Twitter Cards and social rich snippets

Twitter has a feature that lets you add extra information about your business, the products or services you offer, and extra media content.

By Terry Ellis

Twitter has a feature that lets you add extra information about your business, the products or services you offer, and extra media content. The extra feature is Twitter Cards and they’re very handy.

Twitter cards: what they do

Twitter cards effectively let you add extra information and media (photos/videos/audio) to your Twitter messages. There are a range of things you can include:

  • Prices
  • Product information
  • Availability
  • Larger images or video content

This effectively means you’re no longer limited to 140 characters! Twitter is providing you with a way to get around the limit and give your audience more content.

The cards come in 7 different forms:

  • Summary Card:the default card type. This card includes a title, a description, and thumbnail image within the card
  • Large Image Summary Card:Same as the Summary Card but with a larger featured image
  • Photo Card:Gives you the ability to display a photo within your tweet
  • Gallery Card:A card aimed at highlighting a collection of photos
  • App Card:Provides a profile of an application
  • Player Card:A card designed to feature a video/audio player
  • Product Card: Displays a product image and includes information such as price

As you can see there is lots of choice so you can tailor your Twitter card to suit your own needs.

Twitter cards: how to get them

Twitter cards are powered by meta tags: a piece of code that sits somewhere within your website, usually the header. In the words of Twitter, “simply add a few lines of HTML to your webpages and anyone who tweets links to your content will have a ‘card’ added that’s visible to all of their followers.” Basically, people will see their tweet plus whatever you have set up to appear on your Twitter card (product info, photos, a video – whatever you decide!).

Once you’ve placed the code within your website (or your web developer has done it), you’ll need to visit the Twitter cards validator section of Twitter. Once there, you’ll need to hit ‘validate and apply’. You’ll then want to test the page, just to make sure it all looks how you want it to.

Twitter cards: why you should use them

It’s no secret that more content and more media in social media posts means more engagement and interaction. Twitter itself reckons that Twitter cards triple or even quadruple engagement rates. Using these cards also means you get more screen space on Twitter itself – Twitter cards are bigger than normal tweets so you will stand out among everything else.

The other great thing about Twitter cards is that they follow the URL (your URL) and not the poster. Usually, if someone clicks on a tweet that contains a link to your content (unless they directly click the link), they’ll be taken to the poster’s profile page. With Twitter cards they take them directly to your website.

They also have their own analytics so you can track exactly how your cards are faring. Not to mention you get yet another way to track what people think of your business and your content!

And have we mentioned that this feature is free yet?

Use WordPress?

If you use WordPress and Yoast (a plugin) then the whole process of setting up Twitter cards is very simple. Head to the SEO section, choose ‘social’ and click ‘add Twitter card data’. You’ll still need to validate the card setup on Twitter but it means you don’t need to mess around with HTML.

Twitter cards are a great way to increase your reach and presence on social media. They’re free and easy to set up so there’s no excuse not to be using them!

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About the Author

Terry has was worked at a senior level in the manufacturing and logistics, so knows 'how business works'. Real world experience, technical know-how and a history of high levels of customer support ensures h2o delivers to the clients needs.

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