Threads, the Meta-backed app and sister to Instagram, has swiftly gained momentum, amassing a staggering user base of more than 30 million since its release on July 5th (Update: after the weekend this blog was posted, Threads has now reached over 100M users… and counting). Today, we delve into the potential of Threads, exploring how it presents a new avenue for engagement, community-building, and as a viable alternative to Twitter for brands.
What even is Threads?
Threads is an app that aims to provide an alternative platform for micro-blogging, the format made famous by Twitter. Even the name “Threads” was previously a term coined by Twitter in its heyday.
Threads as a Community Builder
Because it’s so new, Threads represents a promising opportunity to connect with audiences in more authentic and impactful ways—think about it: everyone virtually starts at zero (until the rest of their followers join—and they’re real followers, not bots). By embracing this channel and perhaps adopting a more casual style that speaks to how fresh the platform is, we can augment our existing social tone and explore untapped avenues for success.
It is crucial to approach Threads with a unique perspective and not merely treat it as another marketing and content engine where you talk at your audience. You must talk to and with them. Instead of solely focusing on broadcasting content, brands should leverage Threads as a platform to foster conversations, encourage interactions, and establish a sense of belonging among their audience. By creating spaces for dialogue, brands can build deeper connections with their followers, strengthen brand loyalty, and ultimately drive business success.
A Channel for Authentic Engagement
Unlike other platforms where content can often become noise, so far, it seems like Threads offers an environment where engagement is noticed and valued. By actively participating in conversations and listening to their audience, brands can gain insights, tailor their strategies, and establish a stronger brand presence on Threads and beyond. And right now, when it’s so new, it serves as an ideal space for direct engagement with your brand’s niche influencers—they might actually see your Thread and respond.
For brands who have effectively cultivated their Instagram presence, we strongly recommend leveraging Threads as an additional channel for brand representation and engagement. Given its rapidly growing user base, Threads offers an excellent opportunity to expand reach and connect with your audience. Collaborating with your LEWIS team to devise and implement strategies tailored to this platform will ensure a synchronized approach and maximize the potential for success.
The Role of Threads in the Media Mix
At present, the recommended strategy for Threads is centered around using the platform as an awareness and engagement driver (monetization will come at 1B users, according to a thread by Zuckerberg). This channel holds immense potential for promoting culture content, employing engagement tactics, and potentially running campaigns that resonate. We’re excited to see how the platform evolves and how this will shape advertising across the Metaverse.
A Viable Alternative to Twitter
While Twitter has, for better or worse, established itself as a prominent platform especially amongst B2B brands, it is essential to recognize that Threads offers a compelling alternative. Twitter’s turbulence over the last few months has forced many brands to rethink their presence on the platform. With declining user engagement and updates to their advertising and subscription programs, it is unsurprising to see individuals and brands looking for new ways (and platforms) to engage with their digital communities. Additionally, in the fast-paced world of social media, the old adage “innovate or die” has never rung truer. As digital landscapes shift, user preferences evolve, and new platforms emerge, the ability to adapt and innovate becomes paramount for brands and agencies alike. The introduction of Threads serves as a timely reminder of the need to embrace new avenues for engagement and reimagine our strategies to stay relevant in this ever-changing ecosystem.
And unlike some of the other competitors that have popped up, like Mastodon or BlueSky, Threads automatically prompts users to follow brands and individuals they are already connected with on Instagram. This creates a sense of authenticity and community, as users can seamlessly transition their built-in Instagram network to this new platform.
Threads is still brand new and a 1.0 version, so there will inherently be design flaws and some bugs. However, the platform feels like a natural evolution of the social-sphere. But Threads is still a Meta platform, and with that, it comes with some baggage. In fact, it’s not even launching in the EU yet due to privacy concerns. Jack, the founder of Twitter, Tweeted a screenshot of the data that’s collected on each of us when we download Threads—and it’s a lot. However, if users have a personal Facebook and Instagram, which many of us do, there doesn’t seem to be too much concern. But should there be? That’s a topic for another conversation (since it’s just meant to serve us better ads, right, Mark?).
In the rapidly evolving social media landscape, Threads has emerged as a formidable player, offering brands a unique alternative to Twitter. By embracing this innovative platform, brands can unlock the power of engagement and community-building, fostering authentic connections with their audience. With Threads’ seamless integration with Instagram and its growing user base, brands have an opportunity to leverage this platform strategically, driving meaningful interactions, and standing out from the noise prevalent on other platforms. There might be some drawbacks with user data and privacy concerns—but is any social network safe from these concerns?
Let seize the opportunity to harness the full potential of Threads and revolutionize the way brands engage with their audience.
And follow me on 🧵: @jacmo