Sep 22, 2023
The social media world was flip-turned upside down on July 5, 2023, when Instagram announced that it was launching Threads, an app for sharing text-based updates and joining community conversations - and its alternative to Twitter (now called X). The app garnered over 30 million downloads just hours after it launched, including brands that immediately started migrating their communities to the platform. Here are the brands who have been killing it on Threads ever since and what we can learn from them.
While it might sound unexpected that an art museum in New York City would turn out to be one of the darlings of Threads, their user engagement doesn't lie: they've been absolutely smashing it. Social media consultant Rachel Karten refers to their content style on Threads as "irreverent, meme-like posts," which just about sums it up perfectly. What the Whitney Museum manages to do masterfully is their more casual, conversational tone, which is perfect, as the goal of the platform is to encourage people to engage in community conversation. According to Senior Social Media Manager Casey Betts, the brand's approach is to focus on tapping into existing online conversations and using these as opportunities to introduce their audience to spotlight art pieces from their expansive collection.
This idea of joining discussions rather than starting new ones has proven to bring great success to the brand and should be considered a vital component of any successful Threads strategy.
Starbucks has long been infamous for the ingenious marketing strategies that helped them turn pumpkin spice lattes into the official drink of the Fall season. The key to their success is leaning into their deep understanding of the thoughts, ideas, and emotions their audience relates to the arrival of Fall and their sweet & savory beverages. Threads arrived just in time for PSL (pumpkin spice latte) and helped Starbucks kick off its biggest campaign of the year. Their focus: short, simple, and hyper-relatable content that romanticizes the coffee-drinking experience - and makes you want to run to Starbucks for a cup, like now.
Their uncanny understanding of their audience is proof of the importance of social listening and how it can help you craft posts that feel incredibly authentic and shareable while making your audience feel seen.
Ulta Beauty's approach to killing it on Threads boils down to one simple thing: being social on social media. As one of the largest beauty retailers in the U.S., Ulta Beauty carries hundreds, if not thousands, of brands in their stores. It only makes sense that a core of their Threads strategy is to tag, reshare, and respond to as many Threads from other beauty brands as possible.
We often need to remember that a huge social media component is community building, and engaging with content from aligned brands is an excellent method for cross-promotion and social media growth, as Ulta proves.
If repurposing content was an Olympic sport, Netflix's social media accounts would undoubtedly win gold. They take an ingenious approach to repurposing clips from their original content and recontextualizing it to fit within relevant conversations their audience engages with online.
For brands that produce a significant amount of branded content, Netflix is a great case study for identifying ways to work smarter, not harder, to show up consistently by using content you already have in a new context that aligns with your audience's interests.
Similar to its approach on Twitter (now known as X), Spotify takes nurturing community to new heights with its 'you' focused content. It's human nature for us all to be self-absorbed and more likely to engage with content that empowers us to share something about ourselves. Spotify leans into this heavily with Threads that often feature questions or fill-in-the-blanks that encourage conversation among their audience - which translates to TONS of shares, reposts, and comments in the process.
Their focus on giving the floor to the community doesn't only align with the key purpose of the platform, which is to drive conversations, but it provides a treasure trove of constant insights they can use to continually learn and better engage with their audience. It's a win-win strategy!
While there isn't a one-size-fits-all all strategy for Threads, there are best practices to ensure that the platform is serving its purpose of creating a platform for driving meaningful connections with other people and brands. The Whitney Museum's Threads bio refers to their account as their 'Finsta,' and that's an excellent summary of how the platform should be used. Think of it as a place to pull back the curtains on your brand and nurture your audience vs. a place to actively sell things and promote.