It’s only a few weeks since Threads launched, and already it’s made quite a splash. It passed the 100-million-user mark in its first five days, according to a Threads post from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. But there are only so many hours in the day. And as a small business owner, you may not want to use precious hours to get to grips with every new program, app, or piece of software.
I don’t think I’m alone in feeling reluctant to put my energy into something that may not be around this time next year. Plus, I’m not excited about potentially having to manage yet another stream of content. That said, it looks like Meta’s new social media offering will be more than just a flash in the pan and that means it’s worth a closer look.
If you’re wondering whether your business should start a Threads account, here are some questions to consider.
1. Does your business already use Instagram?
If you have an Instagram account, it will be relatively easy to add Threads into the mix. Install the Threads app and use your Instagram credentials to log in. You can then opt to carry over other settings if you want. Threads is positioning itself as the wordy version of Instagram. But where a picture may be worth a thousand words, with Threads you have 500 characters. You can also post videos that are up to five minutes long.
One thing to bear in mind is that right now, if you create a Threads account, it isn’t easy to go back. Because it’s connected to your Instagram account, you’d have to delete both of them. You can deactivate your Threads account for a limited amount of time. And Meta says it’s working on a solution to this issue.
If you’re an influencer, starting a Threads account is a no-brainer. Being present on social media is your business. Similarly, if you get a lot of your new clients from social media and use it to maintain existing relationships, it could make sense to get in on the Threads action. Think about how important your social media presence is for your business, and how much time it already takes up. If you have a social media manager, talk to them about how Threads will fit with the rest of your social media activity and what they want to do.
3. Will you keep the content updated?
Managing social media accounts can take a lot of time. There are social media tools that can help, such as Hootsuite or SocialPilot. Nonetheless, think about how much time it will take. What’s your plan? Who is responsible for posting content? Do they have bandwidth? What kind of posts do you want? Set clear goals around what you want to post and the number of followers you want to attract.
There are different schools of thought here, but I think having an account with just one or two out-of-date posts can be worse than not having an account at all. If you’re already struggling to keep on top of the social media feeds you have, now might be a good time for a complete overhaul. Look at what is or isn’t working for you, and try to be clear about what you’re trying to achieve on these platforms. Check out our guide on successful social media campaigns to learn more.
4. Are you looking for Twitter alternatives?
Twitter has been under fire recently. There’s no point in re-hashing the ins and outs of Elon Musk’s takeover, beyond that a lot of people want a viable alternative. If you’re one of them, make sure you’re comfortable with what Threads offers in terms of usability, security, and the number of people on the platform. Threads has an advantage over other Twitter competitors in that it’s owned by Meta. That’s great if you’re looking for a media giant with the resources to compete. But less so if you’re worried about said media giant getting even bigger.
5. Is there an advantage in being the first?
Every company is different. If you’re a mom-and-pop hardware store with a reputation for being steady and reliable, your brand won’t be the same as a trendy bubble tea store that’s always ahead of the times. Even more so if you have an edgy tech company that leads the way in innovation.
The other potential advantage to being an early Threads adopter is that you can get a head start in building your following. But as one BBC article explained, that could be overrated. Right now, everybody is jumping on board with this new product and it’s chaos. There are also benefits to waiting, figuring out what might work well on Threads, and learning from other people’s mistakes.
There’s no right or wrong decision in terms of opening a Threads account. The biggest issue is that it could distract you from your core activities. If you’re already struggling with cash flow issues and don’t have enough money in your business bank account, that’s where your focus needs to be. Similarly, if your staff are already overworked and you’re having trouble attracting qualified employees, think carefully before you add another activity into the mix. Otherwise, consider how the app might help your business. If you think it’s a value add then dive in and experiment.
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