Creating twitter cards: A (worthwhile) pain in the ass

We’ve long known that tweets which include images perform better, or receive greater engagement, than text-only tweets. In fact, research has shown that tweets with images are 150% more likely to get retweeted than tweets without images! So it’s pretty fair to say that if you’re not including images in most of your tweets, you’re leaving opportunities for engagement on the table.

But what if you could take that a step further and use images to actually help drive people to your website content? Well, you can. When a twitter user clicks on one of your tweeted photos, there are basically two options: the photo can either expand to become a larger image, or it can serve as a hyperlink that sends the user to desired content.

Here’s how to make that happen:

  • First things first: Log into your Twitter account, and go to the Home page.
  • Click on your Twitter profile photo/Profile & Settings in the top right corner to trigger the dropdown menu. Then select Twitter Ads.
  • At the top of the page (near the left), select the Creatives dropdown menu and then choose Cards.
  • Near the top right is a button with the words Create Card. Click that to trigger yet another dropdown menu and select Website Card.
  • When the ‘Create website card’ popup appears, under Media, choose Select image to insert the picture that you want to include in your tweet.
    • Use an image of 800 x 418 pixels for an aspect ratio of 1.9:1, or use an image of 800 x 800 pixels for an aspect ratio of 1:1 (max 3mb).
      Write a headline specific to your content or that page that is less than 70 characters, though we recommend 50 or fewer characters so that the title isn’t truncated.
  • Add the website URL for the content to which you want to send people.
  • Give the card a unique name. This is just for you to keep track of it; users won’t see it.
  • Click Preview (to do exactly that), and when you’re happy with the look, click Create.
  • Now that you’re back in the Cards library, hover over the image/card you want to share and select Tweet.
  • Type your message (256 characters or less), unselect the box that says Promoted Only, and then click Tweet.
  • Your tweet with the hyperlinked image is now shared!

For those who skipped reading to watch a screencast, here it is!