QUICK FIXES

Is Your Business Missing This Twitter Essential?

15 August 2018

I spend a lot of time on Twitter. (It’s part of my job, I swear.)

Over and over again, I see businesses making the same surprising mistake. One which costs them shares, likes, and all those other little numbers we love so much.

(Oh, and it also costs them money.)

There’s a ten-minute fix for the mistake, and it’s going to make your business look 10000% more professional.

Instead of explaining the mistake, I’m going to use some pictures, since pictures are the whole problem.

Which Twitter link would you click?

One tweet with a plain link, and one tweet with a large photo of a woman performing yoga along with a title and summary.

No question, right? It’s the one on the bottom.

If all the links to your site look like top tweet, or even if they have a summary with no graphic, you have a problem. Your website developer made a mistake. Your social media squad hasn’t let you know. Your content writer is missing a trick.

You need Twitter cards.

 

What are Twitter cards?

Twitter cards are the graphics which accompany links on Twitter.

There are four (technically three and a half) types of cards:

  • Summary cards, which are ideal for most pages. They feature a graphic, the title of the page, and a description. You can also get them in….
  • Another version with a larger graphic. (This would be the half type.)
  • App cards offer a direct download option for mobile apps.
  • Player cards offer audio and video options. Video tweets have nine times the engagement of ordinary tweets, so they’re worth understanding even if you don’t work with video content at the moment. Youtube works well with player cards.

There’s no cost for using Twitter cards.

As long as your pages have the right coding, the cards will appear automatically whenever someone links to your site.

 

 

How to set up cards for your site

If you want to leave it to your site developer, they’ll be able to recommend the best solution for your budget and needs. Whatever they choose, it should still count as a quick fix.

(Though if I were you, I’d ask them why they never implemented cards in the first place.)

If your staff regularly makes changes to your site, adding summary Twitter cards is even more painless.

The solution depends on your site platform, so I’ll cover the most common among businesses. If you don’t find yours here, search for “[platform name] twitter cards” to find instructions.

Once you’ve set up Twitter cards for your site, double-check that they’re working by using the Twitter card validator.

 

WordPress

Twitter cards are easy to add with third-party plugins. (If you’d rather code, you can find those instructions below.)

While there’s a legion of plugins to choose from, my two favourites are WordPress SEO by Yoast and JM Twitter Cards. Both are free.

If your site already uses WordPress SEO, there’s no reason to download another plugin. It’s the work of a few seconds to enable Twitter cards, which are then created from each page’s featured image and SEO summary.

JM Twitter Cards is my top choice if you don’t already use Yoast. It’s a slim, purpose-designed plugin which allows you to change to regular or large graphics per-page,

 

Squarespace

Since Squarespace is already optimized for Twitter cards, missing them means something has gone wrong. Contact support for more details.

 

Shopify

Shopify doesn’t support Twitter cards off the shelf, but it’s reasonably easy to add cards even if you have minimal coding knowledge.

The official Shopify support documentation covers the process in detail. Make sure to follow it closely and avoid changing any other coding in the editor.

 

Coding

If you want to control the coding yourself, it’s almost as easy as installing a plugin.

There are plenty of code generators to choose from – I like this one since it allows you to specify your image and choose from the full range of Twitter card types.

Of course, you can also build your code from scratch. If that’s your style, you’re probably more coding-savvy than I am; I just write the sites people like you design.

 

This fix can’t wait

Twitter cards have been around for years, and any site without them risks looking like they don’t know what they’re doing.

Optimizing your site for social media is arguably more important than actually having a social media presence. With so many networks in action it can be difficult for growing businesses to focus on all of them, but by optimizing you let your fans do some of the work for you.

Fix your Twitter cards. It’s only going to take a few minutes.

Businesses keep making this simple mistake on Twitter. It loses them engagement, potential leads, and authority - but there's a ten-minute fix. Does your business have its Twitter cards in order?
Shay Sinclair

Shay Sinclair

Writer. Content Marketer. Gryffindor.

Shay Sinclair is an absolute geek about writing, wellness, and helping wellness businesses grow (through writing). Over five years of writing and ghostwriting she’s done everything from connecting multi-national wellness companies with their clients to increasing traffic for tiny start-ups. (She’s also a journalism graduate, so she hates talking about herself.)

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