Will Threads become the next big thing for event marketers?

Three days after the launch of Meta’s Twitter rival, Threads, Mike Fletcher looks at its potential as an event promotion tool. 

Like many social media strategists, I began rowing back on recommending Twitter’s importance as part of clients’ content marketing campaigns some time ago. The Twitterverse’s toxicity was becoming a brand turnoff and trying to build engaged follower communities often felt futile compared with other social media channels. 

Twitter limits reach of tweets

Then in early July 2023 Elon Musk, who bought Twitter for $44 billion last year, decided to impose limits on the number of tweets that users can see each day, effectively kiboshing the reach that had made the platform so attractive to marketers in the first place. 

The limits (currently 600 posts per day for unverified accounts), particularly impact news organisations and other informational services that need to review millions of daily tweets. 

According to Reuters for example, The National Weather Service said that it may now be unable to see tweeted reports of severe weather and associated damage. 

The right time for new Threads?

With storm winds still swirling around Twitter, the launch of Meta’s copycat microblogging app, Threads on 5 July 2023 was therefore extremely well-timed. 

It may look and feel familiar but can Threads live up to the hype of its first few days and become an alternative way to engage fans and keep conversational engagement high? 

My personal view is ‘not in its current form’. To me, at present it feels too much like a companion app to Instagram, allowing users of the photo-sharing platform to strike up text-based conversations with their follower community (you need an Insta account to sign-up to Threads and you then choose to follow accounts you already follow on the Gram). 

Quick change to get onboard

This of course has been done on purpose to allow for the seamless and quick transition of a huge pool of potential users (30 million Instagram accounts signed up to Threads in the first 24 hours of its launch). 

Once onto Threads, you can then interact with your Insta community via the typical likes, replies and reposts, and include links, photos and videos of up to five minutes long.

There’s an obvious advantage here for any marketer that has spent historic time and effort building a strong Instagram follower community. They can now divide their organic content strategy between Reels, Stories and stills on the Gram while driving conversational interactions and engagement on Threads. 

Missing features holding back Threads

But for anyone who was hoping that Threads would make them more searchable, get their events trending or even provide alternative paid advertising solutions, it’s not there - yet. 

There are no hashtags or trending conversations although you can post links (unlike on Instagram). 

The search feature only brings up accounts, not specific topics or posts, which means you can’t easily find and join conversations around, say a major news event. 

Plus, it launched without ads, although AdAge reports that Meta reps are currently presenting the future of Threads to both media agencies and brands so no doubt advertising will be introduced at some point. 

A nice pair of Threads

Still, Threads does feel like a friendlier, less threatening water cooler to hang out by. 

Hopefully, that’s been helped by the fact that users can delete any inappropriate or offensive conversation inputs (similar to TikTok), which may encourage more people to think twice before they post. 

As for the future of Threads? Well, we all know that when Meta commits to something (how’s that metaverse coming along Zuckerburg?), it goes all in. So, expect plenty of new features, upgrades and innovation in the coming months. 

For now, events that have been able to transition attendees into year-round engaged cohorts online are already benefitting from this more targeted, community-driven social media era. Threads looks set to be yet another tactic for this burgeoning marketing playbook. 

The Threads app is available to download for free on the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store.

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