You’ve seen them, even if you don’t know what they’re called. Expanded tweets that have extra text and images, or sometimes video. Some of them probably stand out in your timeline without being expanded.
If you’re tweeting your own links in public (and you know who you are), you should have Twitter Cards enabled on your website. There’s some code that needs to be on your website, so that when Twitter reads the link you’re putting into your tweet, it can read extra information like additional text and images that you can control.
You also need to have your website approved for one type of Twitter Card. It’s easy and quick, but you’ll need to know which type of card you want. There are 8 to choose from. My personal favorite is the Large Image Summary Card. The Summary Card has more text and a small thumbnail image, which is great and informative, but I sided with the large image since it’s typically more eye catching.
There are quite a few free plugins for WordPress that can help. I’m trying JM Twitter Cards by Julien Maury. This plugin is working great so far and has more than enough options for customization to satisfy the control freaks among us.
For Joomla, I searched for a free extension, but only found an outdated one from Ozer Kavak. It needed updating for Joomla 3, so I went ahead and did that and added card type choices to the controls. It’s a work in progress.
I have run into a small problem with editing Twitter Card information on a website that’s on a content delivery network (CDN). I checked out the documentation on CDNs and the robots.txt file. I also had delay issues with plugins or extensions that dealt with the cache of my websites while making adjustments to my cards. Once I got my default image set, everything else worked smoothly. If Twitter is important to you or your business, and your appearance matters, Twitter Cards are worth it. Once it’s set it up correctly, anybody’s tweet with a link to your website takes on a whole new look.
Here are the card types: