*This is a thought piece published by Dash of Social® founder Ashley Mason, sharing her opinion on and perspective of Threads. As this is a new platform, some of this information could be outdated by the time you read it. We will do our best to update it regularly.
Imagine this: you’re a social media manager taking your first true vacation (or shall I say “staycation”) in six months and two major events in the social media world happen:
- Twitter goes off the deep end (for real this time).
- Instagram launches a brand new social media platform called Threads to compete with Twitter.
A collective groan from social media managers could be heard from around the world (kidding — kind of?) as they realize that their vacation is no longer a vacation, picking up their phone to think about whether they should jump ship from Twitter or not and diving into the world of Threads to figure out how they can leverage the platform for their clients.
That was me.
But after three days of doing absolutely nothing but laying on the couch and watching both seasons of The Bear in a span of 24 hours (IYKYK), I was antsy to get back to work and start feeling productive again. So, I was actually rather excited to geek out over this new platform and test it out for myself.
As someone who absolutely loves Twitter (it’s how I was opened up to the world of social media marketing, afterall), I was intrigued to see what Threads was all about, to say the least. With that, I can say that I’ve now had to force myself to lock my phone away in a drawer so I could stop scrolling and actually write this blog post because I knew that if I didn’t do that, three hours would go by, I would still be scrolling, and I would have accomplished nothing.
Oops. (But it’s for work, right?)
Without further ado, let’s talk about what I’ve gathered from Threads so far in the past 12 hours that I’ve been on the platform. Please note that this info and my opinions could absolutely change as the app develops, and I assure you that I’m not going to claim I’m some expert who knows anything and everything about the platform less than 24 hours after it launched (I’m not) — just simply sharing my observations.
An Overview of Threads by Instagram
From what I’ve noticed so far — and this could very well be different from your experience, as it’s just the content that I’ve observed in my own feed — most Threads users have not incorporated any type of promotional content for their products and services. Rather, the content appears to focus on humor, relatability, thought leadership, and community — four important pillars for any social media platform.
Examples of post categories that fall under these pillars that I’ve seen include:
- Articles / press features
Although a lot of this content is focused around providing value, the majority of it really aims to build a community by finding users who share common interests, goals, and values, whether it’s through topics people find funny, perspectives they agree with, or areas they want to learn more about. In terms of the format of the content, Instagram shares, “Posts can be up to 500 characters long and include links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes in length.”
The ability to include links within Threads is a huge win, as of course, not being able to include clickable links in an Instagram caption is a downside to the platform! Additionally, because the content on the platform moves so quickly like Twitter, I’m assuming that the best way to stay visible is to post multiple times on the platform each day, which may require more time.
So, as you begin to think about your content strategy for this platform, keep this direction in mind, based on what I’m seeing is performing well and resonating with users the most.
Growth & Community
Growth has been happening very quickly on this platform, as you create a Threads account by logging in with your Instagram account. When you create your account, you’re given the option to follow everyone you follow on Instagram on Threads as well, which means that it leads to a lot of crossover between the two platforms. I think I received more than 100 new followers on Threads within an hour, which was likely due to people who follow me on Instagram signing up for a Threads account and then following me there as well.
Many posts also appear to be picking up traction rather quickly in terms of engagement, likely because the platform is so new and users are excited to dive into it further. Instagram states, “Your feed on Threads includes threads posted by people you follow, and recommended content from new creators you haven’t discovered yet.”
It does appear that users are quickly finding their friends and building a community on the platform already, which is great. However, as of July 6, 2023, there doesn’t appear to be the use of hashtags on the platform, and there isn’t an option to send direct messages (DMs). Those could potentially change in the future, which of course, would be a bonus because hashtags do aid in growth on other platforms, and I personally love chatting with friends via DM.
Also as of July 6, 2023, there is no option to schedule Threads in-app, which is a given since the platform is brand spankin’ new. Additionally, there is no option to add a Threads account to Business Manager or Creator Studio at this time, which will hopefully change in the near future. And because this platform is so new, the option to add it to social media schedulers is not yet available (obviously).
For social media managers who manage dozens of accounts and small business owners who don’t have the capacity to post in the moment, the ability to schedule content in advance is crucial. So, I’m guessing that Threads may hopefully change that soon, but of course, it’s all up in the air for the time being.
As a marketer, analytics influence everything we do. We don’t just throw spaghetti at the wall and hope that it sticks but rather use data to drive the decisions that we make, based on what we see our audience like and dislike. As of July 6, 2023, Threads does not have in-app analytics available — and because it’s not available through Business Manager or Creator Studio yet, we don’t seem to be able to access analytics at all.
I have to admit that’s a huge red flag for me because how can I determine what’s working and what isn’t without straight guessing? And how would I be able to tell the growth of the account? Although I would love to be able to incorporate Threads into my clients’ strategies, I’m not sure that right now is the right time if I can’t even give them hard information on performance of their content. That, of course, could change as the platform evolves.
Incorporating Threads into Your Marketing Strategy
Should You Make the Move?
It’s hard to say whether or not Threads will be the next big thing. They say that good things take time, so I feel like all we can really do is continue to test and see how it plays out. You may remember Clubhouse and its explosion during the pandemic (RIP Clubhouse), and now it’s almost nonexistent. The same could very well happen here with Threads — it’s just too early to tell.
I’d say it doesn’t hurt to create an account, start posting, and play around with it, but don’t ditch everything else you’re doing in your marketing strategy and go all in on Threads just because it’s “hot” right now.
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