Jan 3, 2024

A Guide to Marketing on Threads

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, Threads got off to a flying start early on. 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)?

  1. What is Threads?
  2. Who is using Threads?
  3. How do you get started with Threads?
  4. How can you use Threads to boost your brand?
  5. What brands are on Threads?
  6. How to create a strategy for Threads

We’ll also consider the thorny question of whether you should think about leaving X for Threads. Let’s get started.

2024 Social Media Calendar

What is Threads?

A Guide to Marketing on Threads

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.

Read: Our ultimate guide to AI in digital marketing to get ahead of the pack in the age of the Metaverse.

Who is Using Threads?

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.

How Do You Get Started with Threads?

You can sign up for Threads and create an account using your existing Instagram profile. Here’s what to do:

  • Download the Threads app.
  • Login with your Instagram credentials.
  • Create your profile.
  • Set your privacy preferences. (You can decide whether you want your account to be public or private, for example.)
  • Start producing and engaging!

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.

How Can You Use Threads to Boost Your Brand?

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.

Know your Threads features

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.

  • A 500-character post limit: Threads has a 500-character limit when it comes to crafting text-based posts. Much like X, you can respond to, quote, and repost other creators’ content.
  • Account status: It’s possible to set your Threads account to either public or private – offering more control in terms of privacy or visibility. If you sign up through your Instagram account, your Threads account will be verified automatically. Once your account is verified, your account will be displayed with a blue tick as proof.
  • Story sharing: There isn’t a dedicated Stories function on Threads – but you can share your Threads content to your Instagram account for extra engagement, traction, and cross-promotion. Doing this with a strong, stylized brand theme will help you stand out from your competitors and boost awareness.
  • Close friends circles and community curation: You can create ‘close friends circles’ and curate groups of relevant users or accounts to spark up extra-personalized conversations. You can then share targeted content that is more likely to offer value and spark engagement in these groups.
  • Advertising isn’t currently available: Formal paid advertising isn’t currently available on the platform, but is set for release during 2024. For now, the best way to boost your reach and showcase what you offer in a meaningful way using Threads is by leveraging the power of influencer marketing.

Download: Our ultimate guide to influencer marketing for practical tips and insider advice on using this powerful promotional medium to your brand-boosting advantage.

Avoid publishing bland or throwaway content

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.

What Brands Are on Threads

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.

Pizza Hut

Screenshot of Pizza Hut on Threads
Screenshot of Pizza Hut on Threads

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

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.

Screenshot of American Airlines Threads post
Screenshot of American Airlines Threads post

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.

Screenshot of Canva on Threads
Screenshot of Canva on Threads

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.

How to Create a Strategy for Threads

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:

  • Get started and try it out: Brands should at least have a presence there, even if it’s to grab a username because user numbers will increase in 2024. This is the time to experiment with the platform. So, if you create an account and start interacting on the platform, you’re halfway there. (Find out more about establishing a presence on Threads in our Trends webinar.)
  • Sit, watch, and listen: See what your competitors are doing, as well as other brands or sectors you’re interested in that have nothing to do with your industry. 
  • Think creatively: To build your audience and stand out on Threads, you need to be creative. By leveraging a balanced mix of the platform's best engagement options (more on that soon) and content formats, you will spark interest and start making promotional waves. 

Should you consider leaving X?

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:

  • First of all, look at your stats. There are obviously some areas that are continuing to thrive, like sports and breaking news.
  • See how many impressions your tweets tend to get on average. If your tweets or ex-posts aren't being seen by more than 2,000 people, it may be time to retire the account.
  • But you don’t have to delete your X account. You could just put it on hold and consider pinning a message to the top asking people to come and follow you over on Threads. That’s a nice cheeky way of driving traffic over to your brand-new profile on Threads.

Threads content engagement tips

To keep your Threads content fresh, take advantage of these Threads content options:

  • Repost relevant content in the form of quotes: Rather than just reposting, add your own thoughts to spark conversation.
  • Post topical questions and conversational prompts: Ask questions and create content that kicks conversations off and inspires interaction.
  • Try out surveys and polls: These are an excellent way to build a buzz and gather essential insights on relevant topics.
  • Hop on trending news in your niche: Become a thought leader, and you’ll boost your platform reach.
  • Create behind-the-scenes-based branded content: A glimpse behind the scenes will make for original content and bring people closer to your brand.
  • Share and curate user-generated content (UGC): This gives you endless scope for authentic content that will turn heads and create conversions.
  • Consider personal stories, thoughts, or opinions: This kind of content will make you stand out in a crowded space while humanizing your brand. However, avoid being too controversial!
  • Add motion graphics, memes, and striking branded video content: This is another way to grab visual attention time and time again.

Read: Our essential guide on how to create a social media strategy that drives brand awareness and return on investment (ROI) for added inspiration.

Conclusion: Marketing with Threads

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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Alison Battisby
Alison Battisby

Alison is a Social Media Consultant with Avocado Social, she is a Facebook and Instagram accredited social media expert and founded Avocado Social in 2014 having worked in the social media industry since 2008. Alison has worked with a wide range of brands including Estee Lauder, Tesco, and Pringles. Alison has traveled the world training companies including the BBC, Etsy, Canon, and Cambridge University Press. She offers social media strategy, training, and consultancy at Avocado Social across platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and TikTok. 

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