With over 232 million active users, Twitter is one of the top social media platforms and a component of many digital content marketing efforts. It is an advertising platform as well as a tool for organic search.
How do marketers gain the most utility from their Twitter efforts?
Besides tweeting great content in a timely manner and connecting with influencers (which requires skill), it’s easy. Make sure to use the html markup for twitter cards and post images within Twitter vs. a link or an auto-generated tweet from another social media platform.
What are Twitter Cards?
Twitter cards are html meta tags added to a particular website so that a rich snippet is attached every time an end user presses the tweet button on web content with share buttons. This adds additional content to the tweet besides the 140 character limit.
— Paul Shapiro (@fighto) October 28, 2013
See all that additional stuff? It makes you look at the tweet just a little bit longer. Long enough for someone to read a tweet, visit the linked website, and convert. According to Twitter, these cards will send engaged traffic to a website or even an app. Most marketers generally want their followers and other Twitter users that stumble across their tweets (via optimized hashtags) to get off Twitter and head to their site. You want more people in re-marketing pool for display advertising at least!
There are several varieties of Twitter cards for different content marketing initiatives:
After adding the metatags to the website (there are plugins for WordPress that will automate), one must validate through Twitter.
How to use Twitter Inline Images?
Pictures are another way to capture attention with additional elements besides the 140 characters. Twitter is making a strategic move to limit other picture content on its platform. The only images that are able to be seen directly within Twitter are those uploaded through the site. Auto-generated tweets of pictures from Facebook, Instagram, or anywhere else are only visible as links.
Belle Cooper wrote a blog on some data behind use of inline images. The results are clear; inline images within tweets increase engagement. In these case more re-tweets which means more targeted impressions for content.
The SEO Impact
Social media and search are merging. Twitter cards and inline images are an example of a social media platform developing new technologies as tools for digital marketers to share their content and draw end users to engaging websites.
From an SEO perspective, lack of Twitter cards and zero use of images is a fail when it comes to social efforts on the platform.
Twitter is creating new ways to engage with an audience with empirical data indicating their effectiveness. Implement them now.