X Advertising: Mastering Native Advertising on Musk’s Social Platform - DirectPayNet
stacks of cash and a cell phone with the X social media logo on it

X Advertising: Mastering Native Advertising on Musk’s Social Platform


X, the social network acquired and rebranded by Elon Musk, has quickly become a hotbed of activity, attracting users from all walks of life with its promise of free speech and open discourse.

As X continues to gain traction, marketers are taking notice of the platform’s advertising potential. With its unique user demographics, engagement patterns, and Musk’s vision for the future, advertising on X presents a compelling opportunity for brands looking to reach a wide and diverse audience.

Unlike traditional social media giants like Facebook and Instagram, X offers a fresh perspective on advertising. Its approach to content moderation, ad policies, and targeting capabilities sets it apart, providing brands with a new canvas to showcase their products and services.

Differences from Facebook and Instagram Advertising

While Facebook and Instagram share some similarities in their advertising platforms (as they’re both owned by Meta), there are several key differences that marketers should be aware of when deciding where to allocate their ad spend.

User Demographics and Engagement

One of the most significant distinctions lies in the user demographics and engagement patterns on each platform. Instagram tends to skew younger, with a higher concentration of users under 35 years old. This demographic is often more visually oriented and responsive to compelling imagery and video content.

In contrast, Facebook’s user base is more diverse in age, with a broader range of interests and content preferences. Users on Facebook are generally more inclined to engage with text-based content, news articles, and shareable posts that foster discussion and interaction among friends and family.

Ad Formats and Targeting

While both platforms offer similar ad formats, such as single images, videos, and carousels, there are nuances in how these formats perform on each platform. Instagram’s strength lies in its highly visual nature, making it an ideal platform for brands with visually striking products or services. Native advertising through Instagram Stories and Reels can be particularly effective in capturing users’ attention.

Facebook, on the other hand, offers more robust targeting options and detailed audience segmentation. Its comprehensive data collection and user insights allow for highly targeted campaigns, making it a powerful tool for brands with specific niche audiences or complex buyer personas.

Content Moderation and Brand Safety

Another key difference lies in the approach to content moderation and brand safety. Under owner Elon Musk, X has taken a more relaxed stance on content moderation, potentially raising concerns for brands regarding brand safety and ad placement.

Examples include reactivating Trump’s account and the growth of hate speech. Though Musk doesn’t seem to be concerned about making X a content watchdog.

In contrast, Facebook and Instagram have traditionally maintained stricter content policies and moderation practices, providing a more controlled environment for advertisers. However, this approach has also faced criticism from some quarters for perceived censorship or bias.

Pricing and Cost-Effectiveness

When it comes to pricing and cost-effectiveness, the platforms exhibit notable differences. Instagram ads generally have a higher cost-per-click (CPC) compared to Facebook ads. However, this higher CPC may be offset by Instagram’s potential for higher engagement rates and conversions, particularly for visually-driven industries.

Facebook, with its larger user base and more extensive targeting options, can offer a more cost-effective solution for certain ad campaigns, especially those focused on website traffic or lead generation. Ultimately, the choice between Facebook and Instagram advertising will depend on factors such as your target audience, campaign objectives, and the nature of your products or services.

Contrasts with Twitter Ads (Pre-Musk Era)

While Twitter has long been a popular platform for advertisers, the acquisition by Elon Musk has brought about significant changes that differentiate the current X advertising landscape from the pre-Musk era. Here are some key contrasts:

Targeting Capabilities

Twitter’s advertising platform has traditionally offered robust targeting options, allowing advertisers to reach specific audiences based on interests, demographics, and behaviors. However, with Musk’s acquisition and the subsequent workforce reductions, there are concerns about the platform’s ability to maintain and enhance its targeting capabilities.

The loss of key personnel and potential disruptions to data collection and analysis could impact the effectiveness of targeted advertising on X, at least in the short term.

Workforce Reductions and Advertiser Support

One of the most significant changes under Musk’s ownership has been the massive workforce reductions at Twitter. Thousands of employees, including those responsible for advertising operations and client support, were laid off. This has raised concerns among advertisers about the platform’s ability to provide adequate support and address their needs promptly.

In the pre-Musk era, Twitter had a dedicated team of advertising professionals to assist brands with campaign setup, optimization, and troubleshooting. The loss of this expertise and support infrastructure could pose challenges for advertisers, particularly those with complex advertising needs.

Elon Musk’s Vision and Influence

Perhaps the most significant contrast between the pre-Musk and current eras is the influence and vision of Elon Musk himself. As the new owner and CEO, Musk has made it clear that he intends to reshape the platform according to his own principles and beliefs.

This unpredictability and potential for rapid changes in policies, features, and priorities has created uncertainty for advertisers who previously had a more stable and predictable advertising environment on Twitter. Musk’s outspoken and often controversial persona has also raised concerns about the potential impact on brand reputation and association.

