Threads 101: a strategy guide for brands

Everything to know about Meta's new social network.

It’s here—Meta’s Twitter competitor. And it’s kinda awesome.

I’ve written a Q&A style breakdown of Threads that I’m hoping you’ll just copy/paste into those POVs I know your boss has asked for. Seriously, just take my writing—throw me a sub or tweet a link as payment and we’ll call it even.

Let’s get into Threads. What they are, how to use them, what’s happening with Twitter, and every other question you have.

What is Threads?

Threads is the new social network from Meta. It’s a Twitter clone that has the same look & feel. Here’s the official description of Threads from their app store listing:

“Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow. Whatever it is you’re interested in, you can follow and connect directly with your favorite creators and others who love the same things — or build a loyal following of your own to share your ideas, opinions and creativity with the world.”

Will Threads succeed?

YES. Threads is gonna be huge thanks to a few very smart moves by Instagram.

Unlike most new social networks, Threads is actually built off of Instagram. I know that’s a little confusing—it means Threads is in fact a stand-alone social network with its own app, but you need Instagram to sign up for it. What’s amazing: the Threads sign-up process is lightning fast. Take a look:

You can do that in less than 30 seconds. That’s mega.

But here’s the real special sauce: Threads sign-up also includes an auto-follow button, allowing your new Threads account to follow every account you follow on Instagram.

That means there’s a very high chance that every single one of your Instagram followers who joined Threads decided to auto-follow your brand account. I’m already seeing brands with hundreds of thousands of followers in less than 24 hours.

The reason most new social networks fail: they can’t reach scale fast enough. Early adopters come, but there isn’t enough content or users to generate the necessary engagement or dopamine hits. But Threads has instant access to Instagram’s 2.35 billion monthly active users. The app was literally born yesterday, but has already matured into a thriving, active social network. Zuckerberg says Threads had 10 million users in the first 7 hours—that could grow exponentially over the next week.

Should your brand be on Threads?

YES. Every brand should get on Threads asap. And I’m not just talking about grabbing your brand’s name—you should start posting immediately. Keep scrolling for strategies + tactical recommendations.

What’s a good first Thread for a brand?

Many brands join new social networks with a “hi, hello, how are ya?” type of post—they became especially popular when brands joined TikTok.

Personally, I recommend jumping right into content. Your day 1 followers likely came from your Instagram—they already know you! Just start posting content like they’ve been there the whole time.

I like Lyft Social Media Manager Bri Reynolds’ suggestion: go grab your top-performing evergreen tweets, post one or a few as your Day 1 Thread content. You’ve already proven they’re successful.

What’s a good Threads strategy for brands?

So it’s interesting—Threads is like Twitter, but it’s built off Instagram. Your day 1 followers probably came from IG and are more used to photo/video content than written content.

I suggest brands build their Threads strategy off of their Twitter strategy. Hopefully your brand has the same voice & tone across every social network, making that an easy port. Give your written content a try to start.

From there, I’d sprinkle in some of your top-performing photo and video content from every network. We’re in the test and learn phase—try things! Experiment!

Here’s what I don’t want you to do: make totally unique, brand new custom content for Threads. You should be mostly repurposing your brand Twitter + Instagram content.

Is Twitter going down?

I don’t think so? But what’s happening with Threads is unprecedented.

The only new social networks to scale in the last decade having different value propositions than existing social networks. TikTok’s For You Page + music integrations had never been done before. BeReal’s post-only-once-a-day had never been done before. But we’ve never seen a clone app or direct competitor come remotely close to challenging the originator.

Here’s the thing: if you’re happy or content with one social network, you’re not gonna leave it for another network that offers the same thing. The question is whether Twitter users are so unhappy with Elon’s changes that they’re willing to completely start over on a different app. I have a hard time believing anyone is that unhappy with Twitter.

What about Mastodon & Spill & Hive &…

RIP. None of the Twitter alternatives had a shot before Threads, and they definitely don’t have a shot now. They don’t have strong enough differentiators to attract users away from massively scaled social networks like Twitter or Threads. Hell, I can’t even figure out how to use Mastodon.

Go ahead and still grab your brand’s name on every new social network, but don’t spend your time making any content for them. Stick to the big established ones + Threads.

What else should I know about Threads?

Time will tell! I’m gonna keep updating this post with new week 1 findings, so you can visit the Future Social homepage for more. Follow me on Twitter and Threads for real-time strategy discussion.