If you’ve ever come across a video, laughed at a GIF, or read an article due to its enticing image, you’ve already interacted with Twitter cards.
Twitter cards are an amazing way of making your Tweet more clickable and pleasing to the eyes than regular Tweets.
In this article, we will tell you about Twitter cards, from definitions to types, and how to use them properly via a step-by-step guide.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
What is a Twitter Card?
Twitter cards are media-rich tweets that stand out to Twitter users and make the content look more appealing and interactive with the use of images, video, and audio.
Cards were initially introduced to help users, especially brands, surpass the 140-character limit, which was later increased to 280 characters in 2017.
Besides that, Twitter cards were also a way for brands to create attractive and clickable tweets. Be it getting users to click on a blog link or boosting mobile app downloads. The below example is of Neil Patel using a summary card used to share his blog with Twitter users.
Using such cards, you can display more information than a standard Tweet with an image, title, and link without flaunting the word limit.
But how do these cards function? 🤔
Technically, whenever you publish a link on Twitter, the User-Agent of Twitterbot crawls through the link, searching for meta tag markup on the web page. If meta tags are available on that particular URL, it automatically transforms the link into a card with an image and a short content description.
Additionally, users who Tweet links to your content will have a “Card” added to the Tweet that’s visible to their followers.
Importance of Using Twitter Card
Twitter cards can help you deliver useful and plenty of information without breaking the character limit. But apart from this, there are four major reasons why it’s still users’ favorite tool. With Twitter cards, you can:
Gain Better Visibility
It’s a fact that tweets with images are 34% more likely to get retweeted than tweets without images.
So, when you share a post using Twitter cards, users will see the featured image of your article and a Call-to-Action button.
This way, your post is favored by Twitter algorithms and paves its way to be seen by as many eyeballs as possible.
Increase Conversion and Website Traffic
Twitter cards help you ditch those boring stand-alone links. They crawl the links and pull out all the good stuff from your web content and turn them into a sweet snippet to lure viewers into clicking and visiting your website.
To understand this point, take a look at the image below:
Twitter cards don’t include text-based jargon. Instead, they act like snippets with an image/video, a title, and a neat CTA.
With the right meta tags, Twitter cards can show larger-than-life image previews that showcase your headlines, social media handles, branded hashtags, and CTAs like never before. Having so many interactive elements encourages users to check out a few.
Get More App Downloads
There are different styles and layouts for cards to display content in the best way possible (more on this in the next section). One of which is App cards. With App cards, your followers can go straight to your client’s app download page without any fuss.
Likewise, there are various forms of Twitter cards that you can use to encourage interaction from users.
Types of Twitter Cards
#1. Summary Card
The Summary card is designed to give readers a preview of the content before clicking through the link. It consists of a title, description, and thumbnail.
You can best use it to share blogs, news articles, and products or drive users to a particular landing page.
In the below example, Monday.com used a Summary card to share its achievement with a link to get new applicants.
#2. Summary Card with Large Image
The Summary card with Large Image is designed to give users a visually-rich experience of your Tweet. The card features a full-width, featured image, clicking on which users are redirected to your website.
The below image shows a summary card with a large image. You can see the thumbnail is comparatively bigger than a regular summary card.
#3. App Card
As the name suggests, these Twitter cards were created to help businesses promote their app on the platform.
App cards grab the information directly from the App Store or Google Play. This includes name, description, and icon and also highlights attributes such as the rating and the price.
Alternatively, you can write a brand-new description of your app on the card.
The image for the App card is also downloaded directly from the app store on which your app resides.
To ensure your App card works properly, the image uploaded to the iTunes/Google Play store must be less than 1MB.
#4. Player Card
The Player card allows users to provide video and audio experience of their Tweets.
These automatically play videos on a loop on timelines and feeds, so users don’t even have to leave the app to interact with rich multimedia, and your content gets views.
For the most part, Player cards boost your brand image through promotion to a vast audience.
Now that you know what Twitter cards are and how to choose different cards for specific purposes, let’s understand how to create and set these up.
How to Use Twitter Cards?
Step #1. Choose the Type of Card You Want
First, you must choose the right Twitter card for your campaign based on your objective and goals.
Summary cards are good for sharing blogs
Summary cards with long-form images are excellent for showcasing enticing visuals
App cards are the best to boost mobile app downloads
Player cards are apt when you need to display a video in a loop
Once selected, it’s time to add meta tags to the website’s pages.
