Adding Featured Images to Your Tweeted Blog Posts

By | April 17, 2016

So you’ve written a fantastic blog post and set the featured image, but all you’re seeing is bland text and a hyperlink when you tweet it.

A picture adds a thousand words to your tweet, grabs your audience’s attention, and drives traffic to your website.

This is a quick guide that will show you how to include the featured image of your WordPress post in your tweets.

Twitter Cards

In order to get images to accompany your tweets, you need to use something called Twitter Cards.

Twitter Cards are essentially meta tags that allow you to attach a photo or video to your Tweets.

Meta tags

When you tweet a link to your blog post, Twitter scans it looking for metadata, including a tag that points to an image.

So how do you add this metadata to your posts? Well, you could add it manually, but that would get tedious fast!

The simpler solution is to install a WordPress plugin that will do it for you. The one I used is called JM Twitter Cards, and I found it with a simple Google search.

JM Twitter Cards

You install JM Twitter Cards like you would any other WordPress plugin. Here is a link to the instructions if you need them.

After installing, you just need to fill out a little bit of information in the plugin’s settings page.

Your Twitter username goes in the top two fields, and then you select the type of card you want. For starters, go with “Summary below large image” so that a big image is displayed with an excerpt from the post below it.

JM Twitter Card Settings

Twitter Validation

The next step is to validate your blog with Twitter. This involves going to the Twitter Card Validator and entering a link to one of your posts.

Enter the URL of one of your blog posts

When you click on “Preview card”, Twitter will scan your post for the meta tags.

At this point, you should be presented with confirmation that your site has been whitelisted, along with a preview of the tweet. You only have to do this once.

validated_whitelisted

Twitter Read the Meta Data Successfully

That’s it! After following the above steps, you can delete your dull text-only tweets, and retweet them with brilliant and compelling images.

Troubleshooting

If you haven’t installed the plugin, or it wasn’t installed correctly, you may see the error message “Unable to render Card preview” after submitting it to the Card Validator. If so, try re-installing the plugin.

Twitter Can't Read the Meta Data

More information

Twitter Card Overview

 

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