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With Activity Declining, is a Threads Strategy Actually Worth It?
Meta’s Twitter competitor isn’t retaining half of its userbase. How can you know if Threads is right for your business?
Meta introduced arguably the first true Twitter competitor, Threads, early last month. The Instagram-connected app was promised to allow users to post their own 500-character microblogs, and the platform initially registered more than 100 million users. Many of these users were companies looking to expand their social media presence with what was looking to be the hottest new app in the increasingly competitive market.
However, it appears that the Threads platform has quickly become stagnant. According to Reuters, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg seemingly revealed in a company town hall that only around half of Threads users have continued using the platform. Although he referred to the drop-off as “normal,” it does raise some questions as to how businesses can market on the platform, if they should at all. Major brands such as Netflix have continued to post on Threads semi-regularly, but what about more niche companies or small businesses?
If you are debating whether or not you should have a Threads strategy, the decision could boil down to your industry and the strength of your pre-existing Instagram presence. Many brands with strong Instagram followings have achieved success on Threads due to the interconnectivity between the platforms. If your brand is more based around visual content, such as product demonstrations or enticing graphics, exploring the text-based content of Threads could be a great addition. This is especially true given how followers with the Threads app downloaded to their phones get notifications if the brands they follow on Instagram post on Threads.
So, what industries can this benefit? At the moment, it appears that beauty, wellness, and fashion are the ones having the most consistent success on the platform. Take the Threads page for Ulta Beauty, for example – while they post more infrequently than they do on Twitter or Instagram, what they post on Threads is a good mixture between relatable memes and marketing products that they sell in stores. The text-based posts correlate well with their visual content on Instagram, and they also get a consistent amount of engagement. The key, however, is in how they don’t overload their Threads feed with posts.
The same can be said for news sites and accounts, which have garnered high engagement despite Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri saying Threads wasn’t meant to be a political platform. Big online names in news, such as HuffPost senior editor Phil Lewis, have had consistently high engagement rates on their posts on major breaking events. Many online news publications have also had success on the platform, but not nearly as much as on other platforms – Reuters, for example, has over 523 thousand followers on Threads compared to a staggering 25.7 million followers on Twitter.
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This brings up an important point. Threads is still in its very early stages of development, and there are expected to be numerous updates in the coming weeks aimed at increasing user retention. Because of this, it is too early to prove for certain whether a Threads strategy is right for your business. Sure, you can certainly test it out if your business has a strong Instagram following, but that is exactly what you should be doing right now: testing.
Take the aforementioned Ulta Beauty account, for example. While its posts are not the most consistently voiced as of yet, it is experimenting with memes and more generic content instead of directly selling products as it would on its Instagram page. Openly navigating these growing pains has resulted in an aura of relatability to many followers and customers, thus making the brand more approachable. This proves that testing new strategies out in the open instead of behind closed doors can actually be welcomed by your target audience. That is, of course, dependent on what exactly your target audience consists of.
Using Threads as an extension of Instagram, especially when it comes to user and customer engagement, is the best thing your business can do right now due to how new the platform still is. Make casual conversation, answer customer questions, and try to make your Threads page as complementary as possible to your Instagram. If it doesn’t provide the results you’re looking for, don’t rush to get rid of it just yet.