Have you ever found yourself neck-deep in the world of social media marketing, only to feel like you’re drowning in an ocean of apps and platforms? You’re not alone! Let’s face it; social media is a jungle. To conquer it, you need the right tools and the know-how to use them effectively. Enter the latest platform – Instagram Threads – a conversational standalone app by Instagram. Whether you’re a seasoned Instagrammer or just dipping your toe in the water, our Business Owner’s Guide to Instagram Threads will be your compass. So, buckle up as we navigate through the exciting world of Instagram Threads!
What on Earth is Instagram Threads?
Instagram Threads is the platform’s fresh take on status updates and rapid-fire conversations, akin to Twitter. Think of it as microblogging. It’s designed to encourage open-ended discussions and foster a community vibe among users. One of the advantages is the integration with other Meta platforms, and the ability to pull the interest of users of another platform back to your Meta social media platforms, especially the Fediverse (we’ll talk more about that later in this article). Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? Here’s some of the features:
- Comment Threads: Conversations on Instagram Threads evolve in, well, threads! This feature makes following discussions a breeze, ensuring no one misses the nitty-gritty.
- Public Profiles: Instagram Threads doesn’t restrict you to your followers. As long as your account is public, anyone can join the conversation. This feature can significantly amplify your reach!
Getting Started on Threads: A Step-by-Step Guide
This section walks you through setting up your Threads account – from signing up, to posting your first thread.
Signing up for Threads
- Download the app “Threads, an Instagram app”.
- You will log in with your Instagram account (there is a switch accounts option underneath it, if it hasn’t brought up the account you want to set up in Threads).
- Then you can enter your Profile information (or import it all from Instagram – which is a simple option to use).
- Then you will have the Privacy option. If you are setting up as a Business then it is likely that you will do a Public profile so that you can get new followers and leads.
- There is some info about how it is powered by Instagram, the Fediverse and your data. And then you choose to Join Threads.
- Then you are in!
What are the icons on the bottom toolbar
- The house icon directs you to your personalised feed of content.
- The magnifying glass icon allows you to search page where you can find the people you wish to follow.
- The pen-and-paper icon lets you create a new post Thread.
- The heart icon shows your activity. You can see who followed you, who has replied to your thread post, who mentioned you in their thread, and verified users.
- The person icon takes you to your profile where you can also see your activity.
Posting Your First Thread
- Use the pen-and-paper icon on your toolbar.
- Then you can simply type the text that you want.
- If you want to add an image, click on the paperclip icon, that should give you access to your photos or camera.
- Before you post you can also choose who can reply on your post, the default is “Anyone can reply” but by clicking on it you get further options of “Profiles you follow”, “mentioned only”. Choose the appropriate one, but as a business it is likely you will leave it as the default one to get more interaction and engagement with those that don’t follow you.
- Then press the post button. But make sure it is correct, because at the moment you can’t edit a post (that may change over time).
- And of course, check back for comments as you want to reply and engage with those that interact with you!
Your text can be up to 500 characters.
You can mention other Thread users with the @ symbol followed by their username.
You can use emojis.
At this stage hashtags don’t work but this may change soon.
You can add a number of images and make a carousel.
You can also add videos (which can be up to 5min).
There is no direct messaging in Threads, so keep that in mind that if you want people to contact you then you need to give them a method in your post or in your profile.
What can I do on other’s posts?
You can like, comment, repost/quote or share. Here are the options:
- Click the heart icon to “like” the thread.
- Click the chat bubble icon to reply to the thread.
- Click the arrows icon to repost a thread to your feed with the option to add a quote.
- Click the paper plane icon to add the thread to your Instagram story or post it to your Instagram feed. You can also press the “copy link” button to retrieve the URL and click the “share via…” buttons to send the thread through text, e-mail, AirDrop if you have an iPhone, and other social media platforms on your phone.
What is a repost vs a quote?
A repost allows other users to repost a Thread post on their own timeline. Spreading the post wider.
On the other hand a Quote allows a user to repost a Thread post on their own timeline but also adding their own comment or perspective to it.
Want to switch up your privacy settings?
Just give that little person icon a tap to get to your profile. From there, hit the “Edit profile” button. You’ll see a “Private profile” option – this is where you can choose if you want everyone to see your profile, or keep things private to only your followers.
As you can on Instagram, you can add hidden words to filter out replies to your threads that contain specific words. And you can limit who can @mention you – to full access – everyone, only people you follow or no one.
You can also unfollow, block, restrict or report a profile on Threads by tapping the three-dot menu. Also any accounts you have blocked on Instagram will automatically be blocked on Threads as well.
How to look at another user’s Threads
Click on the user’s icon if you want to go to their profile, or search for their username in the Search button on the bottom toolbar, and then click on that user. Once you are at their profile you can open one of their threads by clicking on it.
Set some time limits – so you don’t wander down too many Threads
We all know we get caught up in looking too long at social media. So maybe it is time to set a time limit to your interaction. It is easy to do in the Profile – Account Settings – Take a Break area. I like to set a 20min time limit on mine, you can set 10, 20, 30 min or never for no breaks. I want to interact each day but I also have a lot of work to do, so I set the limit.
