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    5 brands on Threads putting their own spin on the platform

    When Threads, Meta’s text-first social platform, came onto the scene in July 2023, social marketers everywhere let out a collective gasp. No one was sure what to expect. Soon, both social teams and users were quick to comment on Threads’ “good vibes” reminiscent of the early days of social media—a testament to organic, community-oriented conversations on the platform.

    5 brands on Threads putting their own spin on the platform

    As Threads continues to roll out new product features and expand API capabilities, the platform has become an engagement generator for brands, pushing more of them to create a presence. According to a Q3 2023 Sprout Pulse Survey, 70% of marketers are currently using Threads, and another 21% anticipate using the platform in the near future.

    How are brands carving out space on this new network? How does Threads contribute to their overall social strategy? We took a closer look at five brands on Threads inspiring us, and stitched together key takeaways from their approaches. Use their trailblazing strategies to chart your path.

    What is the opportunity for brands on Threads?

    According to Meta’s Q4 2023 earnings call, there are 130 million monthly users on Threads, up from 100 million in Q3. Mark Zuckerberg, Meta CEO, says the emerging platform continues to grow rapidly. This growth is bolstered by the roster of new features released since the platform launched.

    Just in Q1 2024, Threads has introduced saved posts, saved drafts, adding images to posts, adding trends to the search page and For You feed, and a new API update that enables social teams to manage their presence in social media management platforms like Sprout Social. Threads is also beta testing “swiping” posts so users can express their interest (or disinterest) in content in their feed.

    As the platform expands—both in user size and functionality—it can become a place for meaningful, authentic engagement between brands and their fans. Which is exactly what audiences are looking for. The Sprout Social Index™ research found that “authentic, non-promotional” content is what most consumers wish they saw more of from brands on social. Another 51% say the most memorable brands respond to their customers, while over one-third (37%) wish brands would engage directly with their audience instead of publishing a lot of content.

    Data visualization from The Sprout Social Index™ 2023 that states 51% of surveyed consumers say the most memorable brands on social respond to customers.

    Responding to customers and building community on Threads can increase consumer satisfaction, and also boost critical KPIs. Engagement is the big opportunity on the platform, and almost three-quarters (74%) of VPs and executives look to social media engagement metrics (likes, shares, comments, etc.) to determine the value of their team’s social efforts, according to the Index.

    How 5 brands are finding a new home on Threads

    Let’s dive into our lineup of brands who stand out on Threads, and zero-in on how their approach maximizes engagement on the platform.

    GBH

    GBH is a Boston-based public media producer, creating local news, nationally-distributed television programs, classical music programming, educational resources, events and more. We asked GBH’s Social Media Strategist, Zack Waldman, to fill us in on their Threads content strategy.

    “Threads isn’t even 10 months old yet—it’s still an infant learning to crawl. With that in mind, experimentation has and continues to be the name of the game. We’ve found that high-performing witty and colorful posts on X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram tend to also play on Threads, but we’d be lying if we said we’ve found the formula for success,” says Waldman.

    Some of their best performing content includes fan favorites from public radio and television programming, like this post featuring Big Bird and Mr. Rogers.

    A GBH Threads post celebrating the birthdays of Mr. Rogers and Big Bird, and the beginning of spring.

    Or behind-the-scenes content, like this office tour with iconic journalist and NPR Fresh Air host Terry Gross.

    A Threads video featuring an office tour with NPR Legend, Terry Gross.

    GBH also uses Threads to boost their influencer marketing efforts, like this post promoting an influencer’s new PBS social media series. This is a strategy we’re seeing from brands more and more. According to Q3 Pulse Survey data, almost half (45%) of marketers use Threads when implementing their influencer marketing efforts.

    A GBH Threads post featuring influencer Mychal the Librarian and his new PBS Kids social media series.

    Waldman says Threads’ growing user base and text-centric format makes it easy to experiment and complement efforts on other channels. “Threads provides GBH’s national and local production units the opportunity to reach and engage with a sizable audience. Given that text-heavy posts continue to dominate the Threads landscape, there is a lower barrier to success compared with video-centric platforms.”

    But there are still challenges when it comes to data synthesis. “Discerning what works and what doesn’t work is particularly challenging because of the lack of data available on the platform beyond followers, post likes and replies,” Waldman adds.

    Waldman hopes Sprout’s new integration with Threads will make management and performance analysis easier. “Now that Threads publishing and scheduling has been added to Sprout, GBH’s social media managers—who are responsible for growing and engaging audiences for their specific productions or units—can more easily and efficiently leverage the platform to build and deepen connections with our communities.”

    Get Thready with it: As your brand builds a presence on Threads, continuously test and learn. To keep an eye on performance trends and schedule posts in advance, try Sprout’s Threads integration free for 30 days.

    American Red Cross

    The American Red Cross, the nonprofit humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief and disaster education in the US, has built a solid following on Threads. The brand’s strategy is rooted in building community and humanizing their brand.

