Thoughts on a fortnight of Threads
19 July, 2023
The platform is arguably still a bit rough around the edges but most first impressions have been surprisingly positive. Read all about the rough bits and what we’re loving…
You know something is fast when even Google struggles to keep up! Two weeks after the surprise launch of Threads some of the highest-ranking entries on Google are still for an apocalyptic war drama that aired in 1984. The launch was supposedly expedited to make the most of the decline of Twitter in the wake of the rate limit decision so on 6th July social media managers found themselves in a whole new world.
Threads - the lowdown
Threads is not available to countries in the EU due to privacy laws - some people have used a VPN to get round this.
Threads has no DM functionality - which is a blessing and a curse. Make sure your audience has up to date links to your website and CTAs to encourage them to get in touch directly if they need to.
So far, there are no GIFs or poll options in Threads - it’s pretty much back to basics, text posts with the odd image here and there. And don’t forget your @ tags and emojis.
There is no search functionality - so it’s hard to find specific things beyond just letting the algorithm serve you it.
There are no hashtags - so alongside the search functionality it runs a lot like TikTok minus any hashtags or search, mixing everyone up into whatever highly tuned, still-under-development algorithm Meta is using. This is quite jarring at first, but as you use it and interact with posts, it learns what sort of content you favour and serves you more.
Threads encourages you to auto-follow everyone you follow on Instagram - this is by no means obligatory, and you can always scroll your list of people you follow and follow them individually, or search for their profiles in the app.
There is no way to access Threads in your browser, or to schedule posts, yet - while it’s in the early days, this is probably quite a useful reminder that content can’t always be cross-posted verbatim across channels, and while this platform is in its infancy, it's a great time to try some new tactics while everyone else is too.
This might sound like a long list of limitations at first glance, but at the minute it actually makes for a more pared back experience once you get over the initial shock of not having quite so many features in front of you. Hopefully when new features are added they’ll slowly expand the usability of Threads. We can’t help but hope it doesn’t end up being a total Twitter duplicate, as so many platforms begin to look more and more like each other, differentiation is very welcome. It makes our jobs easier too - as you then know what to say to each audience on each platform.
So how do you make yourself known on Threads?
Well, there’s nothing unexpected here. It’s very much the same as other social media platforms - just newer and a little more pared back. Our four top tips:
Get started - it might seem obvious. Especially if you're in the B2B world there’s a minor barrier to entry - you need an Instagram account. It doesn’t have to be active, it just has to exist so don’t worry too much. If you delete your Threads account, it will also delete your Instagram account - for now. Crafty trick for retention? Possibly! The Drum had some interesting thoughts in the first week. Either way, maybe it’ll lead to more B2B brands carving a niche on Instagram? Or is Threads the niche? Time will tell.
Post engaging, valuable content - give people a reason to share your content and follow you to maximise reach. In the absence of hashtags, we’re relying on interactions with your content to seed it out into networks. Post good content - that doesn’t mean high-spec graphics and flashy videos, it just means thought-provoking content, encouraging conversation and relevant to the way you or your company speaks.
Interact with others and get involved in conversations - put yourself in front of new people. It works both ways - you must put content out there, and also interact with what other people are putting out there. Interact with the sort of content and people you want to see your content, and a few others that you enjoy as a human being. Refreshingly, Threads has refreshingly seen brands shed their polished veneers to allow the managers behind the accounts to be honest, human and humorous. Lean into it!
Leverage your existing audiences - if you didn’t ‘auto-follow’ everyone when you joined, you can return to that list and tap through. It’s likely they’ll follow you back, and it’ll help tell the algorithm what sort of accounts you’d like to see more of. Pop a link to your Threads profile in your newsletter - you know the drill. You’ll get seen by more people and be ahead of the curve by being willing to adopt and look around new platforms. Speaking of that, why not give us a follow while we all get to grips with Threads?
A few ideas for posts to start you up in Threads
Ask your community what they'd like to see from your brand on Threads directly. Don’t be self-conscious, just put yourself out there and ask. We’re in a rare season of experimentation - and we’ve got no idea what content Threads may end up settling on. Just ask!
‘A day in the life of’ Thread at an event. Or just a normal day! Don’t forget a mixture of text only posts, photos and videos. Add to the post as you go through the day, and @ tag people you come across or enjoy hearing from.
Explainer posts in Threads. Use the (theoretically) limitless format to add to over time. Explain a product or a service. Make an ‘Awards’ thread you can add to over time. Play around a bit and see how it goes!
Interact with other just as much as you post yourself. Yes, it feels uncomfortable getting yourself out there. But this is the way to appear on feeds, surround yourself with the right people and ultimately, communication needs to be a two-way street.
So are you getting onto Threads? Or are you not even sure where to start with your entire content strategy? Well, you can sign up to our newsletter for advice straight to your inbox or get in touch if you’d like to enlist a team of experts directly to help you. Speak soon!