Digital Advocacy on Threads: The 3 Things We Want to See First
Social media is a critical space for grassroots advocacy, but you need to have the right type of content and audience on each platform for your strategy to be impactful.
Facebook’s community engagement and vast user base enables a wide reach. Instagram’s creative storytelling and influencer engagement educates and raises awareness with potential supporters. LinkedIn thought leadership generates conversation within your industry. And Twitter draws quick and passionate calls to action from supporters.
Threads, by Meta, is the newest on the scene, coming in hot as the fastest app to hit 100 million users and offering a new space for real-time, positive conversations. But is it really the Twitter (or I guess now I should say X?) killer it’s being branded as? It seems unlikely, but for it to be the next tool in the digital advocacy space, we hope to see a little more from the platform in the months ahead.
1. Create its own identityLaunching in connection to Instagram has had its benefits for Threads, making it easy to join (if you’re already on the platform) and pull followers from your existing account. However, Instagram is much more focused on a curated aesthetic so your strategy and followers there may not translate to a “Twitter replacement.” The “good vibes” mindset that Threads promotes will hopefully help curb disinformation but isn’t necessarily going to elicit people’s real – and often times passionate and messy – opinions and stories which resonate with policymakers who want to hear the unfiltered truth from their constituents.
2. Fine tune its algorithm and search functionalityOne of the biggest complaints users have in the first month of the platform is the algorithm and feed experience. The latest updates to the app have given users a Followers tab for a more defined feed, but for those who want to engage in conversation outside of their smaller network, many say the algorithm isn’t learning quickly enough. On top of that, the search functionality currently isn’t designed to support hashtags, which would make it easier for users to follow trending topics or join grassroots efforts to create content under unified campaigns. Updates to these features will be important for supporting organic reach, engagement and continued use of the platform.
3. Enable advertisingRight now, Threads doesn’t support advertising on the platform. Organic content is helpful for continued messaging and deeper dives into calls to action for the followers you’ve already attracted, but to grow that follower base and reach a broader audience, you need to advertise. Threads needs to see user base growth to make the spend worth it for advertisers. If they do, it will strengthen your surround-sound advertising approach to widen your reach and increase brand and message awareness.
The Adfero POV
So, should you join Threads? If you don’t already have an Instagram for your organization or grassroots network, you will also have to invest the time into building out a strategy for that as well, as it’s necessary to create a Threads account. For those that are already on Instagram and Twitter, there seems to be no major risk or added time investment to join (though be aware: if you want to delete the app after joining, you’ll have to delete your Instagram as well). Use some of your content from Twitter or other platforms to start building up a presence, but don’t expect to see major advocacy returns right away – especially as user engagement has taken a big dip since the app’s immediate success. We still have questions about what Threads will unveil in future updates, and how users will adapt and make it their own. In the end, and if successful, additional messaging platforms can only help to reach a whole new group of advocates.