Threads may be new on the social media scene, but it has made some serious noise in a short space of time!
Positioning itself as the alternative to Twitter (X), this Meta-owned microblogging platform currently boasts more than 100 million downloads—with more joining the party each day.
Since its launch in July 2023 and expansion into the EU in December, Threads has gotten off to a flying start. But, will its success endure beyond the initial enthusiasm for this new platform on the block? And will it prove to be a bite-sized social media marketing tool that offers a real return on investment (ROI)?
We’ll also consider the thorny question of whether you should think about leaving X for Threads. Let’s get started.
Created by Meta, Threads is a short-form content-style social media platform that many see as the forward-thinking alternative to Twitter.
The Threads platform is in many ways like the platform formerly known as Twitter (which is now simply named ‘X’) in terms of feel and functionality. However, one of the key differences is that it’s decentralized. This means that rather than being regulated by one central entity, users can take charge of their privacy settings as well as the way they view, create, and interact with the content on their feed. A social media platform fit for the age of the Metaverse, Threads gives creators as well as personal users complete autonomy over what they create, and consume.
Since Elon Musk acquired X, and we’re still figuring out how the platform will change, droves of users are flocking to Threads as a better alternative.
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So far, Threads appears to attract users from a fairly broad range of demographics. However, there’s a bit of a skew when it comes to gender. In fact, according to one study, around 68% of users are male and 32% are females.
What’s also striking is that while users from all key user demographics use Threads, the bulk of the platform’s user base are Gen Zers.
96% of the platform’s users also frequently use the Meta-owned Instagram (which is a given, really), with 80% also being highly engaged on WhatsApp.
Threads has shown to be particularly popular in India, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and the UK. With the platform finally opening up to EU countries in December 2023, a market of almost half a billion was newly available, with the platform potentially seeing about 40 million more users per month, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Threads’ rise has been pretty monumental so far, with Mark Zuckerberg claiming that the app has a solid chance of reaching a billion users in the not-too-distant future.
Threads has positioned itself as a platform to empower content creators. And while its leadership team states that Threads doesn’t exist to amplify news, it’s also not anti-news. As such, Threads blocked user searches for the terms ‘COVID’, ‘long COVID’, and ‘vaccinations’, but is expected to lift these restrictions soon. One of the reasons may be a bid to improve platform engagement by creating a more open, conversational space.
Despite its current neutral stance on news, just days after the Israel-Hamas conflict erupted, droves of reporters began to share key updates on Threads, making it an outlet for current affairs.
At this point in the game, it appears that Threads, while still behind X in terms of overall numbers, is outperforming X in terms of downloads. The platform is on a steady rise – and if harnessed the right way, it could offer a treasure trove of brand-boosting benefits.
You can sign up for Threads and create an account using your existing Instagram profile. Here’s what to do:
Once you’re set up, you can tap into relevant communities, create short-form content, have interactive conversations, and share visual content (much like X).
Note: If you don’t have an Instagram account, you can still open a Threads account on the app to browse what’s there. However, you need an Instagram account to post anything and interact with others.
We’ve discussed the fundamentals as well as the current state of Threads—now let’s look at how you can use the platform to your brand-boosting advantage.
First of all, to get the most from Threads, you should take the time to know its key features.
These key features will help you navigate the platform and enable you to make your content more relevant, engaging, and consistent. Let’s take a look.
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The main goal of Threads is to create connected communities and promote meaningful conversations based on relevant subject matter or personal interests.
It aims to provide a space that sparks collaboration and empowers users to ‘trim the fat’ when it comes to enduring irrelevant content imagery on their feed.
While having a humorous tone works really well on Threads (and it’s a brilliant way to spark engagement while attracting users to your brand), you have to make sure your content hits the mark.
Now that we have a good idea of what the best practices on Threads are, let’s look at some good examples of who’s making a strong mark on Threads right now.
While a little cheesy (excuse the pun), this Threads post from Pizza Hut certainly isn’t a crime against social media. However, there’s little substance to it. In fact, it’s throwaway and quickly blends into the background.
American Airlines is picking up serious momentum on Threads with content that has a strong tone of voice, boasts a decent dose of humor, and is highly conversational.
In addition to its head-turning ‘Wednesday Wisdom’ content, the brand serves up punchy Threads content that is thematic and inspires conversation with well-timed topical questions.
Key takeaway: Make sure your content is relevant to your audience. And, before you press the Post button, make sure you actually have something to say. This approach will offer you a consistently healthy return on Threads content investment.
Canva, the visual design platform, is also standing out from the Threads pack with a consistent flurry of attention-grabbing content that strikes the perfect balance between engagingly educational, conversational, and downright fun.
This post, for instance, sparks curiosity, grabs attention, and goes against the grain of the typical content you see from similar brands on Threads. It is also a testament to Canva’s colossal following on the platform.
To get the best value from your Threads content, you need to think strategically. Having a clear-cut strategy that consists of looking, listening, testing, trial, error, and lots of creativity will earn you consistent engagement while amplifying your platform reach.
Here are some tips to help you craft an effective Threads strategy:
So, given the initial success of Threads, should you make the switch and jettison X from your social media strategy altogether? Here are a few things for you to consider when making your move:
To keep your Threads content fresh, take advantage of these Threads content options:
Read: Our essential guide on how to create a social media strategy that drives brand awareness and return on investment (ROI) for added inspiration.
Threads is a platform on the rise. Despite having many functional and aesthetic crossovers with X, this new kid on the microblogging block offers the potential to tap into tight-knit communities that are likely to respond to what you have to say.
Jump on the crest of this trending wave, approach your content strategy with care, and you stand a chance of gaining an edge on the social media marketing pack.
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