The launch of LinkedIn in 2003 and Facebook in 2004 set the gold standard for what all social media platforms should be—a place to engage with existing communities of friends and colleagues, and make new ones. The decade that followed brought us YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok. It’s been a while since a new social media platform has emerged and dominated people’s attention—that is, until Threads launched earlier this month.
And with each launch of a new social media platform, brands have had to consider if this will be an important platform for awareness building and/or audience engagement. It’s still very early days of the platform and our analysis, and many businesses and even journalists (including Brian X. Chen and Mike Isaac at The New York Times and Nicole Nguyen at The Wall Street Journal) are trying to determine if it’s a platform they should be active on. To help understand if Threads is right for your brand, let’s dive into what it is.
Threads was introduced by Meta and designed to rival Twitter. The platform looks a lot like Twitter, with a feed of text-based posts designed to start real-time conversations, and blends much of Instagram’s aesthetic. Threads requires users to have an Instagram account to sign up, and new Threads users are encouraged to follow their Instagram connections. Threads and Instagram are inherently linked.
Right now, it feels like everyone on Threads is at the first day of school. Early adopters range from celebrities and influencers to techies and brands:
- Most brands—consumer or B2B companies—are using humor to find their voice and followers on the platform, according to AdWeek. A handful of B2B brands and media publishers are using it to syndicate the same content they’re posting on Twitter to see what traction it gets.
- Some business and tech journalists have caught onto Threads and have ditched or are considering ditching Twitter. The majority are hesitant to do so given the inherent direct link Threads has to their personal Instagram account.
For communications professionals, we have found Twitter and LinkedIn are still incredibly effective methods of engaging with the media and influencers. And for companies, Threads currently seems to be primarily a tool for consumer and mainstream brands to communicate with their customers.
That said, like other B2B tech communications professionals, we’re in a “test and watch” period with Threads to see what brands and journalists are active on it, the tone they use, the cadence for posts, etc. That research enables us to make more informed recommendations to clients on if and how they should approach the platform. For brand marketers and communications professionals currently considering Threads (or answering questions from their executives about whether or not to be on Threads), we recommend basing your decision on existing communications goals and answering the following questions:
Identify Your Target Audiences: Who are you trying to reach? What are their communications preferences in terms of cadence and platforms? What platforms are they on? Are they on Threads?
Determine Your Content: What do you want to say to those audiences? What content is available to share with your audiences, regardless of platform, to align with brand messaging and campaign initiatives?
Figure Out Your Tone: What tone and personality do you want to show on social media? Are you comfortable going out of the box and being more playful for Threads?
Consider Your Resources and Commitment: Effectively using any social media platform requires continuous effort and content creation to keep your channel vibrant. Does your organization have the necessary resources and commitment to maintain the platform effectively? Feeding the platform with fresh and engaging content is crucial for long-term success.
Every brand is unique, and the decision to incorporate Threads into your communication strategy should be guided by a thorough understanding of your organization’s goals, audience, content, tone and style, and available resources. Embrace innovation but do so with careful consideration and a clear understanding of how it aligns with your brand’s overall vision and objectives.