Photo by Bastian Riccardi on Unsplash

Is Threads the right place for my brand?

With the scale of Meta behind it, Threads is the first genuine threat to Twitter’s crown as the world’s choice for mass micro-blogging platform (other of course, then Twitter’s own self-sabotaging identity crisis!). 

Thread’s headline-grabbing 100 million sign-ups in a matter of days were aided by the Instagram integration and ease of sign-up for people looking to see what the fuss was about or simply claiming their username. 

But could that integration with the creative, visually led Instagram also be what stifles its longevity in a world where people now treat each social platform’s use and how they show up on them differently? 

You might be more personal on Instagram, more professional on LinkedIn, more playful on TikTok, and more provoking on Twitter.

Can Instagram merge two different types of content in micro-blogging vs aesthetic storytelling and context in real-time thoughts and reactions versus crafted and lifestyle? 

You might enjoy the glamorous life of Jennifer Lopez through the eyes of her Instagram, but do you want to know that J Lo recently discovered hummingbirds flap their wings in a figure-eight motion which represents infinity, as she asks you on Threads what you’ve learned recently in very 2009 Twitter like copy?

We’ve already seen a drop in average active users and the average time spent on Threads has since gone from 21 minutes to 6. 

There was always going to be a drop-off once people poked around to see what was there, while key features are still missing. 

But it does beg a wider question, will Threads become one social platform too many? Especially from a brand perspective when budgets and effectiveness are being even more scrutinised. 

The lowering in significance of Twitter and the launch of Threads is a good time to reflect on where social media fits in a brand’s plans today. 

Is social media the right channel?

There’s no one size fits all approach to social as it varies by the size of the brand and the category you’re in, but generally speaking, it’s been more a media channel than a social channel for a while due to extensive targeting capabilities. That said, social media is used for distraction or discovery, it’s not searching for brand content first. 

A brand has to work hard to grab attention in newsfeeds of the infinite scroll so when you’ve spent significant time and budget on a 15-30 second, well crafted video, is that content better supported with a budget on YouTube or Video on Demand, where the viewer is already in a more lean in, ready to watch mood? 

Just because a platform exists, doesn’t mean a brand has to be on it. 

Before brands get involved in any social platform, their rules of engagement are defined by the community using it: the people, creators, and celebrities/influencers. The platforms will court brands as they have to make advertising revenue, but it’s the community that shapes a platform's role and meaning. 

The smarter brands get this and if their target audience is active there and they can bring value to them, then they’ll be there. If they’re not, there’s no need to spread your time and resource thinly. Wendy’s have gone straight into Threads with their humour and hot takes like they do on Twitter, but have varied the content. While fashion brands like Prada, Gucci, and Burberry have stayed off Threads, despite running active Twitter profiles. 

Right content, right channel

Creating the right content for the right channel is not groundbreaking new news here, but still, one piece of content is expected to work across multiple social platforms all being used by the community in different ways. 

Even if Meta wants you posting the same video across Facebook and Instagram and each platform starts adding the same features, you can still tailor the content to the role of each platform so it’s fit for purpose.  

In a year’s time Threads may well be flourishing, or we may be talking about a Threads challenger, but one thing that won’t change is the continual change in social platform features and new kids on the block. It’s a useful reminder that where your brand shows up is an evolving question and one that needs attention each time to be effective. 

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