Although long-defined by its tight character limit, Twitter has grown increasingly generous with the range of other media that can be attached to tweets, creating a richer experience for users and a more profitable solution for advertisers.
With Twitter cards, users and publishers can append a whole variety of rich media to their otherwise bland and restricted tweets including images, video, product descriptions and more.
If you’re a regular Twitter user you’ll likely have seen these Twitter cards in action already (see right).
These cards can be attached to your site content to provide richer and more compelling information whenever it’s shared via Twitter.
Generating and attaching these cards to your content is a (relatively) simple process that involves creating and adding the necessary meta tags and validating the cards with the approval team. See the full guidelines here.
But perhaps the most interesting card for content marketers is the “Lead Generation Card” (LGC) – an interactive format that allows users to click a call to action embedded in the tweet and complete some form of conversion such as requesting a brochure, a call from your sales team, downloading an ebook, and more. Crucially, LGCs are now available absolutely free.
Lead Generation cards generate inbound interest from users by allowing them to easily share their information with you from within a Tweet. Lead Generation cards automatically capture the user’s name, username, and email address and let them send this to you with one click.
And here’s how it looks in action:
There is enormous value in generating conversions right within the Twitter feed, with the potential to dramatically expand the role of your Twitter activity across the travel marketing funnel.
Like most social media, Twitter has long been most effective further up the marketing funnel, inspiring and engaging audiences and building connections with consumer influencers, but much less effective at generating actual leads or revenue further down the funnel. (For more on that see here and here.)
LGCs have the potential to turn that logic on its head and offer a huge opportunity to wring actual conversions from your previously soft and nebulous Twitter activity.
Unlike the other “regular” cards, LGCs are created in the Twitter ad manager interface (but remember, they’re still free!) For some reason they are also currently only available to accounts in the United States, Canada, the UK and Ireland. For step-by-step instructions, see this enormously helpful article by Dana Tan.
The potential uses of these LGCs are vast and varied. The obvious and most compelling from a sales standpoint is to generate direct leads by having users request contact from your sales team, submit a booking enquiry, or some other “hard” conversion.
But this might be a big ask, depending on your product and audience. Not many casual Twitter users are purchase intent, qualified prospects, especially not for B2C businesses like consumer travel brands.
However there are some subtler applications that offer a world of potential. For instance it is very easy to connect your call to action (CTA) to your email marketing or CRM system (see these instructions for Mailchimp.)
You could even set up a sequence of email auto-responders specifically for these Twitter conversions, with a customised series of email content following on from the original tweet and finishing with a final offer.
Likewise you could choose to connect your CTA to a direct ebook download, a brochure mail out, discount codes, or any other piece of content that you’re currently promoting.
The one major limitation (currently) is that unlike the other Twitter cards, LGCs can’t be attached to specific content or URLs. This is a shame as the ability to automatically attach these CTAs to tweets about your brochures, ebooks, downloadable travel guides, etc would be a huge asset. We’ll keep an eye out in case they introduce support for this feature in the future.
As with any content marketing activity, the key is to start by identifying your audiences (or “personas”) and what their particular content needs are. From there you can use LGCs to start translating some of your Twitter activity and audience into genuine, qualified prospects.
Drop us a line if you’d like to learn more.