Using Instagram Threads as a Business Owner
Instagram Threads isn’t just another social media feature; it’s a potential game-changer for business owners. But how can you leverage it to your benefit?
Firstly – New is Always Better!
In the social media world, getting into new upcoming platforms can always give you a boost to the followers and possible leads you can get for your business. It can be difficult though with so many platforms to work out the ones that will get good traction and will not fizzle out. But this is one that I think has a good chance of taking off, not only because on the first 5 days it has got 100 million of people signed up but also because there are many people who love Twitter who are looking out for a different option because of the changes that have happened on Twitter. To put that in perspective – Instagram took 2.5 yrs to get 100 million users, TikTok took 9 months, ChatGPT took 2 months.
How do I get inital followers
You would have had the option to import your Instagram followers – do that. Then go and follow others, repost others threads that you want to attract, comment on those you want to attract and put out repostable threads (threads that other’s might want to post on their feed). Don’t forget to follow those that follow you (although I would check their feed to check they are someone who you wouldn’t mind following). It might seem hard at first, but it was the same with Instagram and those that got in early have never regretted it.
Consider getting Meta Verified
Meta verification is available for public celebrities but is also available to businesses for a subscription cost of $24.99 per month in Australia. Consider subscribing for a month as it seems that at this stage those being shown more in the Threads are verified accounts. Note I am trying this and I had to temporarily change my profile name to my actual name (my user code is still the same). I’m testing whether this helps and will probably stop it after the month and change the name back. Verification can take up to 48hrs.
Engaging with Your Audience
Instagram Threads fosters open discussions, offering a perfect platform for real-time engagement. Post about your products, industry news, discounts, new blogs, or thought-provoking topics, and watch the conversation unfold!
Customer Feedback and Insights
Use Instagram Threads as a tool for gaining customer feedback and insights. Ask open-ended questions, encourage feedback, and gain a deeper understanding of your customer base.
Craft Engaging Posts
When it comes to Instagram Threads, engagement is the name of the game. Create posts that prompt responses, such as questions, hot takes, or thought-provoking statements.
Share insights, tips, and other valuable information related to your industry. This can help position your business as a thought leader. My big tip is why not post a question or FAQ and then comment on your own post with the steps, or answers.
Interact with Your Audience
Don’t just post and ghost! Stay active in your threads, reply to comments, and keep the conversation going. This interaction will not only keep your audience engaged but also strengthen your online presence.
Cross Posting to Instagram
You have the ability to share posts directly to Instagram Posts and Feed. Saving you time.
And there you have it – your Business Owner’s Guide to Instagram Threads. With this new feature, you’re armed to engage your audience like never before! Sure, it might seem daunting at first, but with a bit of practice, you’ll be threading like a pro. So, why not give Instagram Threads a shot and watch your business’s digital presence soar? Remember, in the world of social media, those who dare, win!
FAQs: Untangling Threads
1. How can I use Threads to connect with my audience? Threads allows you to create meaningful conversations with your audience. Regularly share updates about your business, ask for feedback, and respond to comments to foster a sense of community.
2. Can I use Threads to promote my products or services? Absolutely! You can use Threads to showcase your products, share exciting offers, and direct users to your website.
3. How can Threads improve my online visibility? By actively engaging on Threads and hopefully soon using relevant hashtags, you can boost your visibility on the platform, and by extension, on search engines.
4. What are the best practices for businesses on Threads? Consistency, engagement, and authenticity are key. Post regularly, respond to comments, and let your brand’s personality shine through your Threads.
5. Can I integrate Threads with my existing social media strategy? Yes, Threads can be a great addition to your social media strategy. Coordinate your posts across platforms to maintain consistency and maximise impact. Hopefully an API to schedule some posts will be available soon.
6. What are the privacy features available on Threads? Threads offers various privacy settings. You can choose who can see your threads and who can respond to them, giving you control over your online presence.
7. Is Instagram Threads different from the main Instagram app? Yes, it is a different app but it uses the same login as Instagram so you can’t delete your login. However you can deactivate your profile in the menu.
8. Can anyone join the conversation on my Instagram Threads? Yes, as long as your Instagram account is public, any Instagram user can view and join the conversation on your threads. If you get a troll, you can block them.
9. Do Hashtags work on Threads? At this stage NO. You can have them on your post but they are not clickable and will not add to your reach. There is talk that they might be added but there is no timeline yet.
10. Can I switch accounts? At this stage you can only log in as one account at a time and there isn’t a switch account option, so you would have to log out and log back in as the other account.
11. Can I log into Threads on the Desktop? At this stage, you can view Threads from links on a desktop but you can’t log in or view your timeline. So it is mobile focussed at the moment.
12. Can I schedule Thread posts? At this stage there is no API for Threads which means there are no scheduling programs that include Threads.
13. Should I use images? Just like at the beginning of Facebook, if you used images you caught more attention because your post was different to the ones around it. At the moment there are a lot of text posts so images will stand out. This may change over time, if images become more of the norm in the feeds then try going back to text only.
I will try to update this blog post every couple of months but it is accurate as at 10th July 2023.