Creative Ways to Use Twitter Cards to Promote Your Ecommerce Store

Creative Ways to Use Twitter Cards to Promote Your Ecommerce Store

Do you know that Twitter has a monthly active user base of 328 million users? Do you also know that 51% of these users earn more than $50,000? That’s a lot of purchasing power, isn’t it?

So the question is, do you use Twitter as a marketing tool for your online business? Most probably, yes. With such an amazing reach, you just can’t miss out on all the marketing fun.

Let’s introduce you to Twitter cards then. Twitter cards have been available for use since 2012, but their true potential is not being harnessed by most of the ecommerce businesses. In this article, we’ll cover:

Twitter Demographics - Pew Research Center


What are Twitter cards and their types

People use tweets – 140 characters of text – to express themselves on Twitter. What if you had the option to make your followers visualize what you’re trying to communicate?

With Twitter cards, we can show article summaries, highlight a picture, showcase a product or play a video on our followers’ timeline. We have discussed the power of visualization in our post on Instagram marketing.

Twitter cards provide rich media experience to your audience. There are 5 types of Twitter cards available for use at the moment:

Summary Card

The Summary card is designed to display a preview of the content you’ve shared in your tweet. When you add a summary card to your website, it displays the page title and description, thumbnail and Twitter account attribution in the tweet.

So what do we mean by account attribution? Twitter cards have a built in feature which displays the Twitter account of the creator of the content you posted. You can also display account of the website on which your post content is published.

This way, users can view profile of the creator or the website and follow them. For this to happen, you need to specify the creator or the website Twitter account in your Twitter card.A Summary card can be used for various purposes, you can be:

  • A restaurant owner showcasing your chef’s special or dish of the day;
  • A blog writer promoting your blog post or article;
  • A website owner highlighting news of the day/week;
  • An ecommerce store owner, showcasing your products.

Summary card example

Note: Twitter used to have Product cards which they discontinued on July 3, 2015 and mapped it to Summary card.

Summary Card with Large Image

This card option is very similar to Summary cards, except it shows a large image along with the summary. For example, featured images of blog posts are displayed with the tweet.

Twitter shows a clickable full-width image along with your tweet, which directs users to your website. You can maximize this card’s potential by using URLs along with images to display a gallery of image posts.

Summary Card with Large Image Example

Note: Twitter used to have Gallery cards which they discontinued on July 3, 2015 and mapped it to Summary card with large image.

App Card

If you’ve got an app development business, you want to promote your apps with a direct download button. Use this card type to display details of your app with an actionable button to get more installs. App card displays name of the app, description, icon, and attributes like user ratings and price of the app.

This card is available for the Twitter website, and Android and iOS mobile devices. But it is not currently available for the mobile web.

It may seem like a lot of work to set up such a card but it’s actually quite easy. All you’ve to do is provide a few details regarding your app – information relevant to different app stores. Twitter card processor does the rest for you. It automatically draws information from the app stores like reviews and star ratings.

App Card Example

Note: Twitter, by default, searches for apps in the US store. So if you’ve got an app in a different country’s app store, specify it in the card meta tags.

Player Card

If you want to share a video, audio or a media file, this card will let you add that media to your tweet. The media experience is quite similar to when you share a Youtube video on Twitter. The only difference is you can play a video or audio right from your website on your Twitter timeline.

Player Card Example

Website Card

This card is part of the Twitter ads. While rest of the cards are free to use, you need to pay for Website cards.

There are a lot of ad campaigns that you can run on Twitter. The “Website clicks or conversions” campaign creates website cards with an actionable button. It is used to encourage your followers to go visit your website.

Website Card Example

You’ll need to add conversion tracking and use Twitter analytics to get the most out of this card.

You can download your generated leads in CSV format and even set re-marketing for your campaign for this card type.

Pro Tip: When you’re running a campaign and you want your audience to contact you directly add the following link to your tweet – 

https:/{your account’s numeric user ID}

You can find your account’s user ID in Your Twitter Data section of your profile settings.

Twitter Cards for Ecommerce Store Promotion

Using Twitter cards is very much like posting image posts on Instagram. But a bit better.You are giving people something to see, to read and to act upon.

