Friday, September 22, 2023

Threads: First impressions of summer’s hottest social network

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Launching a day early and apparently right on time for many social media fanatics, Meta’s new app Threads has exploded in the past 48 hours, earning itself the title of “Twitter Killer” and potentially the fastest-growing app in social media history.

If the latest market rates have you down, this new app may be the cure for pulling your flat content out of the summer doldrums and potentially giving you a fresh place to get creative.

What is the most important thing you need to know? Threads is personal. Don’t turn this immediately into a sales pitch. This is your personality; this is passion.

Most important, Threads is fuel for fun, don’t go into this trying to figure out how it manipulates clout, or you will certainly show up to the party as the person who could not read the room.

What is it?

Meta launched Threads to be a major competitor to Twitter. This word-first, picture-second content format is meant to be fast and witty, and it’s essentially designed to be a special kind of black hole where time and space disappears momentarily because your brain is consuming content at such a fast rate.

The idea is conversations. Very public conversations. A huge group chat that everyone is potentially invited to. The format is very basic.  Hashtags are not working, and social media managers are relieved that this seems straightforward.

Users are making side-by-side comparisons between Twitter and Threads, and sorry (not sorry) Elon, this writer thinks Zuck has taken the feedback from your customers and truly just built consumers what they wanted.

This isn’t rocket science; this is just good customer-focused design and function. — Rachael Hite

Opening your account

Instagram has built a ticket for you to join. If you search “Threads” in your discovery search bar in Insta, your “ticket” will show up with a QR code for you to get started.

If this is too hard, just go to the app store, download Threads, and hold on tight. With a few quick taps, you will be up and moving. This connects to your Instagram account, so remember what happens on the internet stays on the internet, so go with caution.

No drafts, get unhinged and leave your strategy at the door

First off, for those of us who remember the early days of Twitter, it has that vibe. It moves so fast. You will love seeing fresh comments from folks that your previous Instagram algorithm had hidden from you.

The main sentiment is that people love not having the pressure to be a photogenic person or graphic artist — just words, thoughts, and lots of humor and good spirits.

Gen Z social brand managers are riding the high, finding the addictiveness of the interactions and conversations fun and a little less like work- again because they are showing their wit and who knows how this will work yet.

Elder millenial social media managers may have flashbacks of running intense brand-focused tweet chats and meet-ups where they designated a time to start sending out questions for their audience to answer, and followers answered in real-time as a focused online event.

The topics of conversation are all over the place. Funny, serious, artistic, deep, shallow, random. You name it — new users are offering confessions and asking what are your burning questions.

How it works

No direct messages, no hashtags, 5-minute videos, 500 characters, GIFs, and, please, good vibes only. Spammers, bots, and overwhelming posts are already not welcome.

How many posts are too many? We do not know. What is the right thing to say? We don’t know.

Remember, this is brand new. There are no experts. My best advice is to remember that a screenshot takes less than a second, so use caution.

Want to talk shop with us?

We are new to the game too. Connect with Inman on Threads here.

  • We are excited to see where our conversations will go.
  • What stories do you want to see from us?
  • What are your pain points?
  • Where are we headed?
  • Are you using AI?
  • What is your go-to tip for talking to difficult clients?

We want to connect with you and your team. Please don’t be shy. Dare to dream and dream, and share it with us.

Do’s and don’ts?

Here are a few thinks to consider before you post:

  • Don’t ask your social media manager for a strategy. At this point, it should be you personally, your thoughts. Don’t try to take a shortcut and get out of interacting with your audience.
  • Do keep it light.
  • Don’t be too salesy.
  • Don’t bash your customers.
  • Do set some limits for the time you spend on it. The dopamine hits on this are unreal. Use with caution.

A lasting launch?

Here is the deal. Marketers ruin everything. Is this a fad? Is this a new cult classic? Will this go the way of Vines? Don’t try to figure this out. It’s like asking a duck why it quacks instead of barks.

All things are good in moderation. Let this be an escape, but not a distraction. Good conversation is how we learn and grow, and it would be great to have discussions and not shouting matches.

Respect other perspectives. Be open to discussions that go nowhere. Appreciate this moment when something old is new again.

“There is nothing like a dream to create the future. Utopia to-day, flesh and blood tomorrow.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

Thread with caution, thread with passion, and above all else, as you Thread ahead, don’t forget that the real conversations we have in person- heart to heart can’t compare.

Rachael Hite is a former agent, a business development specialist, fair housing advocate, copy editor, and is currently perfecting her long game selling homes in a retirement community in Northern Virginia. You can connect with her about life, marketing, and business on Threads & Instagram.

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