What Are Twitter Cards and How Do They Work?

What Are Twitter Cards and How Do They Work?


This is a 3-part series, researched and written by Matthew Johnson. Matthew is not only one of VPDM Digital’s 2014 student interns, he’s also a fourth year Brock University Student, specializing in Business Communications. Matthew is will answer the question of What Are Twitter Cards? He’ll also explain what they are exactly, how you should strategically use them to create more engagement and ultimately drive website conversions.

Part 1: What are Twitter Cards?

With social media engagement and marketing strategy finally becoming all the rage with local and national businesses, you’ve no doubt asked yourself one of these questions: What are Twitter Cards? How do Twitter Cards Work? Why should I use them?

Twitter cards allow companies to present media-rich messages to Twitter users. They have altered the way Twitter posts are presented.

Digital marketers are no longer limited to 140 character posts. They can now create posts containing visual imagery and product summaries.

Twitter cards for lead generation

Smart companies are using Twitter cards in a variety of ways. They may use them to encourage users to signup for an email list, register at a website, view and/or use a coupon, visit a landing page or to download an app.

Whatever their use may be, Twitter cards make your useful social media posts stand out.

Twitter users are more likely to click on Twitter cards because posts can be interpreted with little effort. Photos often contain a picture of the product and pricing information.

The product summary often contains product attributes. This makes it convenient for people shopping on Twitter.

For instance lets say Nike created a social media campaign to promote their new Nike Free FlyKnite shoes 4.0. Twitter cards would allow them to include a photo and description of the shoes along with a direct link to the webpage where the shoes can be purchased.


Advantages of Using Twitter Cards

There are obvious advantages that Twitter cards have over regular Twitter posts. Messages will stand out to customers because they include visual imagery. People will see the image and know almost instantly whether it is something that they are interested in.

The photos often include pricing information, which allow potential customers to determine whether the product is in their price range.

Product descriptions give users access to information about product attributes. Twitter cards also offer users a direct link to the page where the product can be purchased.

This makes it fast and easy for customers to buy the product, which caters to impulse buys. People that would not normally be aware of a product may end up purchasing it because they came across detailed information in a Twitter card. In fact, a recent Twitter study proves that exposure to brand tweets drive consumer action.

Creative use of Twitter cards help increase website traffic through sharing and by offering direct links. They allow users to easily find and discover content that they are interested in. Users that find an interesting post can easily share it by clicking the ‘share’ button.

This will give all their followers access to the same media rich message as the original post. Users simply need to click on the post and they have access to the companies website.

Website links can easily shared through other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Pinterest. Users can open Twitter cards without leaving Twitter. This means that Twitter users become aware of products and services that they are interested in by simply scrolling through Twitter.

This is a huge advantage for companies that cannot afford to spend boatloads of money on increasing awareness of their product.


Measuring Your Success

Measuring the success of Twitter cards is free and easy. Twitter analytics allow businesses to track the number of url clicks a Twitter card has, look at how many installs attempts have been made and how many times the post has been re-tweeted.

URL clicks occur when a user clicks on a Twitter card. Install attempts occur when a user downloads an app for the first time. Re-tweets occur when a user shares a link.

Twitter analytics is important for digital marketers because it allows them to track the success of their post.

Twitter analytics - measuring the success

Marketing teams need empirical evidence on the success of their posts. This allows them to gage what posts are successful at grasping the audience’s attention and what posts are not.

Marketers can use trial and error until they find a formula that works. For instance Nike may find that some of their posts are more successful in the morning and some are more successful in the evening.

This usually depends on the target market of the post and when that demographic is online. Marketers need to find when specific demographics are using the web.

They may find that people aged 50 to 60 are most likely to use the web in the morning. Based off of this information they would schedule posts targeted to this audience, early in the day.

Lets say that the marketing team for Nike wants to find out when to post content, rich with Twitter cards, promoting their Nike Free FlyKnite 4.0. Their target market is males aged 18 to 26. They would need to conduct research to find out when this demographic is using the web.

Based off of the data they collect they will be able to gage when to make posts targeted at this audience. Once a Twitter card has been posted twitter analytics is used to track the success of the post.

For instance the marketing team for Nike Free FlyKnite may find that they get the majority of their url clicks between 5 and 8 pm, which would influence when they make posts for this product in the future.

Successful social media marketing requires a researched and comprehensive social content strategy. Twitter cards can help your company’s tweets see a nice boost in engagement and click-through. Use them!


Coming Up Next: The Different Types of Twitter Cards

Now that we have discussed what Twitter cards are stay tuned for part two of this series, which will look at the different types of Twitter cards.

To wet your appetite, I’m going to show you how Twitter cards can be used in the following exciting ways:

  • Post up to four photos in a single post!
  • Drive traffic to mobile apps!
  • Play promotional videos right in the Tweet!


Stay tuned, I’ll publish Part 2 next week.


If you’d like to discuss your Twitter strategy and implementing the right Twitter cards in your social marketing, contact us today to plan your digital strategy.



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