Meta Threads is here…will it work for your brand?

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For the last 3 months, we’ve been talking to tech insiders and keeping a close eye as Meta’s Twitter rival, Threads, evolved.

As soon as we knew it’s official launch date, the 181st Street team kicked it up a gear to get our clients onboarded to Threads smoothly.

Unsurprisingly, given that Threads hit 30 million users in less than 24 hours, the tech industry press is awash with praise about the new platform.

What we are yet to see is any meaningful insights into how it might be used for business.

While people may be calling for it to remain an ad-free zone, we all know that the majority of social media activity is driven by brands, and whether the platform thrives or fails hinges on how well it works for business.

Now we’ve hit the ground running, here are the insights we can share so far:

What is Threads?

Meta have openly discussed that Reels (Instagram’s most popular feature) isn’t working for them – they can’t monetize effectively with ads and the attention Reels gets takes users away from the main feed where they do see ads, meaning that this feature is actually costing Meta money.

The Instagram algorithm doesn’t work for brands unless you’re paying for reach, and with so many changes at Twitter, the social landscape was ripe for some disruption.


Think Twitter without news (yet).

A conversational-style space that currently feels as chaotic as one giant group chat.

And while the news, current affairs, and dare we say it, even politics, is core to Twitter’s success, without trending topics or search capacity, these are distinctly lacking from Threads as it currently stands, adding to the sense of purposelessness that always comes when everyone flocks to a new platform before they know what the direction of conversation is going to be.

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri has promised that basic functionality like hashtags, search and possibly direct messaging will be coming, but will take time.

So what does that mean for marketing?

Should your brand be on Threads yet, and if so, what should you be posting?

Is it even worth pushing your (probably) already over-stretched Comms resources in yet another direction?

Let’s dive in…

Who is Threads for?

There’s no clear purpose to Threads from a user perspective yet, which means it’s largely too soon to tell what role it will play in your marketing strategy.

However, in the first few days while it’s new and shiny, there is significant audience gain to be had that may serve you well later.

What do you need to do now?

Claim your account
If you already have Instagram, claiming your Threads account is quick and easy. In a few clicks you can be the proud owner of yet another corner of the internet, and it will even import your bio for you (a nice behavioural friction removal from the Meta team – this is one of the biggest barriers to people starting new accounts on social platforms).

Build and convert your audience
You can follow all the same accounts as your Instagram with a click of a button. Whether you want to or not might be debatable, but it does mean that if you’ve got an Instagram audience already you won’t be starting at zero followers, and given that Instagram’s algorithm seems to prefer to keep content hidden these days, you might actually reconnect with followers that haven’t heard from you in a while.

Re-engagement opportunities like this are nice, and they’re rare, unless you’ve got a retargeting ads budget to spend. Use it wisely.

Remember that while Threads is exciting today, people may move onto the next thing (or back to TikTok) tomorrow. Even if you’re not going to post actively yet, do your entire comms team a favour and write a holding post with a link to your newsletter so that you own your audience data.

Right now your Threads audience (and the Threads user base as a whole) is more engaged than they’re ever going to be again. As people scramble to build their audiences, they’re highly responsive to “follow backs” so widening beyond your original Instagram reach and spending the time to find and follow relevant accounts is well worth it.

Repurpose content to give it more reach
With a lack of meaningful content on the platform so far, people are seeking things to read, watch, like and repost to fill their feeds. Repurposing high engagement content from your other channels can be a quick win, but will require some manual work as no schedulers have Threads access yet.

Start training the algorithm
The algorithm isn’t heavily ranking posts yet, but the feed shows a mixture of people you follow and recommended posts you might be interested in. Start training the algorithm now. Stay on topic and only post about the things you want to be known for (with an audience-first approach) so that as the algorithm gets smarter and the platform gets busier, it knows who is most likely to engage with your content and pushes you to them.

Don’t change your strategy on other sites
Remember, with most of the world’s social media users turning their attention to Threads this week (and probably next), your reach and engagement on the other platforms is going to temporarily fall.

Don’t panic, and don’t stop posting! Now it’s quieter, you’ve got a real opportunity to expand your reach by posting high-value content that the algorithms can push out once users come back.

Your content strategy should react to new updates, trends and algorithm-based opportunities for more reach, but it shouldn’t be reactive. Don’t change your content plan, posting schedule or platform tactics because of a temporary lull, especially when there are such significant external factors at play.