Twitter “cards” have been around since 2012, mostly to compete with Facebook’s ability for users to comment upon an embedded link that displays as an image below the “status update” post. But just in the last few months, this feature has taken on new life now that Twitter has rolled out seven different styles of cards for use by different types of content creators, allowing for summaries, photos, galleries, app downloads, media players and product cards optimized for retail — all of which are especially useful to marketers trying to engage their Twitter followers with content-rich tweets with a strong call-to-action.
There’s also card features built especially for mobile app developers that will allow followers to download your app or open content within your app.
So who’s on board? Who are the early adopters of this new-and-improved Twitter feature? Here’s a quick rundown on brands taking Twitter cards to the next level:
Acura — With a Twitter card, Acura offers its followers the first step to customizing the Acura of their dreams. Do you want a 4-cylinder or a V-6? Click one and then you’re off to the Acura site, already engaged with the product.
The NFL — Sure, it’s not been easy to be a PR person for the NFL these days, with all the problems associated with some of its top players being violent off the field against women and children. But hey! Who’s your favorite rookie of the week? Because maybe these rookies haven’t had time to scandalize themselves and the league yet. Here’s the NFL using a Twitter gallery card.
Skittles — When you’re a candy brand with Halloween just around the corner, it’s pretty easy for your marketing team to use your wacky TV ads as Twitter content. With a Twitter media player card, followers can watch this funny ad about a giant spider trying to lure people into its web with Skittles without leaving Twitter at all.
iHeartRadio — There’s a huge increase in the number of brands offering streaming music services these days, so iHeartRadio used a Twitter card to promote the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of Beatlemania to push back against Pandora, iTunes Radio and all the other competition.
Blue Apron — When your brand is all about fresh food and good recipes, like Blue Apron’s is, Twitter cards with big photos greatly improve your chances of engaging with your audience. Did you say end-of-season heirloom tomatoes?
Flickr — When you’re a photo brand with your own social platform trying to promote traffic using Twitter, which essentially competes with Flickr for eyeballs and traffic, it’s important for your photo content to look good to drive engagement, which is exactly what this Twitter gallery card template allows Flickr to do.
ModCloth — It could be as simple as using a Twitter card as an online coupon, enticing your Twitter followers to click through for saving going on now for a limited time, like San Francisco-based ModCloth does.
Monster — It can’t be easy to be a job site in a tough job market: lots of traffic, but when users don’t get the jobs they apply for, maybe your brand takes a ding for not panning out. Monster is making it easier to search for jobs, and easier on the eyes, with photos and videos embedded in Twitter cards in its Twitter feed, like this one.
Burberry — When you’re a luxe brand, the selling point for the high retail price is all in the details. With Twitter photo cards, the Burberry marketing team is highlighting those details that make its signature trench coat superior than the competition.
Etsy — When you're a retail site selling other designer’s goods, good photo content is key. So, Etsy is making good use of both the product Twitter card and the four-image photo gallery Twitter card, like this one.