Twitter Cards for Business: A Guide to Getting Started

engagement, social media, twitter

October 16, 2014 by

If you’re a regular user, you’ve definitely seen Twitter Cards before. Twitter cards are essentially a way to push your content beyond the traditional 140 character limit. With a variety of choices in different optimized card types, you can add a much stronger visual image, resulting in higher click and engagement rates. Put simply, Twitter Cards can include a variety of media types below your original tweet, pulling metadata from your website in different forms. From blog articles and large images to video and app downloads, you can be sure to find an attractive card format that works for your site, and cranks up your traffic.Twitter cards boost

Why Use Twitter Cards?

Twitter is unquestionably one of the fastest moving platforms out there, with approximately 6,000 tweets sent a second (that’s 500 million a day). It’s never been more essential for your message to cut through the crowd and make a visual impact. With Twitter’s natural short text-based interface, it can be easy for a user to swipe up and miss your tweet. And even if they see the message you’re trying to convey, it could be confusing or garbled due to your 140 character limit.

Related Class: Twitter Marketing 101

This is where Twitter Cards can be really beneficial. Besides looking very professional and in line with your business image, Twitter Cards give you a chance to get more content into each tweet in a display style that’s suited perfectly to your brand. On top of these benefits, once a Twitter Card is set up, it can be used on every single tweet.

Different Types of Cards

To activate Twitter Cards, you’ll only need to decide on a type of Card, and then add a few lines of HTML code to your website. Determining which type of Card works for you is the big first step, so let’s discuss the main types of Twitter Card:

Summary Card: This is the default Twitter Card and is a great way for bloggers to showcase their posts or news articles. The Summary Card includes a description, thumbnail image, account attribution and link to the content.

Large Photo Summary Card: This Card is ideal if your brand content is very image focused. With a much larger image display, these Cards have all the same features as a normal Summary Card, but beware – the description is space limited.

Gallery Card: Perfect for restaurants, hotels and any brand wanting to take a strong visual approach, this Card gives you the chance to add a combination of four photos in a gallery style to one tweet. Great for story-telling and as a mini photo album.

Photo Card: Any photographers will find this a really useful card, similar to attaching an image on Twitter but with the enhanced ability to add a photo caption and site link.

Twitter Lead Generation Card: This is the paid ad version of the above Cards. If you’re looking for leads to build your brand’s email database, the Lead Generation Card is a smart choice; the viewer’s email address is already pre-filled so it just takes a click to capture the lead!

Product Card: An underrated essential for any ecommerce brand. The Product Card gives you a title, description, thumbnail image and all product details (price, availability, etc.).

App Card: This is a smart Card for any app developer looking to increase sales. The Card shows the app name, stars, ratings, price and an icon with a long Call to Action button (when viewed in mobile).

Player Card: Slightly more complicated than the other Cards, this one needs approval and testing on platforms. But for musicians, videographers and creative types, this can be a valuable tool to increase views and reach.

Twitter cards

After checking out the different styles of Twitter Cards, have you worked out which one will be the most effective for your brand? If you have, it’s time to get installing!

Installation Process

Installation is where it can get intricate and a little more complicated: meta tags need to be installed on your site’s page, to help Twitter pull over all necessary data when posting in the future. A developer or web designer can help you get started with this method. Twitter also has a great page on getting started if you have the general know-how to try it yourself. There are also other options depending on your platform. For example, if your site is built in WordPress, there are several apps available to help with the Card installation process. If you’ve got your eye on the Lead Generation Card, you won’t need to install anything – just visit the Twitter Ads dashboard.

Reviewing & Analyzing Your Cards

Once you’ve started using your Twitter Cards, you can find out how your audience is reacting with Twitter Card analytics. Get started by visiting Twitter Analytics to get a concise view of how many clicks, retweets and impressions your card has received.  On top of this, if you use a variety of cards you can view the different types to really determine which is working best for your specific audience.

Related Class: Measuring the Value of Social Media Using Simple Analytics

Tips & Tricks

Engage – Now that you have your Twitter Cards with analytics, make sure you use this information to its maximum potential, by reaching out to and engaging with those who are regular fans of your content.

Mix it up Be sure to try different styles of Cards to see what works best, and A/B test to find the most effective option for your business. For example, sometimes a Gallery Card might get you more attention from users than a large photo Summary Card.

Make it clickable Most Twitter Cards are unexpanded, so your normal tweet copy needs to be as ‘clickable’ and tempting as possible. Your goal should be to make viewers want to open the tweet, because when they do click, they’ll be greeted with an engaging Twitter Card!

Looking for more on how to get the most out of your Twitter account? Pump up your interaction with this class, Twitter Engagement Tactics for ROI, which explains the overall strategy and day-to-day tactics you should use to get users engaging with your tweets.

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