Everything marketers need to know about Instagram Threads Guide.

Everything Social Media Marketers Need to Know About Instagram Threads

July 12, 2023
By
David Olsen

Everything marketers need to know about Instagram Threads, the new social network from Meta, which is much like Twitter.

With Twitter struggling to keep its most active users engaged since its takeover by Elon Musk, alternative social networks are popping up all over to fill the gap. Threads is Meta’s answer to the call - a standalone app with a similar interface that connects directly with a user’s existing Instagram account.

It might be a copycat strategy (without the hashtags!) but the timing of Threads’ release has undoubtedly been a good one. With Twitter in decline, Threads’ popularity is already soaring astronomically, with the app amassing 100 million followers in its first few days. Similar to Twitter’s microblogging interface, the new app allows users to post text, images and videos, as well as familiar heart-shaped likes, shares and the ability to repost content.

Threads serves as a dedicated platform for both creators and casual users, offering a distinct environment for sharing live updates and engaging in public discussions. Influencers, big brands and celebrities have been quick to jump on the new social network, attracting a diverse audience that may have not been huge Twitter users in the past.

There’s huge potential for social media marketers to fit Threads into an overall marketing strategy, expanding your target audience while reaching a mass of new users. You’ll also avoid the challenge of starting from scratch with a brand new social media platform, bringing your brand’s loyal following straight over from Instagram when they sign up for the new app.

With the introduction of Instagram Threads, marketers have the opportunity to get in on the ground with a new tool to connect and engage with their audience.  In this blog post, we’ll delve into how social media marketers can most effectively take advantage of Threads’ growth, increasing engagement and making the most of your content strategy with a new and exciting social media platform.

What is the Instagram Threads app?

Threads is an independent application developed by the Instagram team, specifically created for sharing text-based updates and engaging in public conversations, much like Twitter. Users have the ability to post updates limited to 500 characters, surpassing the current limit of 280 characters on Twitter (unless subscribed to Twitter Blue) and aligning with the default character limit of 500 on Mastodon. Posts can also include links, photos, and videos up to a duration of 5 minutes.

Threads promotes the start of a conversation, rather than just a casual like or a repost. According to Meta, Threads is a space where “Communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow. Whatever it is you’re interested in, you can follow and connect directly with your favourite creators and others who love the same things — or build a loyal following of your own to share your ideas, opinions and creativity with the world."

How Threads can enhance your social media strategy:

While the concept of threads may feel familiar, its smooth UX and intuitive functionality make it accessible and instinctive to new users. Threads delivers an aesthetically pleasing user interface (including Dark Mode support), and we know a great user experience translates to more clicks, more visits, and more engagement with your overall social media content strategy.

Threads also incorporates the same fundamental accessibility features found on Instagram, including support for screen readers and AI-generated image descriptions, ensuring an inclusive user experience.

Being on board early with the uptake of Threads means you’ll be on the ball content-wise, staying ahead of this fast-evolving social media landscape expanding your reach in the initial phase.  To optimize that momentum, being proactive and pushing content on Threads in its infancy can set a small business up with a great online presence.

If your branding has a particular tone of voice, Threads is a great way to up your copy game, build brand awareness and engage directly with your audience. Respond to users when they engage, create compelling content that inspires a conversation, and you’ll cultivate a thriving Threads presence that fits in with your overall marketing strategy.

How to set up your Threads account:

Getting started with Threads is straightforward with an existing Instagram account. You’ll download the Threads app on Android via Google Play or the Apple App Store for ios, log in with your Instagram credentials and all your information will automatically carry over, including your username and verification. It's a smart tactic by Meta, encouraging user adoption by making the sign-up experience swift and convenient/

You’ll be able to customise your Threads business profile, choosing whether to keep it consistent with your Instagram branding or mixing up your copy and content.

Currently Threads can only be accessed via the iOS or Android apps, and Meta has not yet indicated when a desktop version is set to land.

Finding other accounts to follow:

Because you’ve used your Instagram account to sign up, importing your existing following list is remarkably easy.

During account setup, you’ll be able to  see a list of all the influencers, users, small businesses and brands you follow on Instagram. Threads allows you to browse through the list and selectively follow accounts, or alternatively, you can  go ahead and follow all the accounts you currently follow on Instagram by clicking a button at the bottom. If your Instagram friends haven't joined Threads yet, any follow requests sent to them will remain pending until they join the platform.

Searching for accounts is just as easy - just type a name into the search box.  Verified accounts will pop up to the top.

How to kick off your first thread:

  1. Tap on the Draft logo at the bottom.
  2. Write whatever you’d like to include in your thread - a question, a joke, an introduction.
  3. To attach a photo or video to your thread, tap and select up to 10 items you want to attach. Tap Done (Android) or Add (iPhone) in the top right.
  4. To add to your thread, tap Add to thread. If your thread contains more than 500 characters, another thread will be added automatically.
  5. To change who can reply to your thread, tap Anyone can reply in the bottom left. You can limit who can reply to Profiles you follow or Mentioned only.
  6. Tap Post in the bottom right, and you’re ready to engage.

You won’t be able to edit a Thread you’ve already posted, but you will be able to delete it. You’re also able to add additional posts to your Thread at any time.

Ideas from brands using Instagram Threads:

While some brands have been cautious on adopting the brand new social network, other big businesses have jumped on board right away.

