As we reported yesterday, your tweets might be limited to 140 characters, but that’s not enough to hold back marketers. The relaunch of Twitter for Business highlighted some of the creative ways brands have gone above and beyond to interact with customers. Now the company has introduced new ways to allow more data to be packed into those short messages through its Twitter Cards feature.
Twitter Cards make it possible for you to attach media experiences to tweets that link to your content. For example, if you share your Pinterest Pins on Twitter, your followers are able to see the pinned content within the tweet instead of having to visit Pinterest. This is particularly handy for publishers, who can use the Summary Card to display more article information, encouraging more clickthroughs.
Last night, Twitter added three new Card capabilities: mobile app linking, photo galleries, and product information. If your client or company has a mobile app, then you’ll want to pay close attention to mobile app linking. Arguably the most important Card feature, it allows members to download your app (if it’s not already installed) or deep-link into your own app (if it is installed) right from the Twitter stream.
“If a user does have the application installed, you can specify a deep-link into the correlated resource within your application,” explained Twitter. “When a user clicks on the ‘Open in app’ tap target, Twitter will send that user out into your application.” We should note that this will only occur if that individual is using a mobile device. If the app isn’t installed, then he or she will be prompted to download it after clicking on the link.
Marketers will also be interested in the product card, which provides you with a great way to showcase retail items on Twitter. Products are displayed with an image and description as well as two other key details, such as price and retail location. And if you’re a very visual brand, the gallery card enables you to represent collections of photos within a tweet. This lets the viewer know that there’s more than just one image at the URL shared — a great option for storytellers.
While each Card is important, mobile app linking takes the cake as Twitter demonstrates that it, too, can help app developers gain new users for their app. Over the past year, Facebook has made a huge push to help developers with discovery. More recently, Google began helping Android developers with the subtle download prompts included in its Google+ Sign-In button.
As one of the top social networks, Twitter had to show that it can continue to be a valuable resource for a variety of businesses. The new Twitter Cards certainly demonstrate that, and major players like Foursquare, Etsy, and Flickr have already signed up to use them. If you’re interested in implementing Twitter Cards, you can read more about what’s involved by visiting Twitter’s new documentation pages.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.