Threads Unleashed: How Business Leaders Can Establish Thought Leadership And Boost Their Brand
Meta couldn’t have timed the unveiling of Threads better. With Elon Musk alienating Twitter users by the millions, a space has definitely opened for a new text-sharing app—and one without the baggage of what is now called X.
Indeed, uptake for Threads in its first two weeks of release, in early July, surpassed 150 million downloads.
Reviews have been mostly positive. Guardian tech writer Kari Paul wrote that “Using Threads felt like a fever dream in which Twitter and Instagram had a more usable brain child.”
However, the news has not been all rosy for Mark Zuckerberg and co. According to the CEO himself, more than half of the new signees had already stopped using it by the end of its first month.
But what, if anything, does this mean for business leaders? Should you as a business leader be on Threads, and if so, what are some benefits? Let’s see.
What Threads is (and isn’t)
One huge advantage of Threads is that the new app comes integrated with another successful social media platform—Instagram.
Once downloaded, the app ports over your IG credentials to create an account. Details like username, name, bio, profile photo, verification mark, and other settings will transfer to the new account.
You can still customize your profile, however. (Pro tip: post your best-performing tweets there to start your Threads account with proven content.)
You can share a Threads post to your IG story or to your DMs, share your post as a link on other social media platforms, and use the mention button to mention people in your thread. And, as with Instagram, the app lets you connect and follow people with similar interests. This includes people you follow both on Instagram and outside of it. You can see posts from people you follow as well as recommended posts from people you don’t.
One limitation of Threads is that, once signed on, you can’t delete your account without deleting your Instagram account.
Threads v X
Basically, Threads resembles X in that its primary use is for sharing short text updates and participating in public conversations.
But the devil is in the details. Posts on Threads can be up to 500 characters long and can include links, photos, and videos up to five minutes long. Tweets on X are still limited to 280 characters (subscribers can type up to 4,000).
Threads also allows users to share up to 10 photos in a single post—the same limit that exists on Instagram—as opposed to Twitter’s limit of four images.
At least at the moment, Threads doesn’t have paid tiers and ads. It also doesn’t have long videos, private messages, or live audio rooms like Twitter. It also doesn’t support hashtags. Its search function only allows users to look up other users, not specific text or phrases.
Ways business leaders can use Threads
Start anew for a new audience
For brands and business leaders, Threads is an opportunity to start from scratch. Take what you’ve learned from other platforms and, where and when you can, apply it to the new app for a new—at least partially—audience.
As with any platform, early adopters have an advantage. The rules of Threads are still unwritten; there is less competition for eyeballs and more opportunity to experiment. Some brands and business leaders simply copy their Twitter/X strategy. Threads gives you a unique opportunity to experiment and try something new.
And, by trying out different strategies, you’ll see which pay off faster. And there are fewer people to see when and if you do screw up.
Post exclusive content
Use Threads not just for the things you’re already sharing on other platforms but for exclusive content. Some ideas include previews of a new product, behind-the-scenes looks at your operations, and collaborations with influencers.
Keep it short
Just because threads can be up to 500 characters doesn’t mean they should be, at least not every time. Shorter threads are better for bite-size attention spans, so post easy-to-digest, useful tidbits, such as advice about your brand or industry. This is the kind of thread that is extra-shareable.
Regularly post to maintain your followers’ interest. Make it a habit to stay up-to-date with updates, company milestones, and opinions. The most present you are, the more likely you are to be seen as a thought leader.
Threads is designed to foster positive communications and discussions, something that many users accused Twitter of failing to do. Be at the forefront by actively using the new app for building community. Post questions that prompt reflection and debate. Ask for feedback and encourage people to share content about your business.
Time will tell whether Threads has the staying power or reach of Twitter/X. It may not turn out to be the Twitter-killer some have called it, but Threads offers plenty of opportunity for today’s savvy business leader to get on the ground-floor of something new, exciting, and potentially beneficial.