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How to Run Campaign Ads on X

2 min read
X Advertising
Laurette LaLiberte · Apr 8, 2024

Each election, a greater number of political campaigns are turning to social media platforms to reach potential voters. Given its wide reach and active user base, X (formerly known as Twitter), stands out as a powerful marketing tool. 

However, navigating the platform's policies and effectively using its features for political ads can be challenging. Join us as we walk through the process of running campaign ads on X, focusing on compliance with the platform's requirements for political advertising.

Understanding X's Requirements for Political Advertising

X has long been established as the go-to platform for political discourse and interaction. Since lifting its ban on political advertising in 2023, it’s possible for candidates to leverage the power and reach of X for political campaigns. 

In fact, it’s one of the few platforms where the public and leaders can interact on an individual level. The platform’s specific guidelines for political advertising were drafted to ensure transparency and integrity in the political discourse on its platform. 

These guidelines include:

  1. Ad Certification for Political Campaigners: Advertisers wishing to run political campaign ads must undergo a certification process. This involves providing documentation that verifies their identity and the legitimacy of their campaign.

  2. Transparent Ad Policies: Political ads must clearly disclose who paid for the ad, aiming to maintain transparency with the audience on X.

  3. Content and Conduct Policies: Ads must adhere to X's guidelines, which prohibit certain types of content and behaviors to maintain a safe and respectful environment.

  4. Targeting Restrictions: X places restrictions on targeting options for political ads to protect user privacy and prevent undue influence.

  5. Ad Library Access: Similar to other platforms, X requires political ads to be archived in a public ad library, allowing users to view information about the ad's reach, spending, and engagement.

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Compliance with these policies is crucial for any political campaign looking to use X as a platform for advertising. However, political discourse on the platform moves fast. It helps to go into your political campaign outreach on X with a plan and a few best practices that are designed to help magnify your reach to a select audience among its 255 million users

A Step-by-Step Guide to Political Advertising on X

Before launching your promotional campaign on X, you need to register for a Promoted Ads account. This can be done through the account you set up for your political campaign, which should be separate from your personal or business account on X. 

Simply log in to your account, go to ads.x.com, and sign up for X Ads from there. Any material posted from that account will be identified as “promoted content.”

Step 1: Complete the Ad Certification Process

Before launching any political campaign ads, candidates or their representatives must complete X's ad certification process. 

Under X’s guidelines, this involves:

  • Submitting Documentation: Provide proof of identity, location, and association with a political campaign or party.

  • Reviewing Policies: Familiarize yourself with X's political advertising policies to ensure that your campaign complies.

  • Multi-User Access: For campaigns that need access for multiple persons creating and managing your political ads on X, set up a multi-user login.

Step 2: Design Your Campaign Ad

Creating an engaging and compliant ad is crucial for success on X. Before posting anything on the platform, develop clear, concise content that resonates with your target audience. Make sure your ad includes a clear disclaimer indicating who is paying for the campaign ad.

In addition to promoted tweets (tweets you pay X for optimal placement), content is divided between image ads, video ads, and vertical videos, which are similar to IG/Facebook Reels or YouTube Shorts. Consider using relevant visuals or video to increase engagement.

Step 3: Plan Your Ad Targeting

While X offers various targeting options, be mindful of the platform's restrictions on targeting for political ads. The platform has specific guidelines for political advertising. 

This makes it essential to: 

  • Understand Targeting Limitations: Review X's policies to understand what targeting options are available for ads. For political ads, these are limited to age, gender, geolocation, interests and keywords, and custom audiences.

  • Select Your Audience Carefully: Choose demographic and geographic targeting that complies with X's policies while effectively reaching your intended audience.

Step 4: Set Your Budget and Schedule

Determine how much you're willing to spend and when your ads will run. You should decide on a daily or total campaign budget that’s based on your campaign's financial plan. Choose start and end dates for your ad campaign to align with key moments in your political campaign.

According to data compiled by WebFX, it costs about $0.26 - $0.50 for a completed first action, such as a tweet, and $1.01 - $2.00 per follow for promoted accounts. The average ad spend for business use ranges from approximately $100 - $1,000 per month. 

This monthly ad spend could be larger, depending on the level of office and competitiveness of the campaign. Your ad budget is best allocated according to your strategy and the performance of individual elements within your voter outreach plan. 

Step 5: Launch and Monitor Your Campaign

Once your ad is prepared and you’re sure that it complies with X's advertising policies, you're ready to launch. X will review your ad to ensure it meets all guidelines before it goes live. 

At this point, the platform’s analytics tools can be used to monitor your ad's performance, including reach, engagement, and conversion metrics. You can also obtain insightful data for ad optimization and conduct campaign monitoring with the AI Campaign Manager and other free campaign tools available from GoodParty.org

Step 6: Optimize Based on Performance

Analyzing your ad's performance data is key to optimizing future campaigns. Use insights from your X analytics dashboard to tweak your messaging, targeting, or ad budget. It’s important to continuously monitor your campaign to ensure that any adjustments still comply with X's political advertising policies.

Final Thoughts

Running campaign ads on X offers a unique opportunity to engage with voters and make your political message more public. By understanding and adhering to X's requirements for political advertising, completing the necessary certification process, crafting compelling and compliant ads, and strategically targeting your audience, your campaign can effectively leverage this powerful platform. 

Remember, the landscape of social media is always evolving, so it's important to stay informed about any changes to advertising policies and best practices. 

With the right approach, X can become a valuable component of your campaign's digital strategy, helping you to reach and engage with a wider audience of potential voters. 

GoodParty.org can be an important part of your campaign strategy by providing free access to campaign tools and expert guidance. Contact us to book a free demo of our free campaign tools today!

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How to Run for Office
Campaign Messaging
Campaign Technology
X Advertising
By Laurette LaLiberte
Laurette LaLiberte is an activist and freelance writer located in Michigan.