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.

  • It took me three weeks to hit 600.
  • After nine weeks of being on the platform, I hit 700.
  • Things went stale for a bit, and it took three months to hit 800.
  • 900 came two weeks later, and 1,000 three days after that.
  • It's been a week now, and I'm over 1,300.

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.

This is where some readers will scoff and say, "I make sales over on [insert platform]!"

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.

NOTE: I don't have any insider information, nor am I privy to the secrets of the algorithm. I'm just a guy using a new platform and asking it to love me.

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.

a post from @daveconrey on Instagram a post from @daveconrey on threads app

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.

Enjoying The Hungry? Why not share it with friends?

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.

Dave Style: I'm often impulsive about what I share but avoid posting quickly because I don't want to overload someone's feed with my randomness.
Because my goal is to raise awareness for The Hungry, I keep my posts relevant to the content and attitude of this newsletter. I post 2-3 times most days with richer or more actionable content and occasionally pepper in some random missives just for personality.

Bottom-Up Visibility

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.

Dave Style: Occasionally, I will share a post that poses a question or a poll that allows for open-ended discussion. Many people do this just for the engagement, but it's essential to come up with value first or seek out a valuable conversation.
Often, the results of these conversations lend perspective on something I'm curious about, or they inspire new ideas on topics I can discuss in more depth here.

Post Natively

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.

Dave Style: I only post natively on Threads!
If I share a video or image I posted on Instagram, I lead with better-written descriptions and then add the image, video, or GIF meme.

Engagement Etiquette

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.

Dave Style: After I've shared a post, I will take time to reply to people who have commented on prior posts. I'll also take 15 to 30 minutes to engage and respond to people in my feed.

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.

The Breakdown

This is my strategy, and you should feel comfortable establishing your own style. These are the most important considerations:

  • Meta wants engagement on this platform, and the algorithm rewards the active early adopters. Now is the best time to start.
  • Posts have a longer shelf life, and you should remain active to keep the momentum going.
  • Find ways to share authentically and encourage people to respond to your posts, which will help get you in front of more new people.
  • It's okay to reshare content from other platforms, but do so with a style that feels natural to the platform. Your images and videos should be posted natively, not as links from other apps.
  • Reply to comments as often as possible, and add your response to other people's posts. Both will show people you're there to be part of the conversations.
  • You will grow to do these things, but the followers you engage with will become your loyal fans and potential collectors.

If you want to see this in action, find me on Threads.

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