X-Rated Advice for Ex-Twitter users

Jan 25th '24

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’re probably familiar with Elon Musk’s rebrand of social media platform Twitter to X. This means we’ve had to say goodbye to “tweets,” “retweets” and our old friend, Larry the Bird. Despite the rebrand having an effect on the popularity of the platform in the UK (recent YouGov polls suggest two thirds of users have had an adverse reaction to the rebrand), there’s no denying that X remains a relative monster in the social media world.


The good news is, despite all these changes, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) rules and principles remain the same- and don’t forget that reposting (formerly ‘retweeting’) an editorial post from another user (“user generated content”) means that that post is your responsibility, because you’ve adopted and incorporated it into your advertising.


Read on for some top tips to help you avoid a big red X on your campaign.


  • X (Men) Origins

As is true for all the other social media platforms, and indeed all media, advertising on X – whether it’s a post from a brand about a product they sell or influencer or affiliate marketing – must be obviously identifiable as advertising.


As a fabulous claim to fame for X, the ASA’s very first ruling on an ‘influencer marketing’ scenario in social media involved a Wayne Rooney/Nike tweet in 2012 (and yes, we can still say ‘tweet’ when it’s in the past!).


For more detailed guidance on the principles, see the ‘Influencers’ guide to making clear that ads are ads’ and this article here.


  • X-tremely limited on space

One of the few things that hasn’t changed on X is the 280-character limit. Of course, this limit means sometimes, you can’t include all the information you want to – but it’s worth bearing in mind that this limit is unlikely to be a good enough reason to leave out important/material information or significant conditions for promotions – which could reasonably be included in an image or a very clearly linked thread (using ‘1/3’, ‘2/3’, etc. for instance).


The ASA has upheld numerous complaints about X/Twitter posts because significant conditions in a promotion weren’t included.  If a promotion has too many significant conditions to clearly include in an X post, it might be that X isn’t the right place to tell people about it. For more on this topic, see ASA resources here.


  • Find your X crowd, ask us Y

Targeting is important, particularly for certain types of content and for advertising of certain products like alcohol, gambling, HFSS foods, slimming regimes and cosmetic interventions. The ASA’s 100 Children Report found that at least 11% of the children monitored had set up social media accounts which falsely suggested they were over the age of 18, highlighting the importance of robust targeting on such platforms.


The ASA will always expect you to use all the tools available to target appropriately on any platform and ensure that you have taken all reasonable steps to avoid your ads being seen by someone who (for example) due to their age, shouldn’t.


Aside from targeting, there are other rules that concern the protection of children. For example, the ASA upheld a number of X posts from Betfred because they featured boxer Anthony Joshua – a figure that the ASA thought was likely to appeal strongly to those under 18, a conclusion that they came to partly by analysing how many of Anthony Joshua’s X followers were under 18 (1.1 million).


Source: Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP)


Having trouble planning, scheduling, or creating content? You can pick from a selection of our services.


Find out about our influencer marketing services, here.


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