Twitter engagement increases dramatically when you use images.
I have been experimenting with Twitter Cards on my WordPress blogs for a few weeks now, and all I can say it that they are fantastic, but only when they work. While I tried hard coding, I also tried a couple of WordPress plugins and finally settled on one plugin, which works perfectly well.
What are Twitter Cards though? They are a facility that Twitter offers to add images or even video to normal text only Tweets and re-Tweets of blog posts. From the point of view of authors in particular, this is a fantastic opportunity to have, for example, your book cover appear in any of your selected Tweets, or re-Tweets by others about your book. Here’s and example of a re-Tweet of one of my Tweets and notice how not only the image is attached, but also a summary of the article.
— Carrie De Simas (@CarrieDeSimas) May 1, 2015
When it works, it’s a great boost for engagement. However, Twitter Cards don’t always seem to work, as they rely on Twitter to deliver the additional content for your Tweet. Even though the following Tweet is set in exactly the same way as the previous example for Twitter Cards, it doesn’t work.
However, the following Twitter Card does work on this particular re-Tweet, which is set in exactly the same way as the previous example.
— Just Publishing (@justpublishing) April 29, 2015
Because these Tweets rely on Twitter for content delivery, I am not even sure how my embedded examples will show up on this post, as because they are scrips, they could either work or not.
That is the killer with Twitter Cards. When they work, they are fantastic, and attract far greater engagement, but they are highly unpredictable, and as I have noticed already, a Tweet can work, or not, on different devices. For example, while a Tweet will remain as text on my laptop, the exact same Tweet will include the Twitter Card image etc on my iPad.
But, are Twitter Cards worth implementing on your blog or website? Yes definitely, but understand that they are a long way from perfect yet.