Twitter Cards are one of the most interesting features the site has launched recently. Despite their simple looks, they have a lot of potential in improving your marketing campaign. Read on to learn about the various types of Twitter Cards and how you can best use them for marketing.
What you can get from Twitter Cards
There are many benefits to using Twitter Cards for marketing:
- Twitter Cards enhance your tweets: These cards let you go beyond the 140-character limit of regular tweets and add more functionality to them.
- They have a multiplier effect: Twitter Cards present information in an attractive and engaging manner, generate more retweets, and increase the people who get to see them.
- They are versatile and easy to use: The wide variety of cards make sure there’s one available for your need.
All of these points illustrate how useful these cards are. But to get the full advantage, you need to know how to use each card type the right way.
Using the Summary Card to promote your website
The Summary Card’s main purpose is to provide a description of your site or web page. The card text gives you a lot of room for input; the title alone allows for 70 characters while the description has 200 characters available for you to use.
— Marc Nouss (@marc_nouss) June 2, 2017
There are two subtypes of Summary Cards with the main difference between them being the size of the preview image. Regular Summary Cards have a small thumbnail as a link. Meanwhile, the second type of Summary Card lets you put in a full-sized image as a preview, like this one:
— Inc. (@Inc) July 27, 2017
Note that in both types, the image should not exceed 1MB in size.
To setup Summary Cards, insert the following meta tags into your pages’ code and input your own text in the “Content” section of each tag.
For normal Summary Cards:
For Summary Cards with large images:
Effectively implementing Summary Cards
When deciding which Summary Card type to use, think about how the image fits into the overall purpose of the card. If the preview image is simply meant to display the logo of the site you are linking to, settle for the regular one. On the other hand, if you want to emphasize a compelling image from the link’s content, use the Summary Card with larger images. National Geographic uses the latter:
Video: What is deforestation? Find out the causes, effects, and solutions. https://t.co/mbRqWzyBoN
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) July 27, 2017
Your titles and descriptions should give your audience an idea of what the link contains. Take advantage of the extra character spaces to better inform your readers.
Summary Cards can be used to highlight one-off content. Use them as teasers before a release. Increase their reach using Devumi’s Retweets Service. Use this service to help spread this important information further.
Get more downloads with the Twitter App Card
The App Card is dedicated to promoting your mobile apps. It provides a direct download link to your app’s Apple or Google App Stores page.
— TIME (@TIME) July 2, 2015
App Cards have the same 200-word descriptions as Summary Cards. However, the titles are directly pulled from your app’s ID in the stores, while the image is pulled from the app’s own page.
Enable App Cards by inserting the following meta tags in your site’s code:
Note that if your app does not support certain platforms, remove the corresponding tag.
Using App Cards for promotions
App Cards can be used in every aspect of your app’s promotional cycle. During the pre-launch phase, create a dedicated card that your followers can refer back to on launch day. Following the release of your app, use updated App Cards that highlight any latest developments you have made.
You can also use the App Card to highlight special promotions like discounts on the purchase price or in-app incentives. Create a special card for the promo and, in the description, tell your followers what they are getting.
Encourage your followers to share your app’s download links. Twitter automatically generates an App Card whenever the links are shared. This makes your tweets more enticing and increases the likelihood of downloads.
Using Player Cards to display your multimedia content
Player Cards let you display multimedia content from your site via a live player that is embedded in your tweets. They work in a similar manner to tweeting content from streaming sites like YouTube and SoundCloud.
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) July 26, 2017
Player Cards have a 200-character description box. For the actual media content, Twitter requires the following specifications:
- Video: H.264, Baseline Profile (BP), level 3.0, video dimensions up to 640 x 480 pixels at 30 frames per second (fps)
- Audio: AAC, Low Complexity profile
Make sure you follow these specifications to ensure effective implementation. If your video has larger dimensions, only part of it will be displayed within the embedded player.