Step #2. Implement Meta Tag Markup
Whether you love to code or hate technical jargon, there are many ways to implement Twitter cards. Here are some things you can do if:
You’re a Coder
Start by adding the corresponding meta tag to your webpage’s source code. Remember, you can add only one card type per page. The one below is for summary cards.
👀 Note: By default, WordPress-hosted blogs are enabled for Twitter cards. WordPress automatically scans the contents of your post and determines the best card type.
If you have a Tumblr or Blogger blog, get working on finding a developer or getting comfortable with simple coding—adding meta tags is the way to go here.
But no matter what method or plugins you use, you’ll need to wind up your process by taking a URL from your blog or website and running it through the Twitter card validator. This brings us to our next step.
Step #3. Twitter Card Validation
To prevent unwanted surprises, a Twitter card validator checks if the URL you have entered has the Twitter card meta tags added to it or not.
To get started, paste the URL of the page where you are trying to create a Twitter card.
Within seconds, the tool brings up a validation log. The log has card specifications and content.
All green lines mean the crawler found Twitter Card metadata in the webpage’s HTML code. Whenever you use this link on Twitter, it will automatically generate your chosen Twitter card.
Next, we’ll see how to preview Twitter Cards before hitting publish.
Step #4. Preview Twitter Card
Initially, the Twitter card validator also showed a preview of your Tweet having the link. However, recently Twitter removed the preview functionality from the card Validator.
Now, previews are available in the Tweet Composer, while the card Validator remains accessible for other debugging purposes.
Simply copy and paste the URL in Tweet Composer to get a preview of your Twitter card.
Can’t access Tweet Composer? No worries!
There are plenty of Twitter card validator tools. Like, Typefully’s Twitter card Validator.
You can use it to preview how the shared webpage link having the metadata will be seen by Twitter users.
As said, a Twitter card Validator is a free tool used to ensure that the URL you’re sharing on Twitter is accustomed to creating a Twitter card whenever used by you or others. Simply enter the webpage URL, and the validator crawls through the page’s HTML codes to find the meta tags.
Benefits of Validator
Identify Meta Tags: Validators help you identify whether or not the Twitter card meta tag is correctly embedded in the web page’s HTML code. Furthermore, it also shows what card type is being used for a particular URL.
Check Validation in Real-Time: Twitter card validators come in handy when you need to inspect a URL instantly. The tool uses Twitter bots, which crawl the HTML code on the web page and reflect results in real-time.
Troubleshoot Card-Related Issues: In case of an error, card validators help you identify the source of errors. For instance, some common errors cited by validators include crawler blocking, invalid card type, invalid image, etc.
To troubleshoot any issues originating in the card Validator, look at this guide.
How to Fix a Broken Twitter Card?
Verify Meta Tags: Check for some specific meta tags that your web page must have in HTML. Here’s what to check for:
<meta name="twitter:card" content="summary" />
<meta name="twitter:site" content="@flickr" />
<meta name="twitter:title" content="[title]" />
<meta name="twitter:description" content="View the album on Flickr." />
<meta name="twitter:image" content="[image link]" />
👀 Note: Change all ‘content’ attributes to suit your website
Clear Twitter’s Cache: Twitter caches Cards for a period of time. If you’ve made changes to your meta tags, you might not see these changes immediately due to the cache. Use the ‘Preview Card’ button in the validator tool to refresh the cache for your page.
Check for SSL Certificate Errors: If your site uses HTTPS, ensure that you have a valid SSL certificate. Twitter won’t be able to scrape your meta tags if your certificate isn’t set up properly or has expired.
Check for Robots.txt Blockage: Ensure that your website isn’t blocking Twitter’s user agent (Twitterbot) from crawling your site. If your robots.txt file disallows Twitterbot, your Twitter Card won’t display correctly.
Check for Image Issues: If your Twitter Card’s image isn’t displaying correctly, it might be due to the image size or format. Twitter recommends that images be less than 1MB in size and not in a CMYK color format.
If you want to enhance your social media presence, the Twitter card is the name of the game. By providing a dynamic and interactive element to your tweets, these cards help enhance user engagement.
If you can create a Twitter card with a compelling title, catchy description, and a stunning image, no one can stop you from being successful on social media.
So follow the guide step by step and get your Twitter card up in no time.
Tanish is a digital marketing geek and a super creative writer. He has been researching, analyzing, and writing about digital marketing for 4 years. Before stepping in to the world of Digital Marketing, he was an engineer. In his free time,… read more