Recently, I started adding images to my Tweets and saw an impressive increase in engagement. Then a colleague emailed me and suggested that if I used Twitter Cards instead of images, I would see even greater numbers of retweets and my Tweets would travel faster and farther through the Twittersphere.
Why should I use Twitter Cards?
A Twitter Card helps you drive traffic to your website. They are more engaging than regular Tweets. Also, Twitter Cards provide you with analytics so you can see how they are working for you and tweak your strategy as needed.
As well, Twitter Cards can also drive downloads of and even link directly into your mobile apps.
Businesses using Twitter Cards get:
- 89% more favorites
- 18% more clicks
- 150% more RTs
What is a Twitter Card?
A Twitter Card allows you to attach rich photos, videos and media experiences to Tweets.
How do I use Twitter Cards?
Just add a few lines of HTML to your webpage, and users who Tweet links to your content will have a "Card" added to the Tweet that's visible to all of their followers. Seven short lines of code is all it takes.
What kind of Twitter Cards are there?
There are seven different kinds that include different kinds of information:
Summary Card: Title, description, thumbnail, and Twitter account attribution.
Summary Card with Large Image: Similar to a Summary Card, but with a prominently featured image.
Photo Card: A Card with a photo only. Twitter supports images up to 560x750px for high definition displays.
Gallery Card: A Card highlighting a collection of four photos.
App Card: A Card to detail a mobile app with direct download.
Player Card: A Card to provide video/audio/media.
Product Card: A Card optimized for product information.
How do I get started?
Twitter says that it takes less than 15 minutes to implement Twitter Cards.
First, choose a card type you want to implement.
Then, you need to add the pertinent meta tags to your page.
Then run your URL against the validator tool to test. If you are working with a Player Card, request approval for whitelisting. All other Cards do not need whitelisting.
After testing in the validator or approval of your Player Card, Tweet the URL and see the Card appear below your tweet in the details view.
Use Twitter Card analytics to measure your results.
What is whitelisting?
According to Wikipedia, "A whitelist is a list or register of entities that are being provided a particular privilege, service, mobility, access or recognition." It's the opposite of a black list.
Can I see some sample code?
Adding a Summary Card to your tweets is as simple as adding the below meta tags to your site:
<meta name="twitter:card" content="summary" />
<meta name="twitter:site" content="@flickr" />
<meta name="twitter:title" content="Small Island Developing States Photo Submission" />
<meta name="twitter:description" content="View the album on Flickr." />
<meta name="twitter:image" content="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5510/14338202952_93595258ff_z.jpg" />
Pro Tips from Twitter Dev:
- Test different types of cards. Every site is different, and Twitter Card analytics will help you measure which cards yield the most engagement with your content.
- Compare your metrics to the averages. Twitter Card analytics contain network averages for each card type, which can help you benchmark your results.
- Monitor links for clicks and retweets. By tracking the specific pages on your site that get the most engagement on Twitter, you can uncover trends relating to what content is resonating with your audience.
- Engage with Influencers. Twitter Card analytics make it possible determine who is sharing your content with the most velocity - make sure to engage with these accounts to promote further interaction!
- Use the proper meta tags. Even if you have already implemented Twitter Cards, double check to make sure you are using the twitter: site meta tag on all your pages.