Will Threads Stick Around? Exploring the Opportunities for Marketers

How marketers are using Threads
Published on
Jul 21, 2023
Written by
Elodie Huston
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Threads launched with a bang, but engagement is dropping off. For now, marketers and creators are continuing to experiment–and watching what happens next. 

The world we live (and market) in is constantly evolving, and it can be difficult to stay ahead of the curve. And with marketers increasingly being asked to do more with less, Threads' launch felt like a fire drill.. 

The app made a splash, hitting 100 million users in just 5 days. For reference, it took Instagram two and a half years and TikTok 9 months to hit that milestone. Unsurprisingly, savvy marketers jumped into the conversation. Many celebrated feeling liberated by the lack of pressure to have a strategy–the name of the game so far has been to have fun. And even though engagement is dropping (or leveling out, depending on who you ask), there’s a lot we can learn from the initial experiments, regardless of where things go from here.

Threads has given consumers what they've been missing in Twitter

Threads was immediately welcomed as a much-needed alternative to Twitter. Consumers have been growing tired of the chaotic and sometimes negative culture on the app for a while. Many were nostalgic for the early days of Twitter. 

Threads answered the call. Initial interactions on Threads have been refreshingly positive, and the low barrier to entry (simply log in with your Instagram credentials) meant that consumers didn’t have to start from zero to dive into conversations. The clean, text-based interface felt familiar and inviting.

Brands need to be where consumers are

Brands need to be where their shoppers are to drive awareness and build an engaged community. Unlike the wait-and-see approach marketers have taken with other new channels in the past, the near-instant growth and baked-in credibility of Threads forced them to jump in feet first

There are no rules on Threads right now. Tone, topics, and posting styles are changing day-to-day. Its user base is in flux, too. Despite it’s extraordinary launch, engagement on the app is down. Daily active users have dropped 20% in just two weeks since launch, and time spent on the app has fallen from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. 

Some users are saying the vibes are off, but at least as of today, this new social network offers a lot of potential as everyone continues to figure out exactly what their strategy might be. 

How are brands using Threads today?

As with any channel, it's important to read the room. Today, there's a sense that brands and creators are dominating the conversation, whereas consumers are looking for balance. Knowing when to start a conversation and when to respond will be a key experiment for marketers in the coming weeks.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, we’ve rounded up a few early examples of brands who are using Threads to drive engagement, showcase their brand personality, and cross-promote this new channel via SMS.

MATE the Label: Incentivizing follows and engagement with exclusive offers 

MATE the Label promoted Threads using SMS

Sustainable fashion brand MATE the Label took a three-step approach to driving engagement on Threads. First, they invited their SMS subscribers to check out their Threads profile to discover an exclusive offer. They also posted on Threads, asking users to share pictures of plastic-free swaps they’ve made to earn an offer. The next day, MATE the Label posted the exclusive offers to keep their audience engaged. 

Almond Cow: Using SMS as a conversation starter 

Almond Cow promoted Threads using SMS

Almond Cow, a plant-based milk maker brand, took a more direct approach. The brand sent a dedicated message inviting subscribers to join the conversation about their products on Threads. The brand had already built out their profile with conversation starters, brand educational videos and posts, and even a Prime Day offer. 

Maker Wine: Winking at the topic of conversation 

Maker Wine promoted Threads using SMS

Maker Wine, a direct-to-consumer premium wine brand, didn’t send a dedicated text message to their SMS subscribers about their Threads account. Instead, the brand wove it into an already-scheduled campaign promoting a seasonal product. Maker Wine playfully referenced the app in their greeting, inviting subscribers to say hi on Threads before sharing a recommendation for a summery wine.

Brands are getting meta

On the platform itself, brands are having fun getting self-referential. Wendy’s brought their signature snark over from Twitter, posting jokes nodding to their presence on the other app. 

Reformation, meanwhile, posted a tongue-in-cheek reference to the pressure marketers were under to quickly set a strategy for Threads.  

Branded content tools are coming to Threads

Threads has announced that it will soon start rolling out branded content tools so brands can begin experimenting with paid promotion. These tools will be ported over from its sister platform, Instagram, meaning there won’t be much of a learning curve for brands.

These developments present marketers will an easy-to-use alternative to Twitter, where many brands have already pulled spend. The app plans to hold off on advertising until its user base has reached critical mass. Still, the prospect of having another channel to directly engage consumers (with Meta’s proven ad-targeting tools) is worth keeping an eye on. 

When you’re not trying to figure out what to post on Threads, check out new data on how consumers feel about AI-generated SMS and 3 Things Brands Can Learn From the "Barbie" Movie Marketing Strategy.

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