Noel D'souza
Jul 23, 2023

Threads: A brand engagement powerhouse or a fad?

Two weeks in, has the social media app by Meta lived up to brand engagement standards? or was it a one-time wonder? We asked experts to decode

Threads: A brand engagement powerhouse or a fad?

Launched on 6 July, Threads by Meta quickly captivated the industry, emerging as a promising tool for brand engagement. 

 

The platform empowered brands to foster communication and interactions with their audiences through witty texts. 

 

With Twitter's recent controversies, Threads seized the perfect moment to enter the market, generating significant hype with its unique features and seamless onboarding through Instagram. 

 

Threads offered brands an avenue to create immersive and interactive content, cultivating a sense of community and loyalty among their followers. 

 

Yet, as an emerging social media platform, its true mettle will be tested in sustaining and building upon its initial momentum.

 

Campaign India aimed to explore brands' and digital marketing agencies' insights on the engagement levels of Threads.

 

Here's what they decoded:

 

Rubeena Singh, country manager India and MENA, AnyMind Group

 

From a platform point of view, it's still early days for Threads, with features being developed and launched each week. At the same time, brands continue to test the possibilities of engaging audiences on Threads, and the platform's proximity to Instagram should not be ignored. On the flip side, brands today also have the choice to leverage influencers to engage with audiences on Threads - so what you see on the surface with brand engagement might not be the complete story.

 

Shrenik Gandhi, co-founder and CEO, White Rivers Media

 

The hype around Threads certainly saw a significant surge in the initial days, but it's natural for excitement to taper off over time. While Threads faced some challenges in becoming a staple in brands’ social network routines, it's important to remember that it's still in its early stages.

 

The potential success of Threads hinges on several factors, including continued user adoption and effective content moderation. For brands, this presents a chance to diversify strategies and connect with audiences on a new platform with a different approach. Text-based platforms like Threads won't overshadow visual-centric ones entirely, but they do offer an additional avenue for brands to connect with audiences who value textual communication.

 

Threads initially attracted users, including brands and individuals, due to its appeal for short and easy conversations. However, for long-term success and brand engagement, the platform's strategy, user experience, and featured offerings play crucial roles. The ability to adapt to changing consumer demands is paramount. 

 

Ultimately, it all comes down to how the audience preferences are understood and met; and how the platform sets itself apart from other existing social platforms.

 

Tara Kapur, India marketing head, Duolingo English Test

 

We jumped on the trend when Threads launched as we saw it as an opportunity to connect with younger audiences who had gravitated towards the platform.

 

Our handle @studyabroadwithDET speaks to this demographic, allowing us to grow our community, and drive conversation around English learning and studying abroad. It remains to be seen if Threads is the next big social media platform, and we are curious to see what Meta does to keep this massive audience engaged on the platform. We will continue to monitor and experiment with the platform and evaluate its ability to strengthen brand engagement.

 

Jaideep Shergill, founding partner, Pitchfork Partners

 

In less than a month, Threads has rapidly notched up a large user base. It is now the fastest-growing social app ever, clocking 100 million users within five days of its launch. It has outpaced OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

 

It’s too early to talk about the long-term impact on brand engagement but there are some signals. Initial studies show that Threads is drawing more online engagement than Twitter. A study by Website Planet, a web development service, of 30 brands that had accounts on both Twitter and Threads showed higher engagement on the latter.

 

Of the brands looked at, on 7 July, 87% had more engagement on Threads as compared to Twitter – 0.45% compared to 0.02%. This first look of sorts is very promising for brand engagement.

 

I believe it could be Meta amping up post engagement to encourage more usage of the app but I doubt these levels could be achieved artificially alone. The growth can be attributed to several factors: seamless integration with existing Instagram accounts equals easy sign-ups, you can port your followers to Threads from Instagram, and several celebrities and thought leaders – Bill Gates to Oprah Winfrey and brands like Netflix – have already made their presence felt on Threads.

 

All of this indicates continued adoption and sustained interest.

 

As I said, it’s still early days and a lot will depend on the execution and marketing of the app. But, as long as engagement lasts, there is no reason to believe that brands will stop being enthusiastic about it.

 

Shashank Udupa, co-founder, Scenes by Avalon (acquired by Unacademy) and director, International Expansion, Securens Systems

 

Many brands entered Threads hoping to drive engagement but found the audience too narrow. Still, for select brands targeting young audiences highly active on the platform, Threads remains a strong opportunity for organic brand engagement. But it likely won't become the marketing panacea some initially hoped for.

 

Narinder Mahajan, CEO and co-founder, ODN Digital Services

 

It’s still early days to report a decline. There is always an initial hype on such platforms and their usage. In India, we have seen several leading brands use it very creatively to have deeper engagement with their customers. I see more action simmering here.

 

Besides, the target audience using this app still needs a definition. Once that solidifies, we will find relevant brands joining the platform.

 

Devdatta Potnis, CEO, Animeta

 

Threads has set a new benchmark in getting the initial set of subscribers. The bundled product strategy, overall market evolution, consumer habit to adapt and many other such factors have contributed to that. 

 

While eventual stickiness too shall be taken care of by the bundled product strategy, the user experience will drive the future. One cannot immediately jump to conclusions like the hype dying or anything. Well begun as they say is half done, let the eventual experience decide the rest of the half now.

 

Ayush Shukla, founder, Finnet Media

 

The initial excitement surrounding Threads has diminished, and user engagement appears to be low. This can be attributed to the fact that many creators on Threads come from Instagram, which is primarily focused on sharing photos and videos rather than textual content. 

 

Consequently, the platform is inundated with repurposed or recycled content rather than fresh, original thoughts.

 

In contrast to Twitter, where original text-based content and news are prevalent, Threads seem to be lacking in this aspect. The audience is seeking unique and novel ideas, not a repetition of what they already encounter on Instagram. 

 

To improve the platform's appeal, Instagram should consider reducing incentives for photos and videos while promoting and encouraging text-based content. This shift may attract new users who appreciate the value of original thoughts and textual creativity. 

 

By doing so, Threads can carve out their niche and provide users with a more engaging and distinctive experience.

 

 

 

Source:
Campaign India

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