There’s also the blue checkmark major brands and users can pay for. Instead of earning the verified mark, it can be bought. Brands like Apple, Disney, CNN, and IBM all pay a monthly fee for it. Smaller brands can get the blue check for the same price.

The Power of Native Advertising on X

One of the most compelling aspects of advertising on X is the opportunity to leverage native advertising through conversational threads. This innovative approach allows brands to seamlessly integrate their messages into the natural flow of user interactions, creating a more organic and engaging experience for consumers.

Engaging Users Organically

Traditional advertising methods often feel disruptive and intrusive, leading to banner blindness and low engagement rates. Native advertising on X, however, offers a refreshing alternative. By participating in conversations and sharing valuable content within threads, brands can capture users’ attention in a way that feels natural and unforced.

This approach aligns with the core principles of X, which encourages open dialogue and the free exchange of ideas. By positioning themselves as thought leaders and engaging in meaningful discussions, brands can build trust and credibility with their target audience.

Building Interest and Driving Conversions

The true power of native advertising on X lies in its ability to guide users through a journey of discovery and interest-building. By participating in relevant conversations and providing insightful perspectives, brands can pique users’ curiosity and gradually introduce their products or services as solutions to the topics being discussed.

As users become more engaged and invested in the conversation, they are more likely to be receptive to the brand’s messaging and open to exploring its offerings further. This organic approach can lead to higher conversion rates and more meaningful connections with potential customers.

Leveraging the Conversational Nature of X

X’s conversational format lends itself perfectly to native advertising. Unlike traditional social media platforms where content is often consumed passively, X encourages active participation and dialogue. This dynamic environment provides brands with the opportunity to respond to user inquiries, address concerns, and tailor their messaging in real-time.

By leveraging the conversational nature of X, brands can create a sense of personalization and authenticity, fostering deeper connections with their audience and increasing the likelihood of driving desired actions, such as making a purchase or signing up for a service.

Best Practices for X Advertising

To maximize the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns on X, it’s essential to follow best practices and stay up-to-date with the platform’s ever-evolving features and policies. Here are some key considerations:

Ad Formats and Creative Best Practices

X offers a variety of ad formats, including promoted posts, video ads, and conversational ads. When selecting the appropriate format, consider your campaign objectives and the type of content that resonates best with your target audience.

For example, video ads can be highly engaging and effective for product demonstrations or storytelling, while conversational ads excel at driving user interactions and building brand awareness through organic conversations.

Regardless of the format, it’s crucial to create compelling and visually appealing ad creative that captures users’ attention in their fast-paced feeds. Use high-quality visuals, concise copy, and clear calls-to-action to increase the chances of users engaging with your ads.

Targeting and Audience Segmentation

X offers robust targeting options that allow you to reach specific audiences based on various factors, such as interests, demographics, behaviors, and even real-time conversations. Leverage these targeting capabilities to ensure your ads are reaching the right people at the right time.

Consider creating multiple ad sets with tailored messaging and creative for different audience segments to improve relevance and increase engagement rates.

Budgeting and Campaign Optimization

Effective budgeting and campaign optimization are essential for maximizing your return on investment (ROI) on X. Start with a reasonable budget and closely monitor your campaign performance, adjusting bids, targeting, and creative as needed to improve results.

X’s advertising platform provides detailed analytics and reporting, allowing you to identify top-performing ads, audience segments, and optimization opportunities. Regularly review these insights and make data-driven decisions to refine your campaigns for better performance.

Leveraging Influencers and Partnerships

Collaborating with influencers and forming strategic partnerships can be a powerful way to amplify your reach and credibility on X. Identify influential voices within your industry or niche and explore opportunities for sponsored content, product endorsements, or co-branded campaigns.

When working with influencers, ensure their values and messaging align with your brand’s identity and that they have a genuine connection with your target audience.

Staying Agile and Adaptable

As X continues to evolve under Elon Musk’s leadership, it’s essential to stay agile and adaptable in your advertising strategies. Monitor platform updates, policy changes, and emerging trends to ensure your campaigns remain compliant and effective.

Be prepared to adjust your approach as needed, and don’t hesitate to experiment with new ad formats or targeting options as they become available. Embracing a mindset of continuous learning and adaptation will be key to long-term success on this dynamic platform.

By following these best practices and staying attuned to the unique nuances of advertising on X, you can unlock the full potential of this exciting new platform and drive meaningful results for your brand.


About the author

As President of DirectPayNet, I make it my mission to help merchants find the best payment solutions for their online business, especially if they are categorized as high-risk merchants. I help setup localized payments modes and have tons of other tricks to increase sales! Prior to starting DirectPayNet, I was a Director at MANSEF Inc. (now known as MindGeek), where I led a team dedicated to managing merchant accounts for hundreds of product lines as well as customer service and secondary revenue sources. I am an avid traveler, conference speaker and love to attend any event that allows me to learn about technology. I am fascinated by anything related to digital currency especially Bitcoin and the Blockchain.