Instagram Threads for Business: How To Leverage New Social Media To Boost Your Brand

Instagram Threads for Business: How To Leverage New Social Media To Boost Your Brand

Social media channels help brands engage customers and reach new audiences through content creation. These platforms are places for businesses and creators to market their brands with images, videos, and copy. Social media channels provide a direct line of communication between brands and their customers.

The goal is engagement–getting people to comment, like, share, and talk about what your brand is creating. It's not all about sales and conversions, which leaves room for creativity and entertainment. Brands want to show off their personality and build loyalty. On social media, brands can feel like a person rather than a corporate entity.

Instagram Threads is one of the newest platforms to break into the scene. It’s owned by Meta, the parent company behind Facebook and Instagram. Brands can use the Threads app to connect with their followers and show another facet of their voice and persona. Content on Threads is similar to Instagram, with the goal of being relatable, casual, and, at times, funny. Where Instagram is a visual platform built for pictures and videos, Threads is primarily text-based and designed for conversation and discussion.

Let's dive into Threads so you can learn more about the platform and find out the best ways to leverage it for your brand:

What is Instagram Threads?

Instagram Threads is a microblogging site that allows individuals and businesses to share content with their followers. Meta launched the platform in July of 2023 as a competitor to X (formerly known as Twitter). Threads allows users to post up to 500 characters, 10 images, or 5 minutes of video to their home feeds.

When opening the app for the first time, the platform has the same look and feel as X. Instead of sending what were once called "tweets" (now called posts), you can create Threads. The platform aims to differentiate itself from X by positioning itself as a forum for meaningful discussions.

Microblogging platforms revolve around text-based posts and short blurbs that can be informative, engaging, and humorous. Brands like Netflix and Lyft use Threads to show they don't take themselves too seriously and seem more human. Adding Threads to your social media strategy can help you connect with different audiences and diversify the type of content you promote.

How does it work

How to set up a profile

The easiest way to set up a profile in Threads is to download the app and then use your existing Instagram information. Currently, you need to have an Instagram account before you can make a Threads profile.

Step 1: Log in with Instagram

If you don't have an account, you’ll need to download the Instagram app and make one for your business.

Instagram Threads 1

Step 2: Create your profile

You can import your bio and link from Instagram or write a new one. Your Threads username will automatically be your Instagram handle. If you want to change your username, you’ll have to change your Instagram first.

Instagram Threads 2

Step 3: Choose whom to follow

Threads will bring up the accounts that you follow on Instagram. You can then select <<Follow All>> or choose the specific accounts you want to follow on Threads.

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Step 4: Post your first Thread

Once your profile is complete, you can start posting to Threads.

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Click <<Start your first thread>>

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What kind of content can be posted?

Threads–like X, Reddit, and Tumblr–was designed to be a microblogging platform. This means instead of relying on visual content, like Instagram or TikTok, users can post just text and have discussions. Each Threads post can have up to 500 characters. You have the option to add a visual element like a picture or video and tag other accounts using their handles.

Threads doesn't use hashtags like other social platforms. Instead, when you create a post on Threads, you can tag one topic. Initially, Threads only allowed users to search for accounts, but it has expanded into topics.

The idea is that your content feed is more curated by the accounts you follow, like on the Instagram home page, rather than the Explore page or Reels. These pages use an algorithm based on the types of content you interact with most to decide what posts and Reels to show you.

These are some posts from well-known brands that use Threads:

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Marvel uses Threads to create memes and jokes about popular characters like Captain America. The brand can create original content and spark conversations by combining creative graphics with humorous text.

Instagram Threads 7

At Upwork, we take trending prompts from other companies and add our own spin, which helps with cultural relevance and engagement. We also share updates like our new AI resources with our followers.

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Olipop celebrates Taylor Swift's birthday in a Thread, calling her "Mother," a term that her followers use endearingly. The soda brand also shares its recognition in Ad Age's Marketers of the Year List.

How businesses can leverage Instagram Threads

Social media is a free tool for businesses; it costs nothing to post content. You still want to make sure you're making the most out of each channel that you use. While you want to increase your following, you also want to make sure that they're interacting with your content.

Threads can help you promote your brand and engage your audience. Common social media goals are brand awareness, driving website traffic, and lead generation.

You can leverage Instagram Threads in several ways for your business to achieve important goals:

Use promotions and coupons to increase engagement

Customers appreciate getting deals and taking advantage of promotions. It can be a great way to increase your sales and social media engagement. On Instagram Threads, reward your followers by offering them coupon codes and links to sales that aren't available to the general public or give them early access.

These promotions give your audience a reason to keep following you and encourage them to check in and make sure they're not missing out on any deals. You can also track the effectiveness of your campaigns by giving each social media channel a different link or promo code and analyzing the metrics. This will let you track conversions and traffic so you can compare channels.

If your goal is lead generation, you can make the link go to a landing page that requires an email or other information before giving access to the code or sale. You can then follow up later with email marketing or sales calls, depending on what your strategy is.

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Highlight service or product

You can use Threads to highlight specific services or products. This is a helpful strategy for filling out your editorial calendar. Spend time promoting each of your products or services. On Threads, you can dive deeper into your brand’s personality and use the platform to share more information and go behind the scenes.

