”twitter:url” content=”http://.......”>
<meta name=”twitter:title” content=”Why Twitter Cards are the Secret Ingredient”>
<meta name=”twitter:description” content=”Twitter cards are an undiscovered tool on Twitter”>
<meta name=”twitter:image” content=”http://.......”>
You can find a full list of meta tags here.
Once you have your meta tags in place, you can then check they work by visiting Twitter’s Valdiator page here. It should look something like this:
Enter the URL you used in the meta tag and the validator will show you what your Twitter card will look like once you tweet it.
Once a Twitter card is created, anyone that then shares that link will show the same card. There is also an option in your meta tags to include an attribution, ensuring that your brand or company name will always appear alongside this card, allowing it to travel around the world and still be associated with yourself.
If you want to find out more, you can read Twitter’s full guide here.