Dave's Unofficial Guide to Growing on Threads Without Losing Your Soul
When I first joined Threads, I started with approximately 560 followers that came directly from Instagram, although most did not interact.
I'm not sharing this to brag because I see an opportunity on Threads right now, and most of you have already given up on it.
My account grew 200% in a little over three months, and all I did was show up to share and interact. As much as I enjoy the platform, I'm not spending excessive time there. I've spent considerably more time doom-scrolling on Instagram in the past.
When I started sharing about threads, several friends told me that they don't have time for another new platform but spend their time on apps that languish, aren't getting them further attention, and are not bringing in sales.
While that may be true, I guarantee there are platforms you're not using, but you still hold onto them as if they need to be nurtured, even though they haven't done anything for you in years, but I digress...
Zuckerberg is Leaning In
Meta is doubling down on Threads and putting tremendous resources behind it. You may have seen the recommended Thread posts on IG, and perhaps you've even seen some of my posts there.
That feature has contributed to my growth on Threads, and I can only assume it's happening to others using Threads consistently.
Like any other feature in a Meta app, this may not always be the case, but now is the time to take advantage of their dedicated attention to growing Threads to beat their nemesis (Twitter) at their own game.
What is Threads?
I didn't think I needed to share this information because if you spent time on Twitter, you know what Threads is about. However, a contingent of creative individuals came to social media only after Instagram gained popularity, and they found no use for a text-based app.
More than once, I've heard people say they have no idea what to make of Threads and how to integrate them into their daily lives. The way I've explained it is it's the opposite of Instagram.
On Instagram, the image or video leads, and the description comes second as support. Still, the description isn't always necessary and often does not get read as people scroll quickly through the visual stimuli.
On Threads, the opposite is true. You lead with your thoughts, lessons, and stories, and you can support them with visual elements, but it isn't required.
Threads excels because it allows us to express those thoughts and stories first, sharing a deeper side of us instead of relying on the visuals to speak for us.
Also, when we want to express appreciation for a post on Threads, we must consciously touch the ❤️ icon instead of the instantaneous double-tap and doom-scroll approach we use on Instagram.
Thread posts require someone to actively ingest what's being shared, allowing for more thoughtful engagement and discourse. This is important because after talking with dozens of artists and other creatives, the one thing that helps them sell their work the most is the connections they've built with their fans, followers, and peers.
My Threads Strategy
Although Twitter and Threads may seem the same from the outset, they operate differently. This is important because if you have spent any time on Twitter, you know that the feed is fleeting, and it's not uncommon to have posts get shared and disappear into oblivion, never to be seen by others again.
Posts on Threads, though, have a longer shelf life. It's not uncommon for me to post something late in the evening and have that post get a lot of traction overnight, which then keeps it rolling on through the next day or longer, especially if there is continued engagement with comments and shares.
It's also not uncommon for posts to come back to life after several weeks, the longest being a post six weeks old that a follower got shown because it was popular earlier.
On the Twitter feed, the posts you see are most often from people you follow or something they have reposted or quoted. You'll get recommended posts based on who you follow, but it's not always obvious which people you follow brought you to that new individual.
On Threads, you often see posts from people you don't follow because someone you follow has commented on that post, and both are shown to you.
The worst thing you could do when starting on Threads is to only crosspost from Instagram. Not only is this lazy content, but images and videos from Instagram show up as 3rd-party links. Instead of showing the entire image, it's a critically cropped image and a link to your Instagram account.
This is only acceptable and useful if you explicitly ask your Threads followers to check out your Instagram page. If you do this, keep it to a minimum.
One of the biggest marketing no-nos is to take the attention you have from one social platform over to another social platform. If you want to redirect attention someplace, it should be to your online shop or an email list sign-up form.
The point of a text-based social app is the conversation. You are not on Threads to dump in a post and run off. I see it all the time, and you can do that, but you won't build a worthy fanbase that way.
Unless you receive hundreds of comments on every post you share, it's a good practice to reply to every worthy comment. It's ok to skip the spam, trolls, and emoji responses, but every other comment should get an authentic response.
Again, each comment you reply to is another opportunity for your post to be seen by new people.
It's also a good practice to engage with the accounts you follow. Build relationships through commiseration and similar ideals. Also, you're helping those people get seen by others, and they will appreciate it. Perhaps they will share your profile or quote your posts to introduce you to their followers.
Follower Count is a Bad Metric
By doing these simple things, staying diligent, and being an active participant, my follower count is increasing daily between a dozen and over a hundred new people. However, I know that most of these followers may be bots, casual users, and people who don't interact with me.
Having an extended reach is good, but staying engaged with them is the best way to take advantage of that follower base.
The hard sell should not be your primary objective on Threads. Too many people are taking that approach, which will burn people out. Instead, you can foster connections with your people because that builds trust.
Trust builds loyalty, and loyalty turns casual fans into buyers.
This is my strategy, and you should feel comfortable establishing your own style. These are the most important considerations:
If you want to see this in action, find me on Threads.