If you haven’t already heard about the latest social media platform – Threads – I’m here to bring you up to speed. Making headlines at the start of July for its impending unveiling, Threads has been dubbed by some as the ‘Twitter killer’. And since its launch on 6th July, it’s made quite a splash. With over 100 million users signing up in the first few days, it’s the most rapidly downloaded app of all time.
So, what is Threads and where has it come from? Threads is a new social media platform launched by Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, Meta, to rival Twitter. It is a text-based conversation app which Meta says is “designed to be a space where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow”. As with its other platforms, Meta is providing a space to “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.”
Threads’ similarities to Twitter are noticeable, too, with mirroring functionalities such as reposting, liking and replying to posts. However, unlike Twitter, there are currently no hashtag or text search functions, or direct messaging options. It’s also only accessible via a mobile app.
Threads for B2B social media communications
As with any social media platform, Threads has its pros and cons for B2B communications. Having spent some time researching the new platform, I wanted to share my thoughts on the main benefits and points to consider before downloading it.
Firstly, it’s interesting to know that, when you download Threads, you don’t have to start from scratch because it has close integration with its sister platform Instagram. As such, if you already have an Instagram profile, your username and followers (assuming they’re active on Threads) are automatically copied over. This is a huge perk for any content creators or brands with a large following, and it removes the usual groundwork needed when you join a new social platform.
As with any route to market, the value of the new platform to a business is weighted on whether it can generate conversations and, in turn, new leads. Community is at the heart of Threads so I see a huge benefit to businesses looking to drive engagement from specific groups of users relevant to their brand and to contribute to thought leadership discussions. Currently, the platform allows organic posting only which, of course, is fine if the right people are already following you. However, it is important to know that there’s no option to sponsor content or target ads to particular audiences.
Having said that, by sharing relevant insights and advice, brands have a great opportunity to stand out from competitors and engage new customers, partners and prospects organically. This then begs the question of whether businesses should be getting onto the platform straight away to beat their competition and establish themselves first. But before diving straight in, there are a few things to consider.
Currently, the platform is not available to countries in the European Union due to strict data protection rules, so if your key audiences are based in these regions you will not be able to reach them. In addition, Threads doesn’t yet offer any analytical/ reporting functions so, as a business, you’ll be unable to measure the reach or engagement of your efforts.
And, of course, adding a new platform into the mix creates a whole new dimension to a brand’s social strategy, which requires additional resources and has potential budget implications.
It’s clear that, regardless of whether you’re an avid social media user in your spare time or you’re looking to evolve your brand’s B2B marketing strategy, with the launch of Threads, we’re entering an interesting time for the social media arena. And, as with any new platform, the long-term viability of Threads is still up for discussion. However, as B2B marketers, I believe we should be monitoring the development of this social space and scrutinising what the next steps are for our social media strategies.