Is it worth sacrificing part of your marketing budget to pay for X?

InsightFeatures Fri 22nd Mar 2024 by Katrina Bell

Is it worth sacrificing part of your marketing budget to pay for X?

Is it worth sacrificing part of your marketing budget to pay for X?

Feature by Katrina Bell | Fri 22nd Mar 2024

Katrina founded boutique digital agency Aardvark Multimedia in 2003, and has been a B2B journalist for over 25 years. She was the author of the Web Dr column for Essential Kitchen & Bathroom Business magazine focussing on online marketing strategies for KBB businesses. More

Are you planning to pay for enhanced access and services on X/Twitter or are there better options for text-based social content? Katrina Bell investigates.

Sacrificing part of your marketing budget to have your tweets seen has already felt like a step too far for many X users. And now in a bid to rid itself of a reliance on advertising – a revenue model Elon Musk has repeatedly stated he does not favour – X/Twitter has right-royally complicated its pricing structure. 

Can signing up to an annual fee of up to £11,400 ever give you a decent return on investment? Here’s how X wants you to shell out…

A business account is free and there are still advertising options known as 'Camxpaigns'. There are 8 categories – you choose what you want to achieve, i.e. more followers, video views, engagement and reach. Or it could be more specific such as driving traffic to your website or getting users to download your app.

So what happened to the blue ticks?

Aside from advertising, X has created a new subscription-based service called Premium, which is open to individuals and businesses.

Unless you have extremely limited followers and engagement, there may still be a rationale for paying up for a Basic plan – namely that customers are increasingly more comfortable conducting customer service over social media platforms. Basic is currently £1,920 which may not seem excessive when you factor in that your tweets will reach a considerably smaller audience without it. X has made no secret that unverified, non Premium users can expect their content to be choked. 

Add in the instant credibility and peace of mind a verification blue tick provides, there is a credible argument for subscribing. Only accounts actively subscribed to X Premium are eligible to receive the blue checkmark.

The story of whether there has been a steady trickle of users away from X or a spike depends on your source, however eMarketer predicts that X’s base will drop to 335.7m in 2024 – down around 32m. Not a big enough drop to warrant ignoring your customer base there. 

As for the competition, Bluesky – former Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s idiot brainchild – is a content desert. In mid February the platform put aside invitation-only users and opened it up to any new users. Prior to that, the content suggests it was industry insiders or committed nerds who received an invite code. I haven’t found a use for it in the last few months that’s for sure. 

The current logo, a Twitter-esque blue butterfly is a weird one, given how short lived a butterfly actually is. My advice is to claim your name and leave it be for now while the platform grows from its current 4.9m users.

Threads? More visual than Twitter due to its symbiotic relationship with Instagram and Facebook, you may have noticed Threads reels appearing in your Facebook feed. It’s less politically chaotic than Twitter and for kitchen and bathroom brands that benefit from design-led imagery and video across 3 platforms, it’s the best 'least bad' of the text-based platforms, with 160m users. It’s generally where the X defectors are ending up. 

What companies will be expected to fork out to grab eyeballs on Facebook/Instagram/Threads is unclear. A formalised 3-way spend is plausible moving forwards, although owner Meta may just expect you to pay 3 times for the same thing. 

Tags: insight, features, digital marketing, paying for x, paying for twitter

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