BY SUSAN DEMATEI
In the ever-evolving digital landscape, wineries continuously explore innovative avenues to promote their brand and connect with wine enthusiasts. The emergence of cutting-edge technologies has opened up exciting possibilities for wineries to enhance their marketing strategies, but choosing the right platform can make all the difference.
The big news this past month is the launch of Meta’s new platform, Threads. Threads is a new app built by Meta’s Instagram team for sharing text updates and joining public conversations. But should you consider it for yourself, and what opportunities does it hold for your winery’s business purposes?
Several Twitter competitors, aside from Threads, have recently made headlines. Notable apps like Bluesky, Mastodon, Spill, Post, and even Donald Trump’s Truth Social have gained attention for various reasons. While many of these platforms experienced a brief surge in users due to policies introduced by Musk that led users away from Twitter, er, we mean “X”, most of them have struggled to maintain long-term success.
(We’re sorry, yes, we know, Twitter is now X. Honestly, we feel stupid calling it X, and the logo is reminiscent of the flayed man flag in Game of Thrones. And while we’re on this thread (see what we did there), is anyone else annoyed that their push notifications look like xFinity is trying to get ahold of you? We keep freaking out because we think we won’t be able to watch The Bear. The whole thing is so sad.)
However, Threads stands out among these competitors with the distinct advantage of being backed by Meta, which owns popular social apps like Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. Leveraging Meta’s vast network, Threads is poised to push its user base toward adopting this new platform.
Read on to get the 411 on Threads.
- Threads is its own app. You must download it from the Google or Play Store to your phone. It is not available on the desktop.
- The only way to log in is by using your Instagram account. Your verification status and handles will be the same as your Instagram profile.
- You will be given the option to transfer those you follow (and block) from Instagram.
- Threads will show you “threads” posted by people you follow, and also, using AI, will recommend content from new creators.
- As of now, you cannot create or manage multiple accounts using a single login. It is one Threads account per Instagram account, and you have to log out and log back in if you want to change accounts.
- Threads is not currently integrated with Meta’s Business Suite either. We hope that is coming.
- Posts can be up to 500 characters long and include links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes in length.
- It is connected with your other Meta accounts, so you can share a Threads post to your Instagram story or share your post as a link on any other platform you choose.
- Currently, Threads doesn’t have hashtag search capability.
If you’re comparing Threads to Twitter/X (eye roll), as many do, it will come as no surprise that as the veteran app, X boasts a more extensive user base. X currently serves about 354 million users, making it a powerful platform for reaching a large audience. X attracts diverse individuals, from celebrities to businesses, who use the platform daily.
Since it’s a new platform, Meta’s Threads user base is significantly smaller. But it’s also more targeted. Although it took off like a rocket (Meta announced 100 million unique users signed up for the platform in the first five days since it launched on July 5, 2023), since that spike, Meta estimates more than half of its users have left, and even fewer use the platform daily. Daily active users for Threads on Android dropped from 49 million on July 7 to 23.6 million on July 14 and 12.6 million on July 23 (SimilarWeb). According to Meta, this plummet was expected and is not overly concerning because the Threads audience tends to be more technologically inclined early adopters who are quick to try new things but also move along quickly.
According to Meta: “Our vision with Threads is to take what Instagram does best and expand that to text, creating a positive and creative space to express your ideas.”
What About Business Uses?
Threads is still evolving, and its success is difficult to quantify until advertising and better integration with tools like Meta’s Business Suite become available. However, regardless of your enthusiasm for the platform, it’s crucial to claim your business name on Threads before someone else does.
Ensuring consistent accessibility across social media platforms is essential for businesses. Use the same or a similar business name and icon for all accounts, making it easier for customers to find you regardless of the app they use. Even if you plan to refrain from actively using Threads, having your business name secured will be beneficial. (It’s worth noting that once you link them, deleting your Threads account also deletes your Instagram account!)
For those who are interested in testing out Threads, a simple way to get started is by posting your best-performing tweets. (Can we still call them tweets? Are they X’s now? Will there be Os? So many questions.) This practice will give your Threads journey a head start with already-proven successful content. Follow up by sharing bite-sized, valuable tidbits about your brand, industry, or product, similar to how you post on X. This type of content is highly shareable and may be reposted by your audience.
Personalization and fostering close connections with the audience are increasingly crucial in today’s marketing landscape. Since Threads was designed with the goal of community building and isn’t a searchable “broadcast”‘ model, it offers a unique space to create a tight-knit community around your brand. Think of it this way: if you have a private account and invite/approve, say, your club, or your best customers – you could talk to them like if you had push notifications in an app. Only they would be able to see it and it’s not searchable. Threads could provide your most loyal customers with exclusive content, such as sneak peeks of new wines, behind-the-scenes looks at your winery, early access to releases, or limited-time offers.
If you are public, it is still a great community space. Encourage engagement by starting discussions with thought-provoking questions and seeking feedback from your audience. Keep your Threads followers interested by regularly sharing updates about your brand, product releases, events, or industry news, creating anticipation to maintain engagement.
We feel Threads offers an exciting opportunity for businesses to meaningfully connect with their audience. Since it is all based on followers and not widely searchable, it is ideal for tight membership groups such as wine clubs. (Encouraging club members to connect with you on Threads would be another way to kickstart this platform.) But, like any social media: Commit or don’t start it. Consistency is vital if you decide to use Threads, so make a point to stay up-to-date with your content.
Threads is still in its early stages; no established guidelines or best practices exist. Some brands will reuse their Twi.., sigh, X content strategy. Other brands will realize Threads presents a unique opportunity to experiment with different types of content they hesitated to try on established platforms with a broader reach.
You can decide if and how you adopt Threads, but the opportunity is there. The platform’s value lies in fostering discussions among your audience, creating deeper connections and engagement with your followers. If that is one of your objectives (and it should be), this is another tool in your marketing toolbox.