Twitter Cards: What Every Small Business Needs to Know


Have you heard about Twitter Cards yet? They were introduced earlier this year, and, in a nutshell, they let you attach and showcase photos, videos and other media experiences to your tweets in order to help drive more traffic to your website (the one from Klout above is an example of a Summary Card with Large Image).

This is a great thing, right? Twitter has been criticized for being less of a social media engagement tool than a way to spread (or blast) information. Cards change that dynamic and can really help convert people into leads or customers.

First things first: There are 7 different types of Twitter Cards:

Summary Card: The Summary Card provides a preview of the content before clicking through to your website. It can be used for blog posts, news articles, products, and anything else you want to share that is housed on your website.

Summary Card with Large Image: This is just like the Summary Card in terms of content, but it features a large, full-width image alongside the tweet.

Photo Card: These cards remind me of Instagram, as the photo is front and center in the Tweet with room for 140 characters below. When you click on the photo, it expands for a richer, more detailed view.

Gallery Card: The Gallery Card lets you share up to 4 photos. Unlike the photo card, 140 characters appear above the photo.

App Card: These are great for app developers, as you can include details of your mobile app with direct download. You can highlight the name, a description and icon, the rating and the price (140 characters appear above the card).

Player Card: Player Cards showcase a video, audio clip, or some other form of rich media. Installing this on your website and sharing it on Twitter is a little more complicated than the other cards.

Product Card: These are perfect for small businesses who sell products online. A Product Card lets you highlight a product with an image, description, and two other key details (of your choosing).

Lead Generation Card: Lead Generation Cards are part of the Twitter Ads platform, so yes, you need to pay to use these. When someone expands your tweet, they’ll see a description of the offer and a call to action. Their name, Twitter handle, and email address are pre-filled within the Card, so with one click, they can send this information directly to you.

Website Card: Website Cards are also part of the Twitter Ads platform. They let you feature website content within a tweet (an engaging image plus information about your website). Users can click through to your website directly from the Card.

Getting started isn’t terribly complicated, but for the non-technical, you might want your developer (or a tech-savvy employee) to handle this for you. There are 5 steps you need to follow:

  • Review instruction for the type of card you want to implement.
  • Add the pertinent meta tags to your page (per the instructions).
  • Run your URLs against the validator tool to be approved (just to ensure your card will appear correctly across platforms and doesn’t violate any Twitter rules of use).
  • Once you get approval, you can tweet the URL – the Card will appear below your tweet.
  • Use Twitter Card Analytics to measure your results.

Do you have any other questions about Twitter Cards? Leave them in the comments below, and I’ll do my best to answer them!