When I first downloaded Threads when it launched on July 5, my first impression was kinda “meh.” What made this app different? It was a stripped-down Twitter but with Instagram’s userbase – the worst of both worlds. Still, I kept logging in to see if the app to see Threads for B2B marketing was viable. A couple of days later, the platform is rapidly growing on me – and it seems everyone else, given their explosive growth!
I am writing a quick guide to Threads for B2B marketers to celebrate my growing addiction to this fledgling social media network. Should you get started on Threads? What should you know before you sign up? I am planning to keep this guide up-to-date as the platform evolves.
This version was written on July 8.
Table of Contents
What Is Threads, and How Is It Different From Twitter?
Threads is a social media network owned by Meta (formerly Facebook) that is similar to early-2022-era Twitter. Posts are primarily text-based with a 500-character limit, but you can also include up to 10 pictures or 5 minutes of video. You can view, respond, and repost posts (called “Threads”) from anyone else.
Threads is technically part of Instagram, which means people can import their follow list from that platform. This is part of why influencers and consumer brands are so visible on the network, though it’s hard to tell how long that will last. Threads accounts will also be decentralized – more info on that later.
A few features aren’t available yet but are apparently in the works. This includes:
- No hashtags
- No desktop app
- No direct messages
- No search for posts (you can search for account names)
If Threads’ Features Are Similar to Twitter, Why Is It Popular?
Mainly because people hate Twitter and/or Elon Musk. That site is miserable, and Threads feels like hitting a reset.
Beyond that, there seem to be fewer racists and bots and a better overall atmosphere. The moderation rules are based on Instagram, which means less provocative content than Twitter, which is excellent for B2B brands that want to avoid controversial content. We will need to see how all this pans out in practice.
But overall, if you are wondering if a specific product feature makes Threads better, the answer is “no.”
What is Decentralization? Why is Threads Decentralized?
According to Meta, Threads is also going to be decentralized. This means your profile and followers are not controlled by Threads, Instagram, or Meta but are based on ActivityPub, which allows you to display your profile and posts. Threads is like a window that displays your content, but you own everything behind the glass.
This mechanism is not a massive deal for casual users but has potential advantages for power users and marketers. One of the annoying features of starting another social media platform is that you don’t know how healthy it will be long term. Decentralization means you can reduce the time posting across platforms and take your followers to a compatible new platform. Mastodon uses the same tech, so you could take advantage of both networks if you want to.
While this sounds handy, these features are not yet operational in Threads, so we don’t know how they work in practice.
No Ads on Threads Yet, But Their Coming
This shouldn’t be a surprise. Ad support is not where you want to “move fast and break things” since companies will probably want the platform to be better tested before handing over money. Giving an ad-free experience to users trying Threads out for the first time will also likely help growth.
Still, like any marketing nerd, I am interested in what ad model they will use and what targeting features will be available. Twitter’s targeting has always seemed weak, which is a significant disadvantage for B2B companies where only a tiny percentage of the population is a relevant buyer.
We don’t know anything yet, though. Stay tuned.
Should B2B Companies Use Threads?
Should you start a B2B brand account on Threads? Assuming you have any other presence on social media, the answer is probably “yes.”
If your brand has a Twitter account, you should almost certainly start a Threads account. You can easily copy/paste your content from one platform to another, and no one will complain. Setting up an account is easy and will help you gather loyal followers looking for your brand on the new platform. This approach to content will not be optimal as Threads matures, but it is a safe place to start.
If you don’t have a Twitter account, but you do have LinkedIn, it should still be easy to share similar content on both apps.
If you have an even moderately successful Instagram account, you should absolutely start using Threads. It will only take a few seconds to start up, and you will generate followers without effort. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you will need to put in a bit of effort to generate content, but you can start by repurposing your IG posts.
Threads Best Practices for B2B Brands
It is far too soon to have established best practices for Threads. However, based on what I have seen so far and my experience on other platforms, these are my tips:
- Update regularly – there doesn’t seem to be a penalty, as seen on LinkedIn
- Respond to commenters (assuming they are respectful)
- Focus on quality content instead of promotion and sales pitches
Overall Review of Threads for B2B Marketing: Good Vibes, Features Need to Mature
Threads has a simple charm: mainly text, fewer racists and bots, and a new beginning. The features require some polish, but they are doing the basics well. There will probably need to be more innovation to overtake Twitter, but time will tell.
For now, if you or your company is interested in social media, you should get started. It is trivial to get started, and there is a lot of potential.