What is a Twitter Card and How Do I Get One
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It’s easy to improve your
Twitter posts by adding web page extracts, photos or video, so
increasing the visibility of your company, products or services with
You will be familiar with the expansion buttons underneath
tweets on your timeline which say “View Photo” or “View Media”. These
do just what they say, and appear when the tweet contains a photo or a
video, but you may notice that in the same place some tweets say “View
Summary”. On opening this summary you will find details of the web page
which has been shared in the tweet, showing a summary of the page’s
content, a link and often an associated photo.
By including this additional information about their web page
the owners enable a more interactive experience, with richer content
than just the normal 140 characters, so encouraging more readers to
visit the shared site.
So how do you ensure that pages from your site are available
in this way, driving more visitors each time your messages are shared
on Twitter. It’s really a simple matter of adding the relevant
information to your web site and getting Twitter to OK your set up.
Decide on the type of card you want to use for each page. You
might use the same type of card every time but you have a choice of
seven in total:
- Summary Card: Default card,
including a title, description, thumbnail, and Twitter account
- Large Image Summary Card: Similar
to a Summary Card, but offers the ability to prominently feature an
- Photo Card: A Tweet sized photo
- Gallery Card: A Tweet card geared
toward highlighting a collection of photos.
- App Card: A Tweet card for
providing a profile of an application.
- Player Card: A Tweet sized
video/audio/media player card.
- Product Card: A Tweet card to
better represent product content.
You’ll need to add the necessary additional information to
your web page in the form of “metadata”. Don’t panic it’s just a matter
of changing some normal English text!
Select the appropriate Card from the list on the reference
page noted in Step One, and copy the code section from the bottom of
the page, then paste it into a text editor. For example with the
Summary Card you will start with this code:
<meta name="twitter:title" content="Parade
of Fans for Houston’s Funeral">
content="NEWARK - The guest list and parade of limousines with
celebrities emerging from them seemed more suited to a red carpet event
in Hollywood or New York than than a gritty stretch of Sussex Avenue
near the former site of the James M. Baxter Terrace public housing
Leave the first line as is, but for the others you should
change what’s between the content=”” quotes to what you want on your
Twitter Card for that page. So for instance with “twitter:site” the
content would be changed from @nytimes to @yourtwittername. Do this for
each line so that the Card is tailored to your web page message. Some
of the lines can be deleted as they are not essential. Check on the
relevant Card documentation page which ones you must have for each Card
Once you have the lines how you want them, they need to be
added into the <head> area of each web page which needs
to use that Twitter Card data. If you aren’t able to do this yourself
e-mail the code lines to your web developer and refer them to this
article. They should know what they’re doing with it. If you use
WordPress there are plugins which will automatically extract the data
from your posts and format it into the “meta” data lines.
Having done this for a couple of your pages you should then
validate and submit those pages to Twitter for checking. Go to the Twitter Card Validator and enter
the url of one of the pages you’ve added your Card data to. The
validator will check that everything works, and if it does, will invite
you to submit your site for approval.
Once you’ve submitted you just have to wait for Twitter to
respond. This can take 2-3 weeks as it’s likely that your Cards will be
checked by a real member of Twitter’s staff who often reviews your
account at the same time.
Once cleared you’ll receive a confirmation e-mail and you can
then go ahead and add your “meta” data to other pages from your site.
There’s no need to validate and submit any more pages once your site
url is approved. You’ll find that once added to a page the summary
information appears on all Tweets which include that page link, even if
they were posted before you received your verification.
With just these few minutes work you can increase the
attractiveness of your tweets, stand out from your competitors, and so
increase sharing and the number of visitors to your site.
About the Author
John Norton, is a senior business and
finance professional with a big four, blue chip, software and
technology background, and board level leadership experience in
finance, IT, operations, customer service and general management.
He is owner of No Worry Web, which creates and manages small
business web sites and social media presence, for an all-inclusive
monthly fee. For further details see www.noworryweb.co.uk
or call 0845 5191 275. Authors Google+
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