The setup for Player Cards is a little more complex than that of the other types. First, download the Twitter Cards Getting Started Bundle. Follow the instructions found in the included readme files to create all the necessary paths and tags.
You then need to apply for approval from Twitter to activate the function. To submit your cards for approval:
- Head to Twitter’s Card Validator page
- Go to the “Validate and Apply” tab
- Paste your card’s URL and click “Go”
- Twitter will test if the card’s meta tags are properly set up
- Click “Submit for Approval” and fill in the provided form
Applications for Player Card activation usually take a few business days to get approved. Twitter provides a set of guidelines to help increase your chances of approval.
Getting the most out of Player Cards
A common question when using Player Cards is why you shouldn’t just share your multimedia content from streaming sites. The main advantage of using Player Cards here is that they let you deliver content directly from your site. This helps draw more interest towards your site and boosts traffic towards it.
The effectiveness of Player Cards in getting your audience to perform desired actions begins with the media content itself. Aside from having compelling content, your video or audio streams should end with a strong call to action. That call should be consistent with the rest of your shared media content to reinforce its message.
Activating Twitter Card functionality
To generate your cards, the function should first be enabled in your site. Do that by following these steps:
- Decide on the card type you want to use
- Add the card type’s corresponding meta tags to your site’s pages
- Run the page URL through the Twitter Card Validator tool
- Once the URL has been validated, tweet the link to see if it works
Note that the process is done separately for each page you want to generate cards for. You can also use the plugins recommended by Twitter to automate the integration.
Boosting the performance of your Twitter Cards
As I mentioned earlier, each Twitter Card type has a specific function. Take advantage of them by implementing different cards in different parts of your campaign:
- Summary Cards can be used to introduce your website to your audience.
- You can use a combination of Summary and Player Cards to highlight specific content.
- App Cards can be pushed in between them to continuously promote your related apps.
Don’t just share the cards as they are. Create engaging tweets to accompany and lead into each card. This could be a call to check out the card’s contents or additional information about them. Such introductory texts help generate further interest in the card itself:
— Lallab (@AssoLallab) June 18, 2017
Another way to give your Twitter Cards a boost is to get your followers to share them. A combination of good card titles, descriptions, and introductions is an effective way of getting people to share them.
Also, note that once you have the card function activated, any tweeted link from your site automatically generates a card. Get the most out of this fact by encouraging your site visitors to share content they like. Adding an easily accessible “Tweet” button will increases the likelihood of their sharing it.
Measuring the performance of your Twitter cards
Measuring how well your cards perform is vital for gauging their impact on your overall marketing efforts. Twitter provides a dedicated Cards Analytics tool for this purpose. The Analytics page is divided into three main tabs:
- URL Clicks
- Install Attempts
Each of these tabs has the following sections that break down the traffic generated from your cards:
- Snapshots: Provides an overview of how well your card content is doing and shows the total number of tweets that contain a link to your site or app.
- Change over time: Plots the changes in the performance of your cards over time. You can view the changes within a specific date range.
- Sources: Lists the most common platforms that are used by the people sending tweets linking back to your content. Examples include apps, websites, and widgets.
- Card types: See the performance of each specific type of cards you have used so far.
These four sections will give you different data depending on the tabs you have chosen, but don’t overlook the Best Practices popups that appear. They are personalized tips and suggestions that appear on the right side of your screen. You can learn a great deal about how to further boost the performance of your cards from them.
Take advantage of your Twitter Cards to boost promotions
Twitter Cards are a great way to go beyond the 140-character limit of your tweets and enhance your marketing campaign. To get the most out of them, you need to:
- Choose the right cards: Understand how each card type functions and decide which ones suit your particular campaign.
- Integrate cards: Use your cards to strategically highlight specific content and use other tweets to draw attention to the cards themselves.
- Get your followers to share: Each link that is shared from your site generates a new card. This increases the number of cards you have out there and multiplies their effectiveness accordingly.
Follow these steps and you can use Twitter Cards to take your marketing campaign on the platform to a whole new level.