How will Threads impact digital marketing?

Everyone has heard about Threads, Meta's new social media platform, which is said to have an uncanny resemblance to Twitter (now X). 

Released in July 2023, it was easy to see Threads as a direct competitor for Twitter/X due to the many similarities.

Like X, Threads format is community-based networking and text posts, although videos and images can be shared.

Elon Musk's purchase of X has brought big plans for how the app is run. Implemented changes have already altered user experience, making many active members of X restless.

Still, with so many users becoming discouraged by its frequent changes, it is debatable whether its popularity will remain unshakable next to competition, such as Threads.

Meta stepped in and is attempting to close the gap in the market with Threads, another text-based social media platform.

Will Threads help or hinder your social media marketing? Let's look at the benefits and the drawbacks. 

How does Threads work with Instagram?

Threads has been made by the Instagram team at Meta and is often coined on app stores as an 'Instagram App'.

The integration of Instagram and Threads has been used to make an easy transition for users to create a Threads account from their existing Instagram. 

You must still download the official Threads app separately to sign up for Threads.

Your Threads account is already synced to your Instagram profile if you create your account through your Instagram log-in, allowing you to follow the cross-over connections from your Instagram- there is even an option to do this in bulk.

Threads posts can be shared on Instagram and Facebook, allowing marketers to expand their advert's reach across platforms.

Which marketing strategies can be used for Threads?

Like Twitter/X, Threads is most advantageous as a tool for public relations and improving the visibility of brands.

Threads are geared towards engaging in conversations, meaning that brands can jump on trends, manage brand image and interact with affiliates and bigger brands.

Running ads is currently not a feature offered by Threads, but it is easy to anticipate the introduction of buying ad space shortly, which will contribute to the app's revenue.

What is the demographic using Threads?

Gen Z is currently the main demographic using Threads. Although Millennials are close behind, these generations are often very valuable in social media marketing.

Younger audiences can bring influencer marketing to the forefront as most influencers fall into the Gen Z or Millenial category.

The app's association with Instagram is likely that many influencers can use Threads to develop their online presence without compromising their content.

Younger generations generally spend more time on social media.

They are responsible for many interactions and engagement, ideal for a text-based conversation app like Threads.

Gen Z and Millenials are digitally savvy and are more likely to be inclined to expand their social media platforms and try new applications.

Making Threads one to watch for advertisers in the long term, especially for brands with a younger target audience.

What are the advantages of Threads for Marketers?

Threads' incredible growth after the platform's initial release is undeniable, with over 10 million accounts set up within the first 7 hours.

Although there is a decline in the number of active users of the app currently, it is reasonable to see this as a clear indicator of demand and potential.

Threads community guidelines mirror Instagram, meaning there are more restrictions on the language and content posted on the platform than on X. 

These guidelines work towards a safe space for users and limit misinformation. Both are useful to advertisers who want to encourage their audience to consume their content and provide legitimate and appropriate advertising. 

Verification is also not a paid service like X, but rather, accounts need to be authenticated by the platform before receiving a visible tick on their profile.  

There is less competition from misleading profiles attempting to copy established brands/companies.

Threads has also brought in a new feature where you can block particular words in your privacy settings, meaning that you will never be shown posts containing any specified words you do not wish to see.

There are two feeds available on the Threads app. The first is your 'Followers Feed'; this feed will only show posts from your followers, and no other content will be featured. 

The second feed is titled 'For You'. This feed presents posts, people, and topics it predicts you would like to promote in expanding your network.

These filtration processes make it easier for advertisers to reach their target audience through their set preferences and interests engaged with the app.

There have also been rumours that X will soon start charging its users for their membership to the app.

Paid memberships will limit advertising as the audience unable to pay for the service will move elsewhere, and advertising on X may become less profitable as people move to other free accessible platforms.

What are the disadvantages of Threads?

Threads has declined in active users since its release, and many complaints have surfaced surrounding the algorithm's ability to show appropriate content to the appropriate users.

Partially, this is an issue due to the need for more content on the platform.

Only a few months old, it is hard to compete with the machine learning of a platform such as X, which has been around for 17 years.

Less content means less data, leading to an algorithm that is less personalised and targeted than more established platforms.

Algorithms improve social media by showing users personalised content, boosting engagement, and ensuring content quality.

They optimise ads, moderate content, save users time, and contribute to platform growth.

Without the refinement of Threads algorithms, there will be a limit to what marketing via the platform can achieve.

Restrictions have also arisen from EU regulations regarding the privacy policies implemented in the app due to data sharing concerns.

Geographically based drawbacks continue, as particular features like keyword search may not be available in specific countries.

Furthermore, not all languages are available on the app.

Threads globally still do not have a hashtag feature that can be used to follow trends, restricting marketing in terms of market research, streamlining the categorisation of content to make it accessible for your target audience, building brand identity and increasing reach.

Many have felt that the Threads app's present lack of features we have all become accustomed to as brands and as users demonstrate an underdeveloped app, resulting in a decline of active users.

Is it worth using Threads?

New social media platforms can cause a significant paradigm shift in the age of digital marketing.

These platforms present new avenues for brands to engage with their target audience, leveraging innovative features and interactive interfaces.

The ability to create authentic connections, gather real-time feedback, and tailor marketing strategies based on user behaviour is unparalleled. 

However, while the potential is vast, success in marketing through these platforms requires a deep understanding of the unique user dynamics, consistent adaptability to evolving trends, and an unwavering commitment to providing genuine value. 

As businesses embrace these emerging platforms, they must balance promotional content and user experience. 

Want to stay agile, creative, and empathetic in your approach to social media marketing?  Contact us today and keep your finger on the pulse!

Thursday 12th October 2023

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