Twitter is one of the world's biggest social networks and it's a powerful platform that can be leveraged to send your blog a lot of highly targeted traffic. But there's always been a limitation of using only 140 characters in your Tweets.
The 140 character limit doesn't give enough of the space we often need to promote our blog posts. You can only enter a line or two and a link to promote your content.
We are allowed a lot more characters for Facebook, and Google+, to share a longer snippet of our content which provides a lot more information to our potential readers. Twitter users have needed more space for a long time and now Twitter has finally responded by introducing Twitter Cards.
It's like a open graph implementation from Twitter Cards API, that enables them to have their own card format. This can actually add a title, image and description to your Tweets.
Once you set it up, you can check the Tweets going out from your blog and look for the Expand button in your Tweets.
Users who Tweet links of your content, will have a “card” added to the Tweet that’s visible to all of their followers. If they click on the expand button, they will see a detailed summary of the blog post.
How To Setup Website For Twitter Cards
Now lets see how can we setup Twitter cards for our website. There are many WordPress plugins, which can help you in implementing Twitter cards.
One thing is that if you are using Facebook open graph and want to implement twitter cards along with it, you don't have to implement all cards. It falls back to open graph information if it doesn't fine any specific twitter tags.
Twitter Cards Types
Twitter has introduced many types of twitter cards like summary, photo, gallery etc. Here is a list of all cards which is supported as of now:
- Summary Card: Default card, including a title, description, thumbnail, and Twitter account attribution.
- Summary Card with Large Image: Similar to a Summary Card, but offers the ability to prominently feature an image.
- Photo Card: A Tweet sized photo card.
- 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.
Here is a video guide on How to Activate Twitter cards on your WordPress Blog:
Note: For more tips you can subscribe to MakeWebWorld YouTube channel.
WordPress SEO By Yoast
This is one of the most widely used SEO plugins for WordPress and it is developed by Joost de Valk (I don't see any reason why you would not be using it).
This provides an easy integration for Twitter cards. You can activate it from WordPress SEO social settings, you just need to select the check box and add the twitter handle for your account.
It automatically takes care of adding meta tags to your post. It also avoids duplicity of the tags by using open graph tags, if you have it activated on your site.
It provides an easy integration if you are just trying to implement summary card on your site. If you want any other type of card you need to do some coding.
JM Twitter Cards
This is another good plugin, which can help you implementing Twitter cards on your site.
JM Twitter Cards plugin allows you to customize the Twitter cards for each post, which is good if you have multiple types of contents on your site. So your one post can have summary card and other can have an app card.
The plugin is already compatible with WP SEO by Yoast and All in One SEO. You can activate this plugin and it will get the data automatically from the SEO plugins.
Apply For Twitter Card Integration
Once you have implemented it correctly on your site, you have to apply for Twitter Cards Integration for your site.
Twitter takes a week or two in approving the request and you will receive an email once it is approved. My experience with them is little better, I got it approved within a day for Makewebworld.
For the twitter cards request, you need to go to Twitter Cards Validator. Select the type of card you are trying to verify and it will take you to a screen where you can enter the URL.
You can enter the URL and preview the card, it will also tell you what tags are available on the page. If you find any issues, you can correct the tags on your pages.
Once you are satisfied with the presentation, you can submit your request for review. Twitter will review it and will approve the domain integration for your site.
You will receive an confirmation email once it is approved and details of your post will start appearing on the twitter with twitter cards.
It is already activated on YouTube, so if you promote your YouTube links on Twitter, you will get the “view media” links in there.
You need to apply multiple times if you are planning to implement multiple twitter card formats on your blog. You need to raise 1 application per type.
If you have not activated Twitter cards yet, this is the time. Go and have more details embedded in your Tweets with Twitter Cards for your blog promotions.