Should brands be on Threads?

  • Categories:

    Social Media

  • Date:

    August 4, 2023

Should brands be on Threads?

Social Media

Do you wake up in the morning, immediately get on your phone and scroll through social media? I know I do. Before my feet hit the floor, I’m looking at the news, the latest sports scores, my best friend’s feed and more.

Over the past 20 years, social media has inundated everyday life with easily digestible content designed to inform, influence and connect. With an estimated 4.9 billion social media users worldwide, a brand’s social media presence is arguably one of the most visible and easily reachable aspects of a company.

As is the case with most things in life, social media is constantly evolving. As new generations join the social media pioneers who were there from the beginning, audiences change, new trends emerge and, ultimately, new platforms are born.

Sure, Threads may be the latest entrant to the social media world, but it’s making a lot of noise. Does this mean your brand should hop on the bandwagon?

Let’s explore.

What is Threads?

A rival to X (formerly known as Twitter), Threads is a platform designed to let users share quick-hitting thoughts, engage in conversation and interact with others in a format unlike those on its sister platforms, Facebook and Instagram. Created by Meta and tied to Instagram, Threads enjoyed skyrocketing popularity: Millions, ready to see Meta’s newest social media family member, flocked to the platform on the first night.

Meta made a smart move when it made joining Threads seem like a no-brainer: Current Instagram users can simply log into Threads from their Instagram account to start posting and prevent the feeling of FOMO from settling in. This is one major reason influencers, athletes, bands, brands and everyday users flooded Threads on the platform’s first day in business.

I was one of those early Threads users. I spent hours on the app the night it debuted, soaking in the exhilarating newness of the platform, researching settings, debunking algorithm theories and exploring the latest social media creation.

While Threads could be different from other debut platforms due to its relationship with an already-established social media giant, Threads’ longevity can’t be predicted … and trends are already changing.

As the total number of accounts continues to grow, the number of active daily Threads users has already declined after the platform’s first few weeks online. As of July 31:

  • Daily active users have fallen nearly 70% from 44 million to 13 million per day

  • Users have also cut their daily time on the app from 19 minutes per day to four

What does this mean for your brand and Threads?

Don’t forgo strategy in favor of haste.

It’s easy to understand the pull to jump into the newest, shiniest social trend or platform. After all, it’s hard to ignore the flood of voices talking about the latest and greatest (which might make it feel as if you’re missing out on an important opportunity for your brand).

Despite this, when evaluating any platform presence, social media strategy is essential when determining relevance and deciding on an action plan. The strategy is the foundation of a brand’s presence on social media, leading the direction, voice and overall content creation. It helps shape the external appearance of the brand and guides audience perception.

Jumping into a platform based on internal desire and outside influence might grant instant gratification, but if you build your social media house on a strong foundation, it’s bound to be stronger … and last longer.

How can you determine if Threads is the right fit for your brand?

There are a few things to consider when launching on a new social media platform:

1. Platform purpose

    As a platform continues to adapt and evolve, its purpose and use take shape. It becomes increasingly more evident what type of content sits well with the overall users of that platform. Looking at Threads, if the intended purpose holds true and conversation building is a key piece of the platform, how does that fit within your brand’s current or future social media presence? Is it a platform that bodes well for scheduling content, or will real-time posting be the way to go? Determining whether the platform will even be effective with your brand is a great place to start when thinking about a potential launch.

    2. Time and bandwidth

      Launching a new social media platform takes not only time and effort, but also the bandwidth needed to continue an active presence after the launch. Ensuring a regular cadence can be met on the channel without disrupting other active channels should be a priority when considering a launch.

      3. Audience presence

        Your audience is one of the most critical pieces to evaluate. Channel efforts won’t be worthwhile if your brand’s typical audience isn’t currently active and present. If they are present, how are they using the platform? Would your content fit within the realm of how your audience is using it? These questions can guide the overall decision-making on launching a platform as well as any future strategies.

        4. Content creation

          Accounts on social media platforms live and die by the content that’s created. The relevant, common content of the platform in question needs to be assessed. This is the only way to determine the types of content that would need to be posted and whether those trends fall within the brand’s current identity and voice. Content creation on existing platforms can be relevant for crossover, but that’s not always the case, and others are not as conducive to that plan.

          At the end of the day, slow and steady can win the social media race.

          As with most things in social media, the future of Threads can’t be predicted with any real certainty, and its future is unknown. Will platform optimizations help retain users and continue positive growth trends? Is this really the replacement for X? Will it be the next long-term platform, or will the flame slowly dwindle until it completely burns out?

          Alas, these questions will only be answered with time as the newness wears off, the shine begins to fade and Threads takes its place among the line of fellow social media platforms.

          Taking a slower approach to activating a brand on a new social media platform allows your team time to process, evaluate and plan. Some platforms might not fit with every brand, and that’s OK. A cautious approach enables you to target other platforms better designed for your goals and audience. On the other hand, new platforms might be just what your brand is looking for.

          Either way, jumping into the fire might seem like the right move in the beginning, but determining the best course of action by seeing how — or if — Threads fits into your overarching social media strategy can give you the solid foundation to build a lasting presence.

          Explore more articles from Wray Ward.