To Thread or Not to Thread… Should Your Small Business Be on Threads?
Should you create a Threads account for your small business?
It’s only been a few weeks since Threads launched, and already it’s made quite a splash. And while it may stick around for the long haul, is it right for your business?
And as a small business owner, you may not want to use precious hours to get to grips with every new program, app, or piece of software.
But if you’re wondering whether your business should start a Threads account, let’s first dive in a little deeper to the new app.
First, what is Threads?
According to Instagram, “Threads is a new app, built by the Instagram team, for sharing text updates and joining public conversations.”
And in his own Reel, Instagram’s CEO Adam Mosseri, says they’re integrating safety features like hidden words, restrict, and community guidelines — emphasizing they want Threads to be “friendly and open.”
How Does the Instagram Threads App Work?
Similar to Twitter (and other alternatives), Instagram Threads lets you share text-based content — with the option to include links, photos, and videos.
Here’s a few high-level takeaways:
- Threads can be connected via your Instagram account
- Posts can be up to 500 characters long
- Links, photos, and videos (up to five minutes in length) can be included in posts
- You can have a public or private Threads account
- You can choose who can reply to your posts on Threads: anyone, profiles you follow, or only profiles you mention
- If you deactivate your Threads account, it will not deactivate or delete your Instagram account
Okay, so should your business create an account?
When considering joining any social media platform as a business, the primary goal is to engage with existing followers and attract new ones. Ultimately, the aim is to build a community of loyal customers and drive more business. Therefore, the crucial question is whether Threads can help achieve these objectives. The answer is yes, but…
Does your business already use Instagram?
If you have an Instagram account, it will be relatively easy to add Threads into the mix. Install the Threads app and use your Instagram credentials to log in. You can then opt to carry over other settings if you want.
Threads is positioning itself as the wordy version of Instagram. And where a picture may be worth a thousand words, with Threads you have 500 characters to paint with. BUT you can still post photos and videos that are up to five minutes long.
One thing to bear in mind is that right now, if you create a Threads account, it isn’t easy to go back. Because it’s connected to your Instagram account, you’d have to delete both of them. You can deactivate your Threads account for a limited amount of time. Meta says it’s working on a solution to this issue.
Does social media already drive a lot of your business?
If you’re an influencer, starting a Threads account is a no-brainer. Being present on social media is your business. Similarly, if you get a lot of your new clients from social media and use it to maintain existing relationships, it could make sense to get in on the Threads action.
Think about how important your social media presence is for your business, and how much time it already takes up. If you have a social media manager, talk to them about how Threads will fit with the rest of your social media activity and what they want to do.
Will you keep the content updated?
Managing social media accounts can take a lot of time. There are social media tools that can help, such as Later, SocialPilot, etc. Nonetheless, think about how much time it will all take. AND keep in mind that currently those third party scheduling apps are NOT integrated with Threads – so all posting will be manual.
What’s your plan? Who is responsible for posting content? Do they have bandwidth? What kind of posts do you want? Set clear goals around what you want to post and the number of followers you want to attract.
There are different schools of thought here, but we think having an account with just one or two out-of-date posts can be worse than not having an account at all. If you’re already struggling to keep on top of the social media feeds you have, you may want to evaluate where your focus is and should be.
Look at what is or isn’t working for you, and try to be clear about what you’re trying to achieve on these platforms.
Are your people there?
In it’s current state (what most call “unhinged”) is the platform right for your business and your audience and customers?
Consider your target audience, weigh the potential benefits, and make an informed decision about whether Threads aligns with your small business goals.
Threads has the potential to foster a community and enable businesses to find new users who may be interested in their products or services. However, it is important to assess whether your target demographic aligns with the user base on this platform.
While there are no available analytics on Threads users at the moment, it is reasonable to assume that the demographic will consist of younger individuals, early adopters of technology, and Instagram enthusiasts. To determine if your target demographic is likely to be present on Threads, ask yourself if they fit this description.
Are you looking for Twitter alternatives?
