As of the first quarter of 2015, Twitter averaged 236 million monthly active users. Although there’s debate on which social network is supreme, 236 million active users is a lot of potential leads and customers ready to engage. Competing with 500 million tweets published each day, Twitter Cards is a way for marketers and business owners to stand out, reach those potential customers and increase website engagement using Twitter. But wait, what exactly are Twitter Cards you ask?
Twitter cards are simply an enhanced way to tweet your message. Attach rich photos, videos, and content using Cards to increase engagement and traffic from Twitter to a website. Calls to action, images, and videos are better displayed on Twitter through Twitter Cards. Each Card offers their own attractive features and benefits. With different Card options, Twitter Cards play a huge role in increasing engagement from and on Twitter.
- Summary Cards
Like all Twitter Cards, the name of the card type is exactly what the card is. The Summary Card gives Tweeters a summary of the blog post or content you are sharing a link to. Since we’re limited to 140 characters a tweet, the Summary Card is great because it provides an excerpt of content from the link you’re tweeting about. Ultimately, this gives another opportunity to entice someone to click on your link or the “View on Web” button to leave Twitter and go to your website.
- Summary Cards with Large Image
The Summary Cards with a Large Image are the way to go. We all know how powerful visual imagery is, especially with online marketing. These Summary Cards include a large image pulled from the link you tweet and an excerpt from the content. Talk about a double whammy! Not only are you giving readers a gorgeous picture in their feed, but also including even more reason to engage with the paragraph summary underneath.
- Photo Cards and Gallery Cards
Both Photo Cards and Gallery Cards are the same idea as above, but the image is on the top of your tweet for Photo Cards, without an excerpt underneath, and a gallery of multiple images for Gallery Cards. These cards will no longer be available on Twitter as of July 3rd. Since the Summary Cards with Large Image include so much more, Twitter will be switching both the Photo and Gallery Cards to those. No need to worry about fixing all of your old cards, though. Twitter will automatically map your previous cards to the Summary Cards with Large Image starting July.
- App Card
Go Apps! App developers love App Cards because of the ability to download the app right from Twitter. Leaving one program to be directed to another, and then to a download page is annoying. The App Cards keep the user experience fluid and highlights cost, rating, detailed descriptions, and icons.
- Player Card
The Player Card is designed to play video clips and audio streams inside of Twitter. Just press play and your short video will play immediately. Thanks to spammers, and inappropriate behavior, Twitter has a pretty strict guideline of what you can and can’t share using Player Cards, even an approval process. They call it the Twitter Rules of the Road. Follow their guidelines, add the necessary HTML meta tags, await approval, and you’re set to share your new video content.
- Product Card
Have a product to promote on Twitter? Of course you do! Product Cards used to be the best way to promote said product, but again, as of July 3 Twitter is making a few adjustments to their Cards. Product Cards will automatically turn into Summary Cards, giving a description of your product and link for more info. I suggest sharing your product images and details on the Summary Card with Large Image, that way we can all get a glance at your product, with a little description, before clicking to your product page link.
How to Setup Twitter Cards
If Twitter is a part of yours or your client’s marketing, Twitter Cards are a must. With a little help from the web developer, or if you have website logins yourself, installing the right Twitter Card is simple.
- Choose which card type you want to share.
- Add the meta tags that specific Card requires to a page on your website.
- After the tags are added you’ll want to verify they are being read. Using the validator tool, test to see if Twitter can reach your tags. Don’t forget to go through the Twitter approval process if you’re using a Player Card.
- After the Card has been approved, tweet the link as you normally would. You’ll notice the tweet has now become a Card and is ready for engagement.
- Once your Twitter Card has been correctly installed and tweeted, sit back, watch, and analyze Twitter Card analytics to measure the results.
Twitter Card Tips
Not everyone is born a pro. Follow these tips to help enhance your Twitter Cards and engagement.
- Don’t limit yourself to one Twitter Card. The Summary Card with Large Image is the most popular card, but don’t be afraid to throw an extra visual component and try the Player Cards. Pull videos from your website to embed as a Twitter Card to increase engagement to that specific site or landing page.
- Pay attention to analytics. As with any and all analytics, analyze and respond to what Twitter Card Analytics is telling you. If a specific Card is giving you more engagement than the other, retweet that card and continue to test different responses.
- Don’t forget to include a call to action. Just like any other marketing campaigns, a call to action is mandatory. How you phrase that CTA in 140 characters is improved using Twitter Cards. Strategize which photo will help best match the CTA and create better engagement, as well as what content to create.
- Timing is of the essence. Using Twitter Card Analytics, test out different times of the day with the same Card to see if one part of the day has more influence over a specific type of card.
- Monitor trends and behaviors. Different pages and content create different impacts and engagement. Monitor which Twitter Cards are creating the most engagement and which ones need improvement.
- Appreciate your influencers. Twitter Card Analytics will tell you who is engaging most with your Cards. Give that person a shoutout, @ mention them, and engage on their newsfeed to show appreciation, as well as connect with a new follower. You never know who may be your next customer.
Are you a Twitter Card user? Comment which kind of Twitter Card you use the most below!