Twitter Cards & Facebook’s Open Graph: #SMX New York 2014, Day 1!

Oct 1, 2014 | 1,373 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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Social engagement can be the way out if you want to cut down on cost and utilize a network that lets you be a game player of repute in the social world. This session involved a well thought discussion about how social posts should be crafted like ads to take social strategy to the next level. The speakers have discussed a variety of social media which can be used such as the Open Graph (OG) tags and the 9 types of Twitter cards.

Moderator:

  • Monica Wright – Director of Audience Engagement, Search Engine Land and Marketing Land (@monicawright)

Q&A Coordinator:

  • Amy Vernon – Head Honcho, Amy Vernon LLC (@amyvernon)

Speakers:

  • Merry Morud – Social Advertising Director, aimClear (@MerryMorud)
  • Courtney Seiter – Head of Content Marketing, Buffer (@courtneyseiter)
  • Evan Sandhaus – Lead Architect, Semantic Platforms, NY Times (@kansandhaus)

Merry provided a well- conceived introduction about the importance of social markup and various aspects such as viewing it as an ad or gateway, besides ensuring accuracy of content and optimal image size for content to be great. Courtney has traced everything from the nature of the Twitter cards and their types to the exact essence of Twitter analytics and how this can be used to stay ahead in the social game. Evan talked of an interesting The New York Times initiative called TimesMachine whose content is accessible via social media and just a few other avenues rather than anyone who searches for it online. The importance of social engagement for successful businesses were underscored by all the three speakers.

Essential Knowledge Open Graph Social Markup

Merry talked about just how important social markup is. She even said, “Content is king, but strategic content markup for social distribution is everything.” She also discussed the importance of open graph API as a source of integration between Facebook and the websites.

Social Markups Equal More Social Shares

Merry talked about how well formulated social markups can lead to a higher number of social shares and greater exposure of content to wider audiences. She mentioned why social markup leads to a rapid rise in social shares, focusing mainly on how:

  • Social markup leads to increase in click through rates
  • It makes content sharing among a huge number of users far easier
  • It also increases chances of users liking and sharing the content with others

Social Markup Matters: Social Shares=Good SEO Health

Merry also mentioned how social shares can translate into positive SEO for companies and businesses online. Social markup is important in this context, Merry feels, because investing in good links makes it easier for users to share content. This leads to better chances of getting more viewers and certainly more likes for the content. Strategic social markup is all about delivering content in a way that lets you take control over it all, opines Merry.

Facebook Open Graph

Merry discussed the merits of Facebook Open Graph such as its:

  • Integration with Internet and websites on the whole
  • Open Graph Tag Data which is pulled in by Twitter, Google and LinkedIn
  • Using customized Open Graph tags for homepages of websites
  • Facebook Open Graph Tags

Merry provided many inputs about how to tailor Facebook Open Graph tags to get the optimal results. She specified the following tips:

Title of the Open Graph

  • It should be within 88 characters or Facebook will shorten it
  • It should be in bold characters for maximal impact

Description of the Open Graph

  • It should be like the HTML descriptions for SERPs
  • Most vital messages should be covered in 100 characters and the total description should not be more than 200 words

Images for the Open Graph

  • The images should be of about 1200 X 627 pixels. Images should never be smaller than 400 X 209 or they turn into thumbnails
  • Using images for real life objects is likely to increase the number of likes.

Merry has also asked users to check their work through tools such as https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/ which clears the cache and lets users see what their latest post appears like.

Open Graph Plugins

Some of the Open Graph Plugins which Merry has discussed include:

  • Zencart
  • OS Commerce
  • WordPress
  • Magento
  • Drupal
  • Joomla
  •  

She also indicated that the Google Structured Data Markup Helper located in webmaster tools is ideal for those new to HTML. Merry concluded her presentation by talking about how users need to approach social markers like ad creatives if they want to achieve increased content sharing.

The Everything Guide to Twitter Cards

Courtney opened her presentation with the inspirational words of Twitter's Michael Sippy, saying “Twitter cards are an important step toward … creating new opportunities to build engaging experiences into Twitter.”

Value of Twitter Cards

Courtney stressed on how Twitter Cards can help digital marketers to use this social media for creating a rich multimedia through use of videos, pictures and more to enhance user experience. She indicated Twitter Cards were familiar, contained, portable, tactile, and consistent.

Types of Twitter Cards

Courtney identified 9 types of Twitter Cards namely:

  1. Summary: includes headlines and descriptions
  2. Photo Summary: involves use of small pictures
  3. Photo Card: uses large pictures
  4. Gallery Card: uses three pictures
  5. Product Card: provides fast facts about the size, prices, dimensions and other features of products
  6. Player Card: plays multimedia such as video, song besides being used for viewing slides
  7. App Card: displays app rating on the mobile device and is directly downloadable
  8. Lead Generation Card: can be used for call to actions such as signing up for email lists and groups
  9. Website Card: the only card in the pack which cannot be truncated, it can be used to take the user to your own website.

Websites and Lead Generation Cards

Courtney discussed how both these cards can be created via Twitter Advertising for free and all users have to do is:

  • Sign up for the cards
  • Make the cards
  • Use them

Other Twitter Cards

For these, Courtney specifies that the users need to edit the HTML on their site through either hand coding or plugins for HTML novices such as WordPress. Jetpack and JM cards are also needed.

Strategies For Twitter Cards

Courtney has specified how Twitter Cards can be optimized through:

  • Big and beautiful images
  • Engaging and interesting text
  • Different images, languages and titles
  • Experiment to find the sweet spot

Measurement of Twitter Cards

Courtney also discussed how Twitter Card Analytics can display data for those who have shared Twitter Cards apart from the product/ brand account. Twitter Analytics lets you have the following data, Courtney emphasizes:

  • Top Tweets
  • Change over time
  • Card Types (compares to other Twitter Cards)
  • Top Links
  • Influencers

She also said influencers can be used to find more viewers or buyers for the business product or site at a later date.

19th Plus 20th Century Social Media Optimization

Evan spoke of how the TimesMachine has gained success through the use of social media. This is an initiative of The New York Times.

TimesMachine

Evan was aiming to optimize The New York Times archives which were dating back to as early as 1851 with articles prior to 1981 being characterized as Deep Archive.

Users can access 11.3 million articles as they originally appeared in the paper in the form of PDFs which show the newspaper of that time in its entirety as well, through the TimesMachine.

Traffic Sources For TimesMachine

Evan discussed how traffic sources for TimesMachine were restricted to the following:

  • NY Times site search
  • Direct Traffic
  • Third Party Content Sites
  • Social Media

TimesMachine has been hidden from the search engine through no-index.

Through @NYTArchives Sandhaus used Twitter Cards to reveal interesting TimesMachine content at the conclusion of this session.

Twitter Cards & Facebook’s Open Graph: #SMX New York 2014, Day 1!, 4.0 out of 5 based on 4 ratings
1.thumbnail Twitter Cards & Facebook’s Open Graph: #SMX New York 2014, Day 1!
Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
1.thumbnail Twitter Cards & Facebook’s Open Graph: #SMX New York 2014, Day 1!
1.thumbnail Twitter Cards & Facebook’s Open Graph: #SMX New York 2014, Day 1!