The threads app launched a mere three days ago on July 6, 2023, and there are currently over 90 Million accounts on the app. This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise due to Meta’s genius of linking the platform to instagram, making it super easy for its already 1.6 Billion users to access the new app.
Not only that, but they built in a way to make threads easily shareable on instagram to ensure users promotion of the app, with pre-branded reposts which support marketing the app. As I mentioned previously, genius.
So, if you’ve been on the internet at all in the last few days, you’ve heard about Threads. Whether the app stays or goes, it’s already taught us a lot about how the world may be ready for a new platform. Anyways, here’s my take on the app and how it can be an opportunity for small business owners and entrepreneurs to learn how to better reach their target market in some real and impactful ways.
But here are a few observations first…
1. Branding v.s. Sales
Brands have voices. They have stories. They speak to a specific audience that resonates with that voice and that story because the brand speaks to a problem. The intention of branding isn’t selling, it’s connection. It’s problem solving. If you are showing up as your brand, your tribe is drawn to you without stating the obvious, which is that you want something from them.
Threads presented some brands and “experts” with some difficult challenges. Those who “know” how to market and sell, instantly did what they knew. And it mostly fell on deaf ears. For the brands that led with their voice– not their product and expertise, they saw a ton of engagement. For example, Pinky Cole and Mahdi Woodward are both very relational on Instagram and made a very smooth transition to Threads.
Much like the initial birth of social media, people were drawn to community, not another place to spend money.
2. The “You Can’t Sit With Us” Crew is Live and Well
I just want to start with the fact that I don’t like these people, so it’s going to be extremely biased. We were on the app for less than 48 hours and a group of people already wanted to limit access to the number of people they were hearing from. I saw it in multiple ways, people whining about not wanting to hear from “randoms” and other people they weren’t already following.
Here’s what’s interesting about this to me – it almost ALWAYS came from influencers. And maybe they didn’t mean it this way, but it felt like they were saying they wanted to “speak” to the masses but not hear from them.
What strikes me about this was the question – why come to a new app to hear from the same people you hear about on every other app? Are you interested in connecting with the people who have given you status or are they beneath you?
Because in that case, why did you even come here!?
My favorite part about the app is the expression of freedom. It’s like everyone joined the app and you could audibly hear a collective sigh of relief… I mean except the whiny ones. People were so happy to just say things, comment, and get a response. So many people had an emotional connection to the app, referencing a more positive vibe and feeling free from ads and algorithms. They also felt more connected to brands because they could comment and get a response back.
In the world of social media, everyone is constantly selling to us and telling us who we should follow and what we should buy. We are tired of it.
People just want community, relationships, and connections. We get that there are finer things in life but the majority of people aren’t experiencing those things in their real lives and they should have exposure, but it’s oversaturated.
Threads presents the option to be freed to be human, until it’s monetized of course.
4. Your Likeability is on Display
Most social media networks are about clout and because we are already following people for clout on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok– we don’t need another platform for that. Additionally, even though you can “seemingly” transfer your following from Instagram to Threads, it seems like there’s about a 10% transfer rate. I can’t tell if this is because people bought followers 👀 or people don’t like you enough to follow you twice, but there seems to be a difference.
Obviously there are other variables, but in my own personal experience I’ve realized that there are brands I like and then there are the people that lead those brands. I’m not a fan of Bezos but I still use amazon, while in my case my brand is very much tied to me. So if you don’t like me, you probably won’t patronize my business.
Long story short, founders are talking themselves out of business by being unlikeable and out of touch.
Anytime you can learn from your target audience… ABSOLUTELY DO IT. Anytime you can stop talking and listen… DO IT. Anytime you can humanize your brand… DO IT. If you’re an expert that stops listening and learning… you won’t be for long. Whether you decide to pour your heart out on the app or just stalk people in silence, you are missing an opportunity to engage by not at least seeing what’s up.
As a business owner, research and evaluation is such an important part of understanding how to evolve with your audience. Being afraid or adverse to change is a death sentence. #ripblockbuster
But don’t be a jerk. Being a jerk is a quick way to turn people off from your brand and why be a jerk when you can just keep it to yourself.