Ever see those tweets that have Facebook-like posts below? Those are Twitter cards. Fairly easy to implement (but currently can only be seen on Twitter/Twitter apps) they’re ideal for commercial real estate purposes. You can display an image plus some text – all you need along with a link to promote a post. And a much better way to promote a listing instead of the normal, boring 140 character tweet.
The first step in creating Twitter cards is to apply for approval. To do that, you’ll need to create your first Twitter card. Log into your Twitter Analytics account using your Twitter credentials then select Twitter Cards from the menu at the top. Under the “4 Simple Steps” section, click on “Try Them.” Then select “Get Started.” (I have no idea why they make this so difficult…)
Select the type of Twitter card you want to create. Summary (more text, small image), Photo (large photo, little text) or Summary Large Image (large photo, more text) are simpler and suitable for a listing or blog post. There are options for Gallery (more than one image) and Player (video) but they can be a bit tricky to implement.
Once you select your card type, fill in the information on the Meta tags form. You can leave any info that’s not required blank since Twitter will be able to automatically get it from your site and Twitter account. (I noticed that when I did fill in sections, it was over-written.) When finished, click on “Update Preview” to refresh the Meta tag info on the right.
Copy the Meta tag info to paste into WordPress in the post you want to create a card for. You’ll be pasting this into the Meta section on the page of the post you’ve selected for your card. If you don’t have a section like this, first check the WordPress Screen Options (drop down link under the “Hello” at the upper right of the screen) and, if they’re listed, make sure SEO or Meta tags is checked. If they’re not listed, install a plug-in like Yoast SEO – https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/. Once you’ve added the Meta tags, update your post.
Now go back to the Twitter Card preview page in Twitter Analytics and select the tab “Validate and Apply.” Enter the URL of the post you’ve added the Meta tags to and click on GO.
You should get a response that it was successful. If not…keep trying by tweaking the information on the first tab and replacing the Meta tags in WordPress. Don’t forget to update the post each time. It took me a few times to get it right.
Since it’s your first time, you’ll be asked to apply for approval. Scroll through the form, fill in then submit it. According to Twitter, approval takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks but I got approved in a few hours.
Tweet your post and you should see the card when you click on “View Summary” below the Tweet. Note that you can only see the cards in the Twitter app. They’re not visible in HootSuite or other third party Twitter apps.
To add more cards, use the method above (Twitter’s Meta Tag creation tool) or copy the working Meta tags from your first post, modify it, then paste into the Meta section in other posts for which you want cards. Or install a plug in like WP Twitter Cards that automatically creates and fills in Meta tag fields for each post. (Note that some plugins don’t support all Card types.)
Plugins can sometimes get it wrong – and it’s usually the image. Luckily with most plugins, you’ll see the Meta tags and be able to edit them. To check that the photo image URL is correct, find the image in your Word Press Media Library, select Edit then copy the file location. Paste it somewhere then compare to the URL the plugin selected. If the plugin got it wrong, change it then save/update.
Once you’ve been approved any post to which you have added Meta tags, will display a Twitter Card. If you don’t want a Twitter Card for a post, remove the Meta tags in the post.