    As Rebecca Torriani Márquez, Manager of Social Engagement at the American Red Cross, says, “It’s okay to have fun, engage with other brands and explore different types of content to see what works. Threads is continuously rolling out updates and features to enhance the user experience—like polls and trending conversations.”

    An American Red Cross poll on Threads, which asks users to choose which items they consider essential in their survival kit. Top answer: snacks.

    She also points out that the tone on the channel feels different: “Brands on Threads are more playful than you typically see on other platforms, and are willing to engage with their audience beyond typical customer care responses.” Like when the brand responded to a post about bringing books in your first aid kit:

    The American Red Cross playfully replying to Barnes and Noble on Threads about putting books in first aid kits.

    To the American Red Cross, Threads is essential for audience building, content experimentation, channel diversification and brand visibility. As Torriani Márquez says, “Threads allows us to tap into a new audience we may not normally reach on other platforms. And as early adopters, we can experiment with new ideas that help evolve our content strategy as new features and functionalities are released. We are simultaneously figuring out what content resonates with our audience and learning from other brands and their successes.”

    An American Red Cross post on Threads celebrating the life-saving blood contributions of a man with type O negative blood.

    Get Thready with it: Take a cue from the American Red Cross, and keep a pulse on new platform updates/trends and audience demographics. Threads is constantly evolving, creating new opportunities for audience growth and engagement with untapped markets.

    CNN

    CNN, the multinational news company, uses Threads to keep followers informed about breaking news and current events. In their posts, they share story headlines and key takeaways, and include links so users can read complete articles on their website.

    A CNN Threads post highlighting a story about the role of AI in the workforce

    Threads presents an opportunity for the brand to be the first to share a story. Compared to other channels where short-form and long-form video reign supreme, text and image-focused updates are common on Threads. Which means CNN can publish more frequent, lower-lift posts that stay ahead of the 24/7 news cycle.

    Get Thready with it: As social becomes more decentralized and new platforms emerge, the pressure on social teams to produce content increases. On Threads, brands can post regularly—which builds their thought leadership, audience and community—without getting burnt out.

    Ooni

    Ooni is an outdoor pizza oven company based in Edinburgh, Scotland. The brand specializes in high-temperature ovens for residential customers. On Threads, Ooni shares drool-worthy images and videos of unexpected recipes consumers can make with their ovens. Like this gooey egg and bacon quesadilla.

    An Ooni post on Threads showcasing the oven's next level breakfast making capabilities.

    Followers comment on the content sharing love for the brand, their products and the recipes they share.

    The comments section on Ooni's Threads post about making breakfast. Fans were quick to comment how delicious the mouth-watering meal looked.

    Ooni supplements their food inspo content with text-based posts that rack up engagements, like this one which asks users to share the best pizza maker in their family.

    An Ooni Threads post that reads: Who's the best pizza maker in your family?

    Get Thready with it: Like Ooni, your content mix on Threads isn’t limited to one format. While there are many low-lift engagement opportunities you can capitalize on, there’s also an opportunity to share video content from other channels. Try testing a variety of formats and topics to see what resonates with your audience.

    Reddit

    Reddit, the social network known for its community forums, is grabbing attention on Threads. Even though it might seem unexpected for one social platform to shine on another, that’s exactly what Reddit has achieved.

    Reddit understands that every social media user has an ecosystem of content they consume across networks. Their content strategically reaches potential audience members, and draws people to Reddit. Most of Reddit’s Threads posts are memes created by users on their platform.

    A Reddit post on Threads that reads: dank meme. The attached meme pokes fun at corporate cubicle life.

    They even spotlight Reddit forums about Threads on the network (meta, right?).

    A Reddit post on Threads about a Reddit forum about the Threads platform.

    Reddit shares product updates about their platform, too. This reminds users of the experience it offers, and suggests Reddit’s Threads strategy is rooted in staying top of mind for their audience.

    Get Thready with it: Even if it seems unexpected for your brand to join Threads, you can still cultivate your audience there. Especially if their interests and trending conversations align with your brand or products.

    Keep pulling on Threads that lead to audience engagement

    Audience engagement plays a pivotal role in building a community online and measuring your brand’s success. Threads is an engagement magnet. Like a social media network from the early 2000s, the focus of Threads is on building connections instead of just going viral.

    To build a Threads presence that works, remember to:

    • Lean into experimentation—from your content formats and topics to your general strategy. Keep an eye on upcoming platform updates to help guide you.
    • Humanize your brand by engaging with your audience and other brands in playful ways. Your tone on Threads doesn’t have to be as serious as on other channels.
    • Use the low-lift nature of Threads’ text posts to your advantage. It doesn’t always take flashy visuals or high production quality to stand out.

    Want to learn more about optimizing your brand’s Threads presence? Read how Sprout’s Threads integration helps you create authentic connections at scale.

    The post 5 brands on Threads putting their own spin on the platform appeared first on Sprout Social.

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