Try to mix up text-heavy posts with pictures and videos. The content on Threads can be informal. Show how your product is made or the people behind the service. This is an opportunity to connect with your followers while driving traffic and marketing specific products or services.

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Host a contest

Contests incentivize your followers to interact with your content. You can host a contest for lead generation or use it to increase engagement. If the goal is lead generation, a link can lead to a landing page. Contests meant for engagement should have actions that the followers have to take in order to enter them into the contest, like following your page, replying with an emoji or answer, liking the post, or tagging another user.

When hosting a contest, you can partner with a brand that has a similar audience to yours. Together, you can promote your products or services and hopefully gain followers from each other. Product and service giveaways are popular types of contests. You could also offer cash prizes like a gift card or the chance to be promoted or featured by the company (if you have a large following).

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Collaborate with influencers

Influencer marketing is collaborating with individuals who have large social media followings using sponsored posts and giveaways. Influencers partner with businesses that fit their personal brand. Depending on how big their following is, they may charge per post or be interested in just being an affiliate or receiving free products or services.

If an influencer works as an affiliate, you can give them a special link or promo code to include in their posts. When their followers complete a purchase using that code, the influencer will receive a commission. This is usually a percentage of sales or a set amount.

Typically, an influencer has a niche like fitness or tech, and their followers are interested in the same topics, especially for micro (10k-50k followers) and nano influencers (less than 10k). Their followers trust their opinions on what products and services to buy and use.

Influencer marketing is a popular strategy for brands on social media to gain followers and boost sales. Finding influencers whose followers fit your target audience is important. When influencers promote products or services that don't align with their niche and personal brand, the connection seems less authentic.

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Participate in conversations to build connections with your target audience

On Threads, you can speak directly to your target audience by participating in trending conversations from other brands. This can help show your cultural relevance and engage your followers.

Many brands like Sweetgreen posted their own version of Spotify Wrapped, the music streaming platform's now iconic end-of-year review that shows listeners’ top songs, brands, and other fun and shareable statistics.

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Lululemon posts short conversation starters as part of their community management strategy.

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These Threads encourage followers to reply, improving the post's engagement. The Thread could be a question, a take on a trending topic, or a challenge. You can also post a poll on Threads, which can help you get important feedback from your followers.

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Threads can be another branch of your customer support. Responding quickly to followers and addressing any complaints or questions can be a customer support tool. Some customers would rather send DMs (direct messages) to brands instead of calling a customer support number. Currently, Threads does not offer DMs, but users can tag your brand in a comment to start a conversation.

Provide exclusive content

You can make your Threads followers feel special and encourage loyalty on the platform by releasing exclusive content. Post behind-the-scenes images and video, or have Threads-only early access to product launches or sales. This rewards your audience for following your brand on the platform and gives them a reason to keep following.

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Inspire word-of-mouth marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is getting people to talk about your brand and recommend it to their friends, family, and followers. One way to do this on Threads is by creating shareable content that your followers will want to send to their friends. Some brands do this by participating in trends or creating memes and humorous posts. If you want to be more serious, you could post helpful or interesting content, like product launches, new features, events, or reports.

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Threads vs. X

Threads and X are two of the top competitors in the social media space for microblogging. Meta, owned by Mark Zuckerberg, released Threads in 2023 after instability at Twitter.

Elon Musk officially acquired Twitter in October of 2022, took the company private, and made himself CEO. Musk's "Twitter takeover" and the changes he made to the platform caused many users and advertisers to leave in disapproval. He even rebranded Twitter to X in April 2023.

Threads is a natural transition for many brands that already have Instagram accounts. Some brands are choosing to leave X for Threads, while others want to add to their social media strategy and may be new to the microblogging space.

Here is a breakdown to help compare the two similar platforms:

Demographics Thread X
Largest age group Gen Z Millennials
Percent of users 23-35 years old 28% 38%
Percent of users are male 68% 63%
Millions of users 100 million signed up week of launch 415 million in 2023
Biggest Markets India (22%), United Kingdom (20%), Brazil (16%), United States (14%) United States (23%), Japan (16%), India (6.5%), and Brazil (6%)

This is how X posts compare to Threads:

X post

*Users who subscribe to X Premium+ receive a blue checkmark next to their username and can post up to 25,000 characters and include videos up to 3 hours (8 GB) long.

Need an Instagram Threads expert?

Social media moves at a fast pace, and keeping up with the latest trends can be challenging. Instagram Threads is a recently released platform that can be a great addition to your social media strategy. Each social media platform has its own format, demographics, and best practices for engagement.

Hiring a Threads expert can help you get the most out of the app for your business. They'll help you grow your following and develop a content strategy, so you're posting the right type of content for your target audience to maximize engagement and reach. These Top Rated social media experts can get started right away.

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Author Spotlight

Instagram Threads for Business: How To Leverage New Social Media To Boost Your Brand
Cassie Moorhead
Content Writer

Cassie is a storyteller and content creator with over eight years of experience helping brands communicate to their customers through different channels. She enjoys finding new coffee shops to work from and spending time in nature with her dog, Sweeney.

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