Netflix is asking users what they watched this weekend, sharing memes and garnering engagement.

Beauty brands like Maybelline and Covergirl are throwing out a mix of humour and product promotion, and McDonald’s kicked off with a ‘hi from grimace say it back plsss.’

McDonalds Grimace Threads Post

Take inspiration from this casual, interactive strategy big brands are leaning into. Threads promotes vibrant conversation, positive engagement and offers a valuable opportunity to build your brand.

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How you can maximise your brand strategy on threads:

1.Connect with your Instagram audience

Threads makes it simple to bring your existing followers over. You’ll have the option to send follower requests to your existing Instagram followers upon signing up, and new users will do the same, keeping your target audience consistent. This clever strategy jumpstarts your account with a substantial boost in followers, setting you off on the right track. Since Threads is accessed through your already established Instagram account, it shouldn't take long to see significant user numbers and engagement.

2. Embrace vibrant visual content

We know Instagram users love a great aesthetic, so elevate your Thread game by incorporating captivating visuals like pictures, gifs, and short videos. Research consistently shows that posts with visually appealing content tend to garner more likes and follows, so just like your perfectly curated Instagram feed, you’ll want to capture attention over on Threads.

While not every post on Threads requires an image, throwing in a funny meme or an eye-catching photo greatly increases the chances of gaining traction and engagement.

3. Keep it consistent

Establish a strong presence on Threads by maintaining an active posting schedule. Particularly during the initial stages, when Threads is still burgeoning, seize the opportunity to gain new followers by sharing multiple Threads throughout the day. Posting at few times daily can maximise your engagement on a microblogging app like Threads, with intervals of a few hours between each post. Using a social media management platform like Sked Social to schedule posts is the easiest way to plan ahead, coordinating your content across your social media accounts.

4. Cater to a Threads-only audience

The new Threads algorithm is still a bit of a mystery,  but users with minimal Instagram usage are likely to encounter brands that are unfamiliar to them, presenting a new opportunity for your brand or small business. As a result, it becomes essential for business accounts to swiftly adapt and consolidate your unique brand voice and tone to capture the attention of a potential new audience. Brands should work on creating Threads-specific content that resonates with a new audience, staying on top of your metrics and adapting your strategy to real-time insights, evolving with the new landscape and algorithm.

5. Keep it playful and interactive

In its infancy, the vibe over at Threads is playful and brands are embracing the chaos. It’s a great time to be a little experimental and learn in real time how Threads can improve content strategy, cultivating an early trusting relationship with users and potential customers. Build a community from day one, ditching the overly polished voice you might employ on other social media accounts and focusing on authentic, interactive engagement.

6. Unlock the benefits of Verification

Similar to Instagram, Threads adopts an algorithmic approach rather than a chronological timeline. Verified users receive enhanced visibility and priority within the platform, particularly when it comes to visibility on search results. If you have already obtained verification on Instagram, rest assured that it seamlessly carries over to Threads. If you’re not already verified on Instagram, it’ll take a few steps:

  1. Open Instagram.
  2. Head to “Settings”, then tap “Business / Creator tools and controls”
  3. Select“ Request Verification”
  4. Complete the verification request form
  5. Tap “Submit”
  6. Your request for account verification will be sent to Instagram, and by proxy, Threads.

Schedule Instagram Threads Posts in Sked

Will Threads be compatible with other apps?

Meta has stated that Threads is actively working towards compatibility with ActivityPub, a social network of different servers operated by third parties that are interconnected and can communicate with each other. This step aims to ensure that Threads can seamlessly integrate with other applications that support the ActivityPub protocol, including platforms like Mastodon and WordPress. By achieving this interoperability, Threads aims to open up new avenues for connectivity and collaboration. This will potentially make your content strategy easier to consolidate, enabling social media management tools to cross-post and manage content calendars across various apps.

With a public profile on Threads, your posts would become accessible from these other apps, helping your content to reach a broader audience effortlessly and integrating with your existing content strategy.

Sked Social supports scheduling Instagram Threads Posts as part of your regular social media planning process. This makes it easy for social media marketers to test and evaluate Instagram Threads as a platform, without spending additional time scheduling specific content for an unproven platform.

What about safety and community guidelines on Threads?

Threads will enforce Instagram's existing Community Guidelines, which include prohibiting hate speech or posts intended to degrade or shame. You can customize your privacy settings in the same way you would with your Instagram feed, enabling 2FA login and being able to block users posting inappropriate content. This is means Threads’ safety will be more effective than Twitter around removing content things like nudity and hate speech.

It is really important to note, though, that although you can deactivate your Threads profile at any time, your Threads profile can only be deleted by deleting your Instagram account - although Meta have promised a fix for this soon.

How you should think about Instagram Threads as a brand today:

With Instagram Threads now the fastest platform to hit 100 million users (surpassing ChatGPT's 5 days set earlier this year), there is a huge potential for the platform. Threads is already available in over 100 countries with support for web, iOS and Android, and with plans to continue building out the platform, its likely Threads will become an important part of your social media marketing toolkit.

By leveraging the platform's features and embracing its interactive nature, brands can create meaningful connections with their audience, spark engaging discussions, and establish a more diverse following.

Stay on the ball with @getskedsocial to keep evolving your content strategy with Threads, and learn more in our guide on how to schedule Instagram Threads posts with Sked Social.

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