Maybe the Best Threads Strategy Right Now Is to Listen and Learn

When Threads launched on July 5, it was easy to get on the hype train. The battle for a Twitter replacement. A place where most of your friends already are. One-click login. Instagram even cleverly added number badges to profiles, indicating what number Threads user they are. (This blog post is written by user number 315,259, and you betcha I was stoked to squeak in at under 500,000… although I don’t really know why.) Just over a week later, there are over 100 million signups.

And for those of us marketers who are always interested in shiny new things (ahem, this is me. I am marketers), it was hard not to jump on board and see what all the fuss was about. I’ve written my early reaction on my personal blog though I’ve not yet said much about Threads as an in-house marketer. I’m mostly in “listen, learn and test” mode, posting and engaging on my personal account.

But does SparkToro have a Threads presence? Of course. Well, sort of. (User number 4,770,401, claimed only hours after I claimed my personal account.)

We set up our profile. Our avatar, bio and links are there.

We published a few inaugural posts. This includes a quick, casual “Hello world”-style post, a reminder of who we are, statement of our current intentions on the app, and our participation in a trending brand post. All pretty basic social media content.

And then we went back to listening and learning. As I saw mainstream brands piling on with unhinged Gen Z-style posts representative of the seemingly-tablestakes-wannabe-Wendys content strategy, I realized this was actually a good opportunity to pump the brakes, put down the megaphone, and listen.

Meme-like commentary from brands isn’t what I value in social media, and while I’m well-aware that value is subjective, I was reluctant to contribute to the brand noise and risk either getting blocked, or frankly, wasting my time and energy by trying to keep up with the publishing cadence.

After all, what’s the rush?

There is value in being an early adopter and riding the engagement wave as it washes over. But Threads is still new. Sure, you can manually look at likes, reposts and comments, but you can’t track analytics. You certainly can’t track attribution. And so you can’t truly measure return on investment (ROI). While it is entirely possible your audience is starting to hang out on Threads, that doesn’t mean that they’re waiting for you, dear brand (or for us), to weigh in with offbeat Barbieheimer commentary.

So in the meantime, here’s what I’m really doing:

Curating my feed and more consciously orienting it around Threads, tech and marketing: I’m paying attention to folks like Adam Mosseri (Head of Instagram, for Threads news and updates), Dr. Jorge Caballero (information security researcher who is writing about the app’s updates), Lia Haberman (marketer who writes mainly about the creator economy) and Dare Obasanjo (Meta product manager who also writes regularly about tech). As Meta continues to update the algorithm, I’m mindful about informing the hybrid feed, which is made up of both algorithmic content and content from whom I follow. I’m choosing to use Threads primarily for work, so I’d like to see mostly tech and marketing content there.

Continuing to “test” content on my personal account: “Test” is in quotes because I’m not doing anything formalized or structured. I continue to post about marketing and life like on my other channels, though with my much smaller follower count, I’m less self-conscious and thus more likely to shoot from the hip.

Casually planning SparkToro content: We’re already on LinkedIn, Instagram, Mastodon, and Twitter. It’s a lot to keep up with and we’re just a team of three. It’s not a priority for us to sacrifice much of our energy and time posting on a new social channel just for the sake of being early adopters. But as we are likely to go down this path, I think it’s safe to say that I’d start with leveraging our existing high-performing content from both Twitter and LinkedIn. I’ll verify that we still stand by the information and freshen up the messaging as needed before re-posting.

Prioritizing learning over posting: Mostly, I’m curious what you all think. Are you even on Threads? What do you value on social media? Do you think Threads will be a top 5 social network in the next 3 years? If you would be so inclined, we’d love your insights via our 2-minute survey:

We will share the findings from this survey early next week as we write up more detailed thoughts on Threads and social media marketing strategy.

And if you want to share your early thoughts on Threads, or social media generally, you can always leave a comment below.

You can follow us on Threads: