It’s gratifying when someone links to one of your social profiles. It’s free advertising – and what’s better than that? You might not have a huge marketing budget. One free link could translate to thousands of dollars of business.
What is the link that displays saying about you and your business? If it’s generic-looking, it might not be saying much.
The solution is to come up with a way to display a killer image, some compelling text, and call to action whenever anybody links to your website or social profiles.
In other words, it’s time to create some social cards. Let’s talk about what they are, what they can do for your business, and how to create them.
All About Social Cards
What the heck is a social card? It sounds like a Jane Austen-era throwback, something you’d leave on a silver tray in someone’s entryway.
In a way, social cards are the calling cards of the digital age. Just as a printed calling card could show something about the owner’s personality, a social card is your opportunity to show off your business in its best (and most compelling) light.
Basically, it’s a visual “card” that displays whenever someone links to your website or social media profile. They typically consist of an image, some limited text, and a call to action.
One thing that makes social cards special is that the image is clickable. You’ll have room to put a URL at the bottom (that’s your call to action) but clicking the image will have the same effect.
Another way to think of social cards is that they’re amped-up hyperlinks.
What Social Cards Can Do for You
What can social cards for your website and social profiles do for you? The answer is: quite a lot. They offer the combined benefits of a backlink and an ad, and they’re free to make!
Here are some of the specific things that social cards can do for you.
They Show Your Business in its Best Light
Social cards show your business in its best light. If you don’t create a social card, you run the risk of getting saddled with a lackluster image pulled from the dark recesses of your website.
Think of it as the difference between choosing the perfect outfit for a date and having your closet randomly shoot out clothes for you to wear. Nobody would choose the latter option if the former were available.
They Make Sharing Links Easy
Without a social card, you’ll need to choose an image every time you share a link – or settle for whatever choice Facebook or Google makes for you. On Twitter, you won’t get an image at all if you don’t specify one!
Social cards use images consistently and eliminate the need for you to upload or select an image. Any time you decide to share your link, your social card will display.
They Give People a Reason to Care about Your Business
Perhaps the most important thing social cards can do for your company is give people a reason to care about your business – and to click your link instead of the next one on their Twitter feed.
When you create social cards, you have the opportunity to share the kind of image and text that will make your business stand out from the competition.
Quick Steps to Create Social Cards for Your Most Important Links
It’s very easy to create social cards once you know how to do it. Let’s walk through the steps you’ll need to follow so you can get it done.
#1: Get the Right Tools to Help You
The first thing you’ll need to do is check to see if your web platform has tools to help you create social cards. WordPress has a great plug-in called Yoast SEO that, among other things, simplifies the process of creating social cards.
If you’re not using WordPress, check to see what tools are available. If none are, you may want to consider switching to a platform that has some.
Another tool we like is AnyImage, which makes it very easy to create images with text to use as social cards. You can also look at tools like Canva or Photoshop if you prefer.
#2: Choose a Killer Image
What image will you use for your social card? It needs to be a killer – something that perfectly represents your business and what it can do for people in your target audience.
You may already have an image in mind. If not, you can use the tools we’ve mentioned above to create one.
Stock images can be a good choice if you select the image you use carefully. You don’t want something that looks posed. Sites like Deposit Photos and Shutterstock are good places to start.
Whichever image you choose, you’ll need to make sure that it’s properly sized for the social media sites you’ll be using it on.
#3: Craft Compelling Text to Go with Your Image
You’ll need two pieces of text to go with your image. The first is a title or headline. It should be larger than the supporting text and compel the reader to pay attention and learn about your business. Just a few words will do – if they’re the right words.
The other thing you need is a sentence or two of supporting text. The goal is to make a strong case for people to click your call to action. What will they get if they do? What benefits will they reap? Those are the things to focus on.
#4: Add a Call to Action
The final step is to add a call to action. If the card you’re creating is just for people sharing a link, adding your URL may be sufficient. However, if you’re promoting a service or building a list, you’ll want to add a CTA button instead.
The button should use strong action words to get people to click. Consider using a contrasting color or a different font to make your CTA stand out.
Social cards can make your business stand out…
If seeing your link is a potential customer’s first date with you, you don’t want the first word that comes to mind when they see it to be “generic” or “boring.”
Creating a social card will help you make the perfect first impression – and get your new customer relationship off to a good start.
If you need help creating and planning your social cards, contact CMG.