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What Are Twitter Cards and How Do I Use Them?

Twitter Cards are more attention grabbing than plain text tweets and thats a huge plus in the over saturated social media world. Heres an overview of the four types of Twitter Cards currently available:

In addition to the challenges above, theres one more hurdle jump before you can use Twitter Cards: validation.

Validation can be a pain if you made a misstep during your Twitter Card setup.Click here to view some handy troubleshooting tipsto help get you past validation.

There are two challenges to overcome when using Twitter Cards.

As indicated by its name, the main feature of a summary card with large image is the image. The image is linked to your content and great images will pull in lots of traffic. Again, the original Tweet is shown above the card:

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For more details on how to display your Twitter Cards from the get-go,check out these tips from Twitter.

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The second challenge is the fact that, unless you pin the tweet to the top of your Twitter stream, the card is not shown automatically.

As you can see in the green field on the left, our domain was whitelisted for summary cards. Yay!

twitter card summary

If email capture is a priority, I highly recommend Lead Gen Cards. You can plug them directly into your email system like MailChimp so that everything happens automatically.

One of the biggest shortcomings of Twitter has always been its 140 character per tweet limit. Nonetheless, creative small business marketers have been using the social media platform successfully for years.

The first challenge is the fact that theyre not super-easy to set up. Dont get us wrong once you have everything in place, using Twitter Cards is easy however, its getting everything into place that can be challenging.

twitter card summary closed

twitter card summary large image

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Thats because Twitter Cards are both attractive and engaging, two factors that will boost the traffic you drive from Twitter to your content where your marketing messages and offers await.

Simply put, Twitter Cards are tweets on steroids. In addition to your 140-character message, you can include images, videos, audio, and download links.

I guess they are also now including other media in messages. After all, images can be really powerful in this visual-driven generation.

twitter card app

Founded in 2003, Small Business Trends is an award-winning online publication for small business owners, entrepreneurs and the people who interact with them. It is one of the most popular independent small business publications on the web.

is the Tech Editor and SEO Specialist at Small Business Trends where he is responsible for directing and writing many of the sites product reviews, technology how-tos, and lists of small business resources as well as increasing the reach of our content.

Twitters latest take on the traditional tweet, Twitter Cards, have opened a whole new world of possibilities. So set sail with us as we answer the question What are Twitter Cards and how do I use them?

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Could it be that Twitter will be able to automatically create cards with visual images and text summaries, in the future?

This final type of card is the app card that, as you might guess from the name, is aimed at mobile app vendors. If you find the thought of a tweet that enables your followers to download your app directly from Twitter exciting, then this cards for you:

So, the trick is to get folks to click the View Summary link, which can be done in many clever and fun ways. For example, you can tweet, Click the Show Summary link to see the prize you can win in our giveaway or probably something much more clever than that. ?

twitter card player

twitter card summary

Cool ideas. I still just copy/paste a section of a news article into MS Pain, but a red box around what I want, then attach that as an image to my tweet. Works every time, no plug-in or extension required.

Player cards enable you to deliver video and audio from within a tweet. Now thats handy (and super-engaging)! Heres an example of a player card with a video:

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If you can overcome the technical and functional challenges listed above, Twitter Cards can add a lot of value to your social media efforts.

The following two images demonstrate this. The first shows a tweet with a summary Twitter Card as it is first displayed while the second shows the same tweet after the View Summary link was clicked:

Note: There used to be a few more types but Twitter consolidated three into one.

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As was mentioned above, player cards have more rules so validating them can be more challenging.Click here to discover the ins and outsof this tricky yet powerful type of Twitter Card.

If youre tech savvy, Twitter providessome useful documentationthat will help you get started using their Cards. Again, we recommend going this route only if you feel comfortable with technology, though even those with lower tech skills will benefit fromthis handy overview.

twitter card validation

For the less tech-savvy, the best way to implement Twitter Cards is via plugins and extensions. For example, if your website wasbuilt using WordPress, you can use theJetpackorJM Twitter Cardsplugins to start using Twitter Cards.

Be warned: using plugins makes it easier to implement Twitter Cards but not necessarily easy. One bonus are thehow-to docs Twitter has publishedto help you get up and running using plugins and extensions.

According to the steps at thebottom of this page, you need to, Run your URL against thevalidator toolto test. If you are working with a Player Card, request approval for whitelisting. All other Cards do not need whitelisting.

Heres an example of a summary card validation:

The summary card is designed to give folks a preview of your content before they click through. The content above the card is the original tweet and the content in the card comes from the blog post the tweet is linked to:

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