If there’s one thing about social media that will always be true it is that it is constantly evolving – and Instagram’s latest social media app, Threads, is reminding us exactly how constant that is.
In Meta’s most recent copycat scheme to get a hold of another tech company’s market share (cough, cough, Twitter), Threads launched on Wednesday, July 5th as a companion to Instagram, earning 10 million sign-ups just seven hours after launch.
As of Thursday morning, Threads was the top free app on Apple’s App Store and, ironically, a top trending topic on Twitter.
While the new app shares many similarities with Twitter, marketers everywhere are still experimenting and learning this brand-new platform. With that comes a rumor mill fired up of self-proclaimed experts, even though the app literally just came out.
As a full-service digital marketing agency, Champ knows the importance of staying ahead of the trends and becoming an early adopter of new social media platforms, especially when they’re backed by giants like Meta.
So, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about using Threads for marketing your business:
What is Threads?
Threads is positioned as an app where people can have real-time, public conversations with one another. The platform is described as a “text-based” social media network that is meant to be paired with Instagram.
According to the official announcement, “Posts can be up to 500 characters long and include links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes in length.” You can easily share a Threads post to your Instagram story and/or feed, or share your post as a link on any other platform you choose.
The main feed looks similar to Twitter with virtually no fluffy graphics or images. With a chronological timeline of conversation threads, the mobile-only (for now) app sets the scene for back-and-forth conversations between users.
How is Threads different from Instagram or Twitter?
Most people are wondering how Threads is different from Instagram. After all, if Threads is for text-based conversations, what happens to the Instagram comment section or your DMs? Does it all become obsolete?
Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri says, “It’s less about text versus photos and videos and more about what public conversations you want to have. Do you want to engage in more of a back-and-forth, Threads make sense. If not, great, probably Instagram…”
In this way, Threads is a great tool for community-based brands that want active buy-in and engagement from their audience. For instance, brands like Glossier which are known for taking in feedback from customers to make new products and understanding internet culture will see the most success from incorporating Threads into their social media strategy.
Threads is also a direct competitor to Twitter. In fact, the app is already being called the “Twitter Killer,” ramping up tensions between Elon Musk, who recently bought Twitter, and Mark Zuckerberg.
The launch comes at an opportune moment after Musk received major backlash from Twitter users for completely changing the experience, including an overhaul of the verification program (blue check marks), getting rid of content moderation practices, and more.
While Threads looks nearly identical to Twitter in many ways, it carries an entirely different spirit – for now. For instance, Instagram’s privacy policies will carry over, meaning you have a bit more control over the audience who can see what you post as compared to Twitter.
Additionally, at launch, Threads lacks many features that Twitter has developed over the years of its reign, such as hashtags, trending topics, editing posts, etc. However, it is only the beginning, so time will tell how Meta chooses to differentiate Threads from its competitors and other social platforms.
How to get started with Threads
Getting started with Threads is honestly too easy. Those interested in signing up for the new app are required to have an Instagram account.
All you have to do is download the Threads app from your app store and then connect to your Instagram account. You will be prompted to set up your profile, with the option to simply import your Instagram bio and links with just one tap.
Of course, you still have the option to customize your profile specifically for Threads. However, for now, your username must be the same as your Instagram account.
Users can also import their entire following list directly from Instagram, making it super easy to get up and running on the app. This is great for brands and creators that have already built up an established following on Instagram, as many people are syncing their following lists between the two apps.
Our Threads predictions
Considering Threads is basically a newborn in the world of social media, there isn’t really anyone that can claim to be some kind of super expert in the platform.
Despite its similarities to other well-known apps, you should take this early adoption time to experiment freely. Social media strategy is, of course, important, but there’s a lot we’re still learning about Threads.
Here are our predictions as to what we can expect from the new app:
Threads will allow brands to hold space for their customers.
Unlike Instagram which will likely still retain a sense of “community building” for brands, Threads will spark more candid and unfiltered conversations between users. We predict that we’ll see more off-the-cuff posts with more personable content.
As consumers continue to value transparency and authenticity from the brands they shop with, Threads will prove to be a powerful marketing tool, particularly for e-commerce and niche businesses.
Threads will soon introduce advertising.
Although there are no ads on the platform just yet, Threads will likely become a supplement to Meta’s core advertising business, making it a great option for brands that want to be early adopters. You can possibly become first in line for beta testing and get on Meta’s good side when the time comes.
Moreover, when this feature comes out, it will be extremely simple for marketers to take advantage of. Since Meta already has an established social media advertising network, Threads will probably just end up being an additional check box in Ads Manager as a new placement.
However, given the history of Twitter’s own advertising efforts, it is clear that the text-based format is unlikely to attract as many ad dollars as Meta’s other platforms.
Twitter won’t be replaced, but it will become a “boomer app”.
As Gen Z ages into active consumers, conscious consumerism and authenticity are the name of the game. Brands are expected to speak with customers like real people. Stale copy, forced humor, and overly curated social media are losing traction with this generation, making Threads a great app for authentic, open, and lighthearted conversations.
Apps like BeReal, TikTok, and now Threads will likely take over as the main social media platforms for younger generations. As a result, Twitter will lose its sparkle, similar to Facebook, and become known as a “boomer app” – especially if they continue to struggle with technical issues and controversial policy changes.
Still, that doesn’t mean you need to delete your Twitter account and give up. Twitter can still be a powerful social media marketing tool for your business, particularly if your target audience happens to live on that platform.
3 ways to use Threads for marketing your business
1. Start conversations.
Engagement is key in a text-based platform like this. Consider being more conversational, fun, and personality-forward on Threads. Most brands and creators are already seeing major success with this approach.
We recommend thinking about relevant topics in your industry and framing them as questions, “hot takes,” or educational threads.
2. Repurpose content.
Threads is a great place to repurpose your digital content and experiment with text-based posts that start conversations. Try repurposing:
- Past Tweets and Twitter threads
- Instagram captions
- Instagram carousel text
- LinkedIn polls
- Facebook article shares
There is no need to reinvent the wheel when you likely already have a vault of pre-made content ready to work for you. Scroll down to some of your oldest posts and revamp them in a text-based format.
Plus, now there’s AI marketing to make your life easier.
3. Experiment with your content.
In the early days of an app like this, it will be important to observe your audience. See how they respond to different types of content. Do they prefer questions or informational threads? Are they engaging more regularly with personal and relatable content or branded promotional content?
Every brand’s audience will be different, so test out 5-7 styles of content on Threads before going all-in on the posts that seem to be making the most impact for your account.
Get social media updates with CHAMP
Our Boston & Chicago-based team prides itself on staying up to date with the latest social media developments so you can be an early adopter of new platforms like Threads.
Whether you choose to incorporate brand new platforms into your strategy or you simply want a team that can guide you through the decision, Champ is here to lead the way. Learn more about our social media management services today.
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