As Twitter (now X) declines, and newer social platforms like Bluesky remain exclusive or in beta mode, Meta’s Threads has emerged as a notable social destination for brand PR. Threads initially captured public attention with a rapid growth surge and the promise of being a less divisive alternative to Twitter. It seems promising not only for B2C campaigns, but for the content and thought leadership promotion more typical of B2B PR.
The secret of Threads’ fast growth was its integration with Instagram, which made onboarding seamless for users. Its growth has definitely cooled over the past several weeks, but for PR or comms specialists, it can offer an opportunity to drive engagement, amplify outreach efforts and reach audiences with specific interests.
Threads’ format resembles a blend of Twitter and Instagram. It is very user-friendly and enables concise messaging. However, it still lacks key features, like a content search function. Below are five ways PR professionals can use Threads to maximize their value to clients and grow business.
Thought leadership and brand positioning
For PR and communications specialists, Threads offers a unique platform to establish thought leadership and enhance brand positioning. Its focus on real-time conversations and sharing presents an opportunity to showcase industry expertise through engaging content. Threads’ tight integration with Instagram can leverage visual storytelling, making it ideal for conveying complex ideas in a visually appealing manner. Moreover, its user base, although not as large as some major platforms, is highly engaged, enabling stronger connections with the target audience.
However, the absence of a search function for content makes it challenging to explore and discover specific topics. Unlike other social media platforms, Threads makes it difficult to search for relevant conversations or even trends. The good news about the platform is that it’s already loaded with notable personalities and influencers due to its Instagram origins, yet it’s still catching up in attracting the types of business influencers most B2B brands want to engage or partner with.
According to a recent Capterra study, more than three in four business leaders who have activated crisis communications plans in the past say they’d increase the tools used for communication. Thus, PR professionals should be on the lookout for new tools for rapid-response communications.
Threads can be used to disseminate vital information, address concerns, and maintain transparency during a crisis, and its “softer, gentler” environment might be a welcome change from Twitter or other platforms like Reddit. Its simplicity can also streamline crisis messaging and keep it focused, ensuring a clear and consistent response.
Yet Threads lacks key features such as hashtags and trending stories that define Twitter as a global conversation hub. In an urgent situation, access to trending topics and the ability to use hashtags can amplify the reach and impact of crisis communication efforts.
Community engagement and feedback
When it comes to community engagement and gathering feedback, Threads has the potential to foster meaningful connections with the audience. Its public dialogue-oriented design, resembling Twitter, encourages open conversations and direct interaction with stakeholders. PR specialists can use Threads to conduct surveys, seek feedback, and address community concerns promptly. The platform’s simplicity and visual elements from Instagram can make engagement more appealing.
However, Threads currently lacks features such as customizable alt text for user-posted images, hindering accessibility. Additionally, it does not offer user-generated captions for videos, which can impact engagement for individuals with hearing impairment. Still, Threads offers communications professionals a fresh opportunity to interact and reach new users who were otherwise not present or felt disenfranchised from other social media platforms.
Amplifying campaigns and initiatives
Depending on their intended audience, PR specialists can leverage Threads to amplify campaigns and initiatives. Its user-friendly interface and emphasis on public conversations make it suitable for sharing campaign updates, engaging with supporters, and creating buzz. Threads also provides a direct line of communication to users, fostering a sense of involvement in ongoing initiatives. Additionally, the ability to share multimedia content can enhance storytelling and campaign visibility.
Nonetheless, Threads lacks advanced targeting and analytics features available on other social platforms. PR specialists may find it challenging to tailor their messages to specific audience segments or measure campaign performance with precision. The addition of stronger and more robust targeting and analytics tools by the platform should be an area communications professionals are consistently monitoring for as it will enable more efficient measurements to gauge campaign success.
Building influential partnerships
For PR and communications specialists aiming to build influential partnerships, Threads presents a real opportunity, given its focus on real-time conversations and interactions. Threads’ simplicity also helps in initiating conversations and networking with like-minded professionals.
When incorporated into a communication specialist’s toolkit, it opens a plethora of opportunities to enhance PR strategies and engage high-value audiences. However, Threads still lags behind more established social platforms when it comes to the functionality business users need. It will be important for PR specialists to stay updated on platforms like Threads as it adapts to a rapidly changing media and social environment.