I am talking here about Twitter Cards, not sending birthday wishes, although, if you really want to, Twitter was first introduced publicly on July 15, 2006.
What are Twitter Cards?
Twitter Cards add more information to your Tweets and look similar Facebook or G+ messages that have links attached.
Using them can drive more traffic to your site and increase the number of people following you on Twitter.
There are different types of card depending on what you want to use them for.
Summary Twitter Cards
This is the default card used by the majority of sites that I have come across.The Summary Card is used for many kinds of web content (blog posts, articles news articles, products, businesses).
The tweet will look like a regular tweet except underneath you will see the words “View Summary” Clicking on this will expand the tweet to show you the extra content, which includes a title, description and thumbnail, which twitter grabs from your blog post or web page.
Here is an example of how Tweets look when I add links to my Making Money Methods Online blog.*
Other Types of Twitter Cards
- Photo Card: A Tweet sized photo card.
- Gallery Card: For collections of photos.
- App Card: Provides a profile for an app.
- Player Card: A Tweet sized video/audio/media player.
- Product Card: Specifically for Products
There are two stages to making Twitter cards work. First you have to add Twitter Cards meta data to your site and then request that Twitter validates your site. If you do not validate the Twitter Bots will not know to come and look for your Twitter Cards Information.
How to Add Twitter Cards Meta Data to your Site
- If you know how to add meta data manually, or use a WordPress Theme or Plugin that allows you to add to your site’s head section, then you can generate the code from the Twitter Card Validator Page
- If you are a self hosted WordPress user, and the above made no sense to you, then use a plugin. Yoast WordPress SEO has a twitter card feature but this did not work for me. The newer Jetpack Twitter Card integration did not work either. I know others who have had the same problem. Instead I use a free plugin called JM Twitter Cards and turned off the twitter card feature in WordPress SEO. The plugin can still take the title and description from an individual post’s WordPress SEO settings.
If you want to check that the meta tags are actually there you can view the source code of your site:
- In Firefox click on Tools/Page Info
- In Chrome click on the Customize Button and then on Tools/View Source
This is what my own Twitter Card Tags look like for my main blog page
<meta name=”twitter:creator” content=”@Sueblimely”>
<meta name=”twitter:site” content=”@Sueblimely”>
<meta name=”twitter:title” content=”Blogging Sueblimely by Sue Bride”/>
<meta name=”twitter:description” content=”Blogging and Social Networking Tips, Tools and Resources”>
<meta name=”twitter:domain” content=”Blogging Sueblimely by Sue Bride”/>
<meta name=”twitter:image” content=”http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/avatar.jpg”>
How to Validate Your Site with Twitter
- Once the twitter meta tags are appearing on your site go to the Twitter Cards Validator Page
- A pop up appears asking you what sort of card you want to use. Click on the card type you have added to your site. Don’t worry about the Try Cards Tab and click on the “Validate and Apply” tab. Enter your site url and click on the Request Approval button. Fill in the required information and submit.
- The pop up message will say “Thanks for applying to be part of Twitter’s cards service. We’ll review your request as soon as possible. Expect a few weeks for turn-around time. You will receive an email when your request has been reviewed.”
* I would have given an example of tweets from this blog but I forgot to validate it so my tweets are not yet tweaked.
Please let me know if you need any more information on setting up Twitter Cards on your own blog.
Do you use Twitter Cards for your own site?