Using Twitter Cards to Drive Traffic to Your Blog
Twitter Cards Simplified
Yes we know that Twitter cards have been around for a while. And many of us know what they are. But do you know how to use this under-appreciated feature provided by Twitter, to drive traffic to your blog?
I guess not.
So for the benefit of all, let’s start with the basics.
What are Twitter cards?
While using Twitter you all must have been irked by the limitation of 140 characters. Right? But when is a tweet more than a tweet? When you get to say more even with the stupid character limit! And this is where Twitter cards come in.
Twitter cards have given content marketers more power by enabling them to include images, videos, audios and download links, in addition to the 140 characters. Here’s an example of tweet without and with Twitter cards:
And this is done by simply adding a few lines of HTML to your webpage (no, it is not that difficult), and users who Tweet links to your content will have a “Card” added to the Tweet that’s visible to all of their followers.
Types of Twitter Cards
There are several Twitter cards types which can be used.
Title, description, thumbnail, and Twitter account attribution.
It is designed to give the reader a preview of the content before clicking through to your website.
The Tweet by @Twitter on the right shows a Summary Card (photo and text) below the 140 characters.
Similar to a Summary Card, but with a prominently featured image.
It is designed to give the reader a rich photo experience, and clicking on the image brings the user to your website.
The Tweet on the left from @TechCrunch shows a Summary Card with Large Image along with the 140 characters:
We designed the App Card to allow for a name, description and icon, and also to highlight attributes such as the rating and the price.
The Tweet on the right from Jason Stark (@jaysonst) shows an App Card (photo and text) below the 140 characters:
This enables you to deliver video/audio/media from within a tweet.
Here’s the example of a Player card.
As you can see, if your tweet has a link to a site that has twitter cards enabled, there is an option to view summary.
This greatly improves customer engagement.
Benefits of Twitter cards
- Twitter cards allow users to attach media experience in tweets, beyond the 140 character limit.
- They allow brand to stand out from a feed full of text
- It is a proven tool to increase engagement
- Users, without leaving Twitter can download an app, visit a landing page, sign up for a newsletter or even use a coupon.
- They drive more traffic to the website and increase followers!
How to set up a Twitter card?
After you have picked your favorite card, it is time to set them up. If you love coding, Twitter gives a Twitter Cards Getting Started Bundle which may be quite confusing for many.
For not-so-technically-sound people, best way to implement Twitter cards is through plugins and extensions. For example for WordPress, you can use Jetpack or JM Twitter Cards Plugin to use Twitter cards.
Twitter card approval
You need to run URL against validator tool test. If you are working with a Player Card, request approval for whitelisting.
All other Cards do not need whitelisting, as shown in the image. Here’s an example of a summary card validation:
Validation can be quite difficult if you miss a step during your Twitter Card setup. Click to view some tips to help get you past validation.
Validating Player cards can be more challenging. Click to discover tips for this type of Twitter Card.
Here’s a small video explaining the Twitter card Analytics by Twitter University.