Last week the social media world’s mind collectively blew as Instagram/Meta launched a new social platform—Threads. Whenever a new network drops, business owners have a tendency to immediately panic, get overwhelmed, frustrated and question everything they’re doing.
As your marketing and social media bestie, I’ve got your back. You don’t have to figure it all out. I’ll do that for you, and share what you need to know so you can make decisions that are best for you and your business. Now, the app is a brand new newborn baby, so we are all still learning the ins and outs and pros and cons. Beware…anyone who claims to be an expert or have hacks and Threads strategies at this point is a modern day snake oil salesman. Run, don’t walk back to me if they try to tempt you, okay?
This article not about how to hack the Threads algorithm or use it strategically. This is all about getting you up to speed on the basics. I will continue to update my content, thoughts and tips as I learn more.
So what do you say? Should be dive in? In this article, I’m going to cover:
- What is Threads
- How to set up and use Threads
- Pros and Cons
- Answering the question: Should you use Threads for your business?
What is Threads?
Threads is a new app, built by the Instagram team, for sharing text updates and joining public conversations. Yes, it’s Instagram’s “solution” to Twitter.
Instagram’s vision with Threads is to take what Instagram does best and expand that to text, creating a positive and creative space to express your ideas. Just like on Instagram, with Threads you can follow and connect with friends and creators who share your interests – including the people you follow on Instagram and beyond.
The Bigger Picture
Instagram is talking a lot about the idea of creators being able to “take their followers with them” to other apps. We all know this is a concern with social media marketing. You don’t own your followers, the network does.
Instagram has said they are committed to giving you more control over your audience on Threads and that they plan to work with ActivityPub to provide you the option to stop using Threads and transfer your content to another service.
If you have a public profile on Threads, this means your posts would be accessible from other apps, allowing you to reach new people with no added effort. If you have a private profile, you’d be able to approve users on Threads who want to follow you and interact with your content, similar to your experience on Instagram.
How to Set Up & Use Threads
Once you download the Threads app, set up is SUPER easy. Which is probably why over 70 million people created accounts within the first 3 days of the app’s release. Your Instagram username and verification will carry over, with the option to customize your profile specifically for Threads.
To set up Threads, just go to threads.net or download the app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. It will walk you through setting up a customized profile, or you can simply import your info from your Instagram profile. You can choose a public or private profile. Then you’re good to start “threading”.
How Threads content works:
- Posts can be up to 500 characters long and include links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes in length.
- You can choose to follow the same accounts you do on Instagram, and find more people who care about the same things you do.
- You can easily share a Threads post to your Instagram story, or share your post as a link on any other platform you choose.
Pros & Cons
No social platform is perfect, so let’s talk about the pros and cons (in my humble and early opinion).
- Text only is welcome. Even though you can add photos and videos, posting text only posts is more than welcome. This is good for those who prefer not to show their face or are hesitant to share video.
- Seamless integration with Instagram for set up & sharing content across platforms
- No ads (yet). The plan is to wait at least a year before any monetization of Threads.
- There are no DMs (take that spammers)
- There are really no rules right now. It’s like a content playground where you can experiment and test things out.
- It’s another platform to manage
- The constant posting can be hard to keep up with. There isn’t any categorization of content (no hashtags either) so it can be a little hard to keep up.
- If you weren’t a fan of Twitter (even before SpaceMan came along), you might feel the same about Threads.
- No DMS. I know this was on the pro list, too. But it means every conversation is public and you can miss out on deeper connections you can build in DMs on Instagram.
- You can’t schedule Threads or save drafts so you have to be on the app to post in real time.
- No desktop version
- If you delete your Threads account, it will also delete your Instagram account
Should YOU Use Threads?
Now for the million dollar question—is Threads right for you and your business? The answer to this question isn’t black and white. It is completely up to you and your brand, business, and bandwidth.
Some things to take into consideration:
- If you are in a groove on Instagram and don’t struggle with consistency there, and you WANT to try Threads, go for it. If you are still struggling to build a consistent presence on Instagram, keep your head down and focus on building that foundation.
- New shiny objects (or apps) can be a distraction from your strategy. Remember…strategy isn’t affected by trends. Strategy is rooted in your goals. Always come back to your strategy before adding a new tactics.
- Keep your customer in mind. Are they hanging out on Threads? If so, you might want to consider it.
- Whether you are a big brand or a solopreneur, post on Threads as an individual talking to another individual. For bigger companies, treat it like one employee broke in, took the login info and went rouge.
- Think of your content on Threads the same as Stories. While anything goes, there is power in consistency. Play around with different content pillars to see what resonates with your audience. After a testing period, you can narrow your content pillars focus. It doesn’t have to be the same pillars as Instagram.
- Don’t forget about the power of external engagement. A comment that is thoughtful. insightful, witty or polarizing can be just as powerful as an insightful, witty or polarizing original post.
- Threads is where people want to add their two cents. Try to think of topics that people won’t be able to resist commenting on or sharing. But don’t get too deep. People aren’t on Threads to overthink.
Only you can decide if a social platform is right for you. But I want you to know and remember…you don’t have to be everywhere. Actually, you really shouldn’t be everywhere. It is totally fine to choose one social platform and go all in on it. So if Threads isn’t for you, that’s totally fine.
It’s also important to know the difference between choosing one social platform and one marketing channel. Choosing one social platform is fine, but you need to have more than one marketing channel. Relying on only one marketing channel is too risky and also not effective. Marketing is all about repetition and staying top of mind so that you show up when and where your audience is when they are ready to buy.
If a channel stops working for your business or goes away, you’ll have to start over from scratch.
Just like your income, you need to diversify your marketing efforts. Think about choosing channels that serve different purposes and work well together. Choose one social platform, use email marketing, content marketing through blogging, and also incorporate some offline, in-person networking and marketing. That way you are diversifying, but not spreading yourself too thin.
What are your thoughts on Threads?