Twitter has been under fire recently. There’s no point in re-hashing the ins and outs of Elon Musk’s takeover, beyond that a lot of people want a viable alternative. If you’re one of them, make sure you’re comfortable with what Threads offers in terms of usability, security, and the number of people on the platform.
Threads has an advantage over other Twitter competitors in that it’s owned by Meta. That’s great if you’re looking for a media giant with the resources to compete. But less so if you’re worried about said media giant getting even bigger.
Is there an advantage in being the first?
Every company is different. If you’re a mom-and-pop hardware store with a reputation for being steady and reliable, your brand won’t be the same as a trendy bubble tea store that’s always ahead of the times. Even more so if you have an edgy tech company that leads the way in innovation.
The other potential advantage to being an early Threads adopter is that you can get a head start in building your following. But as one BBC article explained, that could be overrated. Right now, everybody is jumping on board with this new product and it’s chaos. There are also benefits to waiting, figuring out what might work well on Threads, and learning from other people’s mistakes.
The threaded bottom line.
There’s no right or wrong decision in terms of opening a Threads account. The biggest issue is that it could distract you from your core activities. If you’re already struggling to keep up with social media or other marketing strategies, it may not be the best time to engage somewhere new.
Otherwise, consider how the app might help your business. If you think it’s a value add then dive in and experiment.
You can also consider testing the platform using your personal profile before making a decision. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the app and its features. Then make an informed decision on whether it’s the right place for your business.
But there’s no harm in waiting.
A potential advantage to being an early Threads adopter is that you can get a head start in building your following. But as one BBC article explained, that could be overrated. Right now, everybody is jumping on board with this new product and it’s chaos. There are also benefits to waiting, figuring out what might work well on Threads, and learning from other people’s mistakes.
Keep in mind – Threads is still new, and will need time to sort through bugs or add features like hashtags, alt text, or a chronological feed. So even if you don’t create your account today, you can consider adjusting your social media strategy in the future as the app settles into itself.
If you’re still not sure if Threads is right for your small business, Pathfinder is here to help guide you! If you do not already have a social media marketing plan in place, we can help from the very beginning. Setting your business on the right track across the board and ensure that you are not stretching yourself too thin and focusing efforts with little to no ROI.
- Should you create a Threads account for your small business?
- First, what is Threads?
- How Does the Instagram Threads App Work?
- Okay, so should your business create an account?
- Does your business already use Instagram?
- Does social media already drive a lot of your business?
- Will you keep the content updated?
- Are your people there?
- Are you looking for Twitter alternatives?
- Is there an advantage in being the first?
- The threaded bottom line.
- But there's no harm in waiting.
- Still unsure?
- Bonus Threads Insight
Bonus Threads Insight
If you’re already on Threads or have decided to jump in head first, here are some insights to help!
What should you post about on Threads?
Threads is a brand-new app so there are a lot of unknowns in regards to how it will be used. Our first impression is that it is a casual and quick way to share content, start authentic conversations, and get your name out there. Early data shows that Threads is a good platform for engagement. Since there aren’t any paid ads on the platform, any reviews or reposts about your business will feel very genuine.
According to Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, content should be focused on starting conversations and making connections.
Easy ways to create content for Threads:
- Interact with potential customers and like-minded brands/individuals
- Cross-promote your posts between Threads and Instagram
- Introduce yourself and why you started your business
- Repost content that relates to your business
- Share memes relevant to your business
- Follow top and relevant accounts
- Engage, engage, engage
What can you post on Threads?
Like Instagram, you can post images and videos. But, unlike Instagram, you also have the option to post links, text-only messages, and animated gifs.
- Text (up to 500 characters)
- Images and Photos (up to 10)
- Videos (up to 5 min.)
- .gifs (along with Giphy app)
What can’t you post on Threads?
Although future updates are surely on their way, as of now, the following features aren’t available on Threads.
- Direct messages (DMs)
- Pinned posts
- If you hit “return” three times at the end of your post, it creates a new inline reply thread
- Tap the (+) on profile pictures to follow an account in a single click
- Your Instagram profile photo automatically transfers over to Threads but you can upload a new photo in the Profile section