Some tweets that link to blog posts show snappy images or video in my Twitter feed–and they’re really attention-grabbing. Why is that? And, why do my tweets look so lame, comparatively?
The secret is… drumroll, please… Twitter Cards.
What’s a Twitter Card?
A Twitter Card consists of meta information, which is attached to the original web article or blog post, and it tells Twitter to display extra information in the tweet.
So, when Twitter sees a tweet with a URL, it checks that URL for this special information. If it’s there, it attaches a card that virtually screams, “Read me!” to the viewer.
These “cards” come in a number of flavors, including individual product listings and video players.
But for the majority of web pages and blog posts, the most appropriate type of card will be the “Summary Card” or “Summary Card with Large Image.”
And, as you might expect, these more visually arresting tweets can help you cut through the noise and drive engagement.
Add your own Twitter Cards to WordPress
So, how do we add this meta information to our WordPress posts and pages?
If you’re running the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast, you’re in luck; this will be a piece of cake.
Click on the “Social” option in the SEO section of your dashboard.
Then, select the “Twitter” tab.
Finally, just check the “Add Twitter card meta data” option and save your changes.
The Jetpack suite by WordPress.com is a second option you might consider for Twitter Card support.
Click on the “Sharing” option in the Settings section of your dashboard.
Then, find the “Twitter Site Tag” option and fill in your Twitter username (without the @ sign).
Jetpack will automatically select the appropriate card type and fill in the details for you.
For example, if you set a featured image, your page will get a Summary Card with Large Image. Nice, right?
Of course, if you want to use a dedicated plugin to implement Twitter Cards, there are many available from the WordPress.org plugin directory
The most popular is JM Twitter Cards and it provides all the card types. We use it on a number of sites with great results.
An important note: if you’re already running Yoast SEO or Jetpack, you may run into conflicts if you add another plugin for Twitter Cards.
Test Your Twitter Cards
No matter how you implement Twitter Cards, once you have them set up, you’ll want to do some testing. Drop the URL of one of your pages or posts into the Twitter Card Validator
Hopefully, you’ll see Twitter card preview. If not, and Twitter runs into trouble retrieving your meta data, you’ll know and you can troubleshoot the error.
Now, you’re tweeting like a pro!