If you have been on any form of social media recently you will probably have heard of Instagram’s new platform Threads. Whilst we’ve seen the hype surrounding new social media platforms pass quickly before, Instagram seems to be pushing its new Twitter alternative with some force. But what is Instagram Threads and how can you use it for your business? We walk through the ins and outs of Threads from Instagram with everything you need to know about this new platform.
What is Instagram Threads?
Instagram Threads was launched by Instagram and its parent company Facebook on the 6th of July 2023 leading to a mass download of the Threads app across the world. Amassing over 100 million users within its first few days, Threads is a social media platform where you can post ‘threads’ or short snippets of text and more. You can also reply to threads, share threads you’ve found interesting and follow other Threads users on the platform. Threads and replies can also include links, photos, videos or any combination of these to form your post. Currently, Threads only exists in app form so is limited to mobile use. Regulatory problems also mean that although it is available in 100 countries including the UK, it is currently not available in the EU.
How Does Instagram Threads Work?
Instagram Threads is an Instagram-linked platform that works through your existing or new Instagram account. You’ll be able to import any accounts you currently follow on Instagram in order to automatically follow the accounts on Threads if a Threads account exists for that user. You’ll also be able to find and follow new Threads accounts in the app with your central feed pulling up content you might be interested in both from followed accounts and new accounts you may be interested in. If you follow or unfollow accounts on Threads however, this will not affect who you follow or unfollow on Instagram.
Do I Need an Instagram Account to Use Threads?
Yes. You will need to have an Instagram account to use Threads, despite it being a separate app on your phone. When you set up Instagram Threads it will link with your current Instagram account and you can copy over information such as your name, bio, links and profile image from Instagram. If you don’t already have an existing Instagram account, you’ll need to create a new one. If you have multiple Instagram accounts such as a business or creator account and a personal profile, you will be able to create a Threads account for each of these. If you have a verified Instagram account, your Threads account will also display the verified icon next to your name.
When you join Threads, Instagram adds an icon to your Instagram profile with your Threads number, people can then click on the icon to find your Threads account. If you do not want the icon to appear on your Instagram profile, you can hide it in your Instagram settings.
Can I Make My Threads Profile Private?
Threads works in a similar way to Instagram in that you are able to have a public or private Threads profile. Simply go into the settings on your profile and toggle the switch to set your Threads profile to private or make it public from private. Any users under 16 or 18 in some countries will automatically have a private profile on Threads. You can also block other users on Threads as well as restrict threads accounts and report accounts in a similar way to Instagram. Any accounts you have blocked on Instagram will also be blocked on Threads.
When creating a Threads post, you can also limit who is able to interact with what you have posted by setting your Thread to profiles you follow or mentioned only compared to the Thread being accessible to all.
What Can Be Shared on Instagram Threads?
You might have heard that Threads is Facebook’s Twitter and this is a close comparison. Text, images, links and videos can be shared on Instagram Threads with your followers. However, Threads doesn’t yet support hashtags as Instagram and other platforms do and although they can technically be included in your post, they are not searchable and do not extend the reach of your post on Threads. Threads are limited to 500 characters, still higher than Twitter’s 280-character limit. Videos shared on Threads have a limit of 5 minutes in length. Once you’ve reached your limit, you’ll have to add any additional text to a follow-up Thread that can be linked to the original Thread in a similar way to Twitter.
It’s quick and simple to share Threads posts to Instagram stories or other social media platforms and adding a link to a Thread creates a preview of the page for ease of sharing to the Threads platform. Be warned, once you’ve posted something to Threads, you won’t be able to edit the content. You’ll need to delete the Thread and repost in order to make any changes.
Can I Use Instagram’s Threads as a Business?
Instagram’s threads is currently an ad-free platform. However, a number of businesses and organisations have taken to the platform to post organically and create a large following. As a brand awareness tool and customer engagement platform, Threads has huge potential if used correctly.
The ability to share links on Threads means that articles and more can be shared on the platform with ease and many users joining the platform may automatically follow brands on Threads if they have chosen to carry over their follows from Instagram meaning brands need not lose their following when starting out on the platform. Why not create your first Thread with something memorable that captures your essence as a brand?
A number of brands have adopted the platform from Gordon Ramsey to Coca-Cola and Netflix who are all employing successful Instagram Threads strategies to connect with followers.
Creating a Threads Marketing Strategy
As with any social media platform, it is important to have a strategy when using it to promote your business. Right now, any Threads strategy will be organic so not a paid ads strategy and will depend on connecting with your followers in an authentic way. However, this may change in the future as the platform develops.
Quick-Fire Updates and Interactions
As a rapid-fire social media platform, Threads is the perfect platform for quickly-changing conversations and updates and can easily fit into a social media strategy. Threads can help you stay connected with potential and existing customers and brand advocates by responding to Threads and allowing discussions to form on shared ideas in quick succession. You’ll be able to create short-form compelling content or add in humour if that is part of your brand. So far, brands who have embraced Threads have seen healthy levels of interaction with content.
Top Tips for Using Threads as a Business
- Remember, you are not just there to sell. A Threads account that only posts links to products with CTAs is unlikely to see much traction on this platform. Try to switch it up with trending topics, shared how-to guides or interesting industry news
- Respond to users to spark conversations. Respond to user comments on your posts to start conversations and don’t be afraid of commenting on posts that mention your product or brand with interesting or humorous observations.
- Don’t be generic. Avoid having a blanket response to people who comment or mention your brand. Threads is the perfect platform to add some personality to your online presence and users will interact more with brands that have humans behind the account.
- Use Threads as a part of your overall social media strategy. Threads is unlikely to become the main part of your online presence or marketing but will work well as part of a multi-platform social media strategy as long as it is appropriate for your brand.
- Keep it consistent. As with any social media platform, letting fans know what to expect from you is key to Threads success. Post consistently to gain traction and keep your brand’s voice and personality in mind with everything you post.
- Mix up what you post. Threads offers the opportunity to share a range of content so use this to your advantage when posting. Mix up visuals such as images or graphics with text-based quick-fire threads and relevant video content. Feel free to reference current events or funny happenings but be aware of your audience and anything that may be a controversial topic.
Need Help Managing Your Social Media Strategy?
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