We’ll use the same principles of marketing we mentioned in our post on Instagram marketing.

Twitter cards can be used for:

  • Showcasing your product with Summary Card with Large Image: Have you ever felt you want to see more of the product before you want to buy it? What if you could give your audience a few more glimpses of the product? Make it a bit more certain that they’ll follow through to your website. Add your product page URL to the tweet along with product images and showcase the good stuff.Product Image Gallery
  • Promoting a product video with Player Card: Product videos are what sell your products. If you’ve got an amazing product video, share it! Use Player card and make your video easily available on all digital channels including Twitter.Product videos are so important we’ve even made a tutorial on how to use your Youtube channel’s videos as product videos in Magento 2.
  • Share your podcasts with Player Card: Are you creating podcasts, sharing information and expertise with your audience? Podcasts serve the same purpose blogs do. You want to reach potential customers by sharing your expertise for free. You want to influence them into giving your business a try.Share Podcasts with Player Card
  • Creating brand personality using Summary Card with Large Image: Summary Card with Large Image allows you create an image gallery. This gives you the freedom to share behind the scenes images, contest images, user generated content. People relate to stories. If you can provide them with your story and people like it, you’ve built yourself a solid brand recall.Behind the scenes
  • Building Social Proof using Summary Card with Large Image: Use the image gallery feature of the card to share images of satisfied and happy customers. People connect and relate to their peers. They trust peer recommendation more than any marketing effort you’ll ever put. Build social proof for your products and services.

A Few Quick Tips

When using Twitter cards, you’ll come across certain road bumps unique to Twitter cards.

Here are a few tips to remember when using Twitter cards for promotions –

  • Using Multiple Card Types: If you add more than one Twitter card type to your website, only the last one you added in the sequence will be given priority.
  • Using Multiple URLs: Remember, only a single card can be displayed for a single tweet. If you’ve posted a tweet with multiple URLs, a card will be displayed according to the following criteria:
    • Any image or media (video or audio) attached to the tweet will have priority over URLs.
    • If a URL appears first in the tweet, a card will be displayed for this URL.
  • Card Display: By default, Twitter cards show up only when a user expands your tweet or when viewed from the tweet permalink page. Exceptions to this default setting are Twitter ads and experiments run by Twitter.To display cards in your Twitter timeline, you can:
    • Pin your tweet to the top of your timeline. So when someone comes to your account timeline, they’ll see the Twitter card as the pinned tweet will auto-expand.
    • Upload images, videos or gifs directly with the tweet to generate a card.
  • Twitter Crawlers: When you’re adding a Twitter card for a web page, make sure that it is not blocked in your Robots.txt file. Twitter respects Google’s robots.txt specification when crawling URLs. So if you’ve blocked the URL in your robots file, Twitter won’t be able to show up a card.
  • Using App card: Remember to keep your app publicly available or Twitter crawlers will not be able to pull app information and generate a card.
  • Card Caching: Once you post a tweet and its card has been generated in the Twitter feed, its content remains cached with Twitter for 7 days.
    • In case you’ve made changes to your meta title or description, you’ll want to change the content of your Twitter card as well. Use URL shortener to generate a different URL for the same page and tweet using this URL for updated content.
    • If you’ve changed the image of your content and want it to reflect in the Twitter card, add an extra parameter to your image URL. Twitter crawlers will treat the new URL as a unique one and fetch the new image to display on the card.
  • Using Twitter Cards with Open Graph: It might be that you’ve set up Open graph tags and are also using Twitter cards. Twitter card processor will first try and find Twitter specific tags. If it can’t find them, it will use Open Graph tags to process your Twitter cards.Take benefit of this feature and set up your tags in such a way that there are no duplicate tags to describe your content and images.

Putting it all together:

Twitter cards are a neat way to convert your Twitter timeline into a living, breathing media rich experience. Cards make your tweets more conversational and interactive. Try and use them in as many ways as you can. Think out of the box, as to how you can make your audience interact more with you, visit your website and give your products a try. Along with the right hashtags, you can create marketing magic using cards and ad campaigns on Twitter.

Shardul Deshmukh

Shardul is the guy who takes care of growth strategies, content creation, and outreach within the community for HumCommerce. He enjoys watching movies and trying new food.