A briefing and examples of how to use Twitter Cards to boost leads and sales
With the recent Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Twitter on the New York Stock Exchange, there has been a great deal of attention on the micro-blogging site and how it plans to increase its profitability (likely through advertising) to satisfy hungry investors.
Although there has been much publicity regarding the company's recent move to preview images directly within a timeline feed (seemingly a move to court advertisers who can push their brands more), the introduction of 'Twitter Cards' in June 2012 seems to have gone almost unnoticed and still represents a missed opportunity for brands and bloggers alike who are yet to take advantage of them.
The power of Twitter cards cannot be overstated. Twitter says: ;They make it possible for you to attach media experiences to Tweets that link to your content… and help you richly represent your content within Tweets across the web and on mobile devices'.
But what does this mean for brands using Twitter as a platform to boost business? Put simply, Twitter Cards can help drive more traffic to your site and provide businesses with a new tool to effectively market their site and services.
Amazon make good use of this by using the Twitter ‘Summary Card’ type to allow users to share information on the product they have just bought. Without using Twitter Card mark-up, the tweet looks like this:
However, share what you’ve bought on Amazon and the tweet looks like this in a follower’s timeline:
This is a very smart move on Amazon’s part. Using the Twitter Summary Card means customer’s tweeting their purchase is effectively marketing Amazon’s products and services on its behalf, providing a picture of what they have bought along with a description of it and all without any extra effort being made.
Twitter Gallery Cards
Another good example of how Twitter Cards can be used for businesses are through the use of the Twitter Gallery Card which is particularly useful for companies who need to be able to convey visual information critical to their USP, service or products. Event Prop Hire use this card type well on their Christmas page to display examples of their rentable products:
Anyone who tweets content from pages of your website that have been marked up with Twitter Card code will produce these media rich tweets and is just one way Twitter Cards can be used to boost your brand.
They can be great for online brand development as their enhanced layout makes tweets more noticeable and engaging and this can help to improve click through rate (CTR) from a tweet on Twitter to a business's website.
What Type of Twitter Cards are Available?
By adding just a few META tags to your web pages, Twitter users who tweet links to your site will have a 'card' containing additional content added to the Tweet that’s visible to all of their followers.
The card makes their tweets expandable, allowing their content to be visible inline within Twitter. This also means you have control over how your content is presented on Twitter.
You can try tweeting a card of each type to see what they look like using this preview tool I have created.
There are eight card types that can be attached to Tweets:
- Summary Card: Default Card, including a title, description, thumbnail, and Twitter account attribution.
- Summary Card with Large Image: Similar to a Summary Card, but offers the ability to prominently feature an image.
- Photo Card: A Tweet sized photo Card.
- Gallery Card: A Tweet Card geared toward highlighting a collection of photos.
- App Card: A Tweet Card for providing a profile of an application.
- App Installs and Deep-Linking: An extension to any Card that provides app download and deep linking.
- Player Card: A Tweet sized video/audio/media player Card.
- Product Card: A Tweet Card to better represent product content.