Brands Need to Weave Into 'Threads' Now, Despite Lack of Ads
In an earlier-than-expected launch, Meta's new platform, Threads, is separating from the visual storytelling of its sister social networks. Threads gives brands the ability to strengthen relationships with existing audiences via conversations and real-time commentary, and also reach new audiences who don't pay attention to the visual space. While there isn’t a monetization model in place yet, or advertising placement on Threads, branded presence on the platform isn’t something that can wait.
Being an early adopter on this platform, which comes with a massive user base from the get-go, is essential to cement “first to move” advantage. As Threads gains popularity and attracts substantial new users, brands and agencies that establish a presence early on will have the opportunity to build a loyal following and create a strong identity from the ground up. The agencies that move first will have a significant advantage in cementing themselves as industry leaders while others play catch-up. Some household celebrity and brand names already jumping on to Threads include Shakira, Estee Lauder, Asos, and Pretty Little Thing, among others.
While there’s not a direct ad placement feature or paid offering on Threads at the moment, brands and agencies can lean into engaging with the platform's users. Prioritize community building by fostering meaningful conversations with your audience. By emphasizing conversations, Threads is going to allow everyone to showcase their expertise, thought leadership and engagement in real time. Brands can actively participate in discussions, respond to user queries, and provide valuable insights, thereby building credibility and trust. The interactive nature of Threads facilitates more personalized and authentic interactions, fostering a sense of community and strengthening the bond between brands and their existing audiences.
Because of the shared login with Instagram, there's also a major opportunity to leverage existing ad content from the sister app. Brands and agencies have fostered familiarity with Instagram's ad format and seamlessly port over content that resonates well and allows for a consistently branded approach with the audience. Additionally, the ability to quickly identify and follow brands with existing Instagram accounts will allow community building to take place on an accelerated time frame.
Bigger brands should keep in mind that all of this is new: new distinct features and new user behavior. While Threads shares a lot in common with Twitter (even down to the heart “Like” buttons), user patterns on the platform may still make significant deviations. That necessitates experimenting with even more on-trend types of visual storytelling, incorporating interactive elements, or creating exclusive content that speaks directly to the Threads community itself.
Additionally, alternative strategies that generate value have to be considered. These can can include building brand ambassadors, leveraging user-generated content, creating engaging experiences like Q&As or behind-the-scenes access, and thought leadership and education.
Some bigger names might shy away from fully investing in Threads initially, but the long-term potential and the advantages of being an early adopter should outweigh hesitation. By engaging with Threads users authentically — leveraging existing ad content from Instagram where appropriate — and exploring alternative engagement strategies, brands and agencies of all sizes can establish a strong presence and lay the foundation for future success on this promising platform.
Threads gives brands an expanded reach to dialogue with fans and followers, capturing their attention and becoming part of their conversations. While some other upstart “Twitter-killer” apps have started brightly before flaming out, Threads has too much going for it to meet a similar fate. It will be another potent tool to diversify a brand’s base and connect with individuals who may have previously been outside their visual storytelling sphere.
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