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Twitter's efforts to bring more eyeballs, and thus ad revenue, back to its web experience and branded apps have given content marketers reason to jump for joy.
Here is a breakdown of the current expanded tweets ecosystem, and some targeted strategy for app-based businesses.
Yesterday Twitter announced some new features for its "expanded tweets" via the developer blog. The last announcement and product that we saw come out of this new area for Twitter was Vine, and from a content marketing perspective that was really exciting.
Now, Twitter Cards have expanded in feature set for showcasing apps, products and photo galleries, so if you are a publisher with a mobile app (hello NYTimes, Economist...etc.) or a business who considers themselves to be "mobile first," Twitter just became your new best friend.
According to Jason Costa, the author of the developer blog announcement, new app deep-linking and the three news Cards “closes the loop between content creation, content discovery and app downloads”.
What this means for content marketers
With these changes content marketers can now show information about an app, including a description, rating, or price.
They can also represent products via a gallery view (think Pinterest) and two “customizable fields,” which will let you include more brand information or individual details about the product.
Finally, there is now a gallery view (again think Pinterest) that will indicate to the end user from the stream that once they click through, they will be seeing more than one photo.
Who is already using the new Twitter Cards?
Parnters that were originally announced as part of the expanded tweets program include Amazon, Fandango, CNN, and the music app Soundcloud.
The announcement made yesterday prominently featured Path, former Facebooker Dave Morin’s alternative social network which is a heavy mobile play.
An example of a joined up desktop and mobile content approach
Industries that already do well sharing their content on visually driven social networks include travel and dining. Let’s take a recipe site with a mobile app as a perfect example of how these new cards can be taken advantage of for a joined-up approach to content marketing.
1. Incentivise sharing through a leaderboard or giveaway.
Now that Twitter will link directly to an app download page, you want to motivate your customers/users to contribute as much content as possible through the platform.
In the recipe site example, a content calendar should be created around which foods/searches perform the best throughout the year, and contests to share images from at-home-chefs for each Holiday should be planned out and promoted in advance.
2. Get your community active across the microformats already involved in expanded tweets.
We know from the announcement made yesterday that Flickr, Foursquare, Path, and Vine will all be integrating the newer Cards. Again for the recipe site example, now is the time to form an ambassador program on each of these communities in advance.
If you can incentivise someone already active in the area of sharing pictures of food to try your recipe website/app then help spread the word, you will be ahead of the curve.
3. Move your community to an ethos, not just an app
If you have incentivised and planned out your content marketing efforts in advance, you should begin to see an uptick in app downloads thanks to your efforts. But don’t forget that a new user is inundated with hundreds of new app choices every day.
By making a market differentiator a part of your community ethos (again for the recipe site example: “we are a truly global community of at-home-chefs,” or go specific with “we are the leading place to find vegetarian options whether you are at home or on the go”) then making sure your embassadors and contests continually touch on the same message, you are more likely to carve out a unique selling point and succeed.
Do you already use Twitter Cards as a part of your content marketing strategy? Tell us more in the comments.