Welcome to part one in our five-part blog series created to help nonprofits navigate the complex (but essential!) world of social media marketing. Ready to learn more? Check out the rest of the series, where we cover useful tips and information related to Instagram and Facebook.
Social media platforms have become crucial for nonprofits to amplify their missions and engage with their target audience. While Instagram and Twitter (now “X”) have long been popular in the nonprofit sector, a new contender called Threads is generating excitement. In this article, we will explore what Threads is all about, how it distinguishes itself from other platforms, why nonprofits should consider using it and how to get started.
What is Threads?
Threads is an innovative app developed by the Instagram team that allows users to share text updates and actively participate in public conversations. When it launched, it became the fastest-growing app in history, surpassing even Chat GPT in popularity (though its popularity has since declined following the initial buzz). Unlike Instagram, which primarily focuses on videos and images, Threads revolves around exchanging ideas through discussions. Signing up for Threads is a breeze if you already have an Instagram account, as it allows for seamless transfer of your data, followers and profile information.
How is Threads different from X (formerly Twitter)?
At first glance, Threads may seem like a “Twitter clone” in terms of its general look, feel and functionality. Threads is mainly oriented around text-based conversations, much like X. Users can create posts called “threads,” limited to 500 characters each and videos up to five minutes in length. Like X, you can mention other users in threads by using the “@” symbol before their username. Additionally, you can reply to someone else’s posts and quote or repost their threads.
However, upon closer examination, Threads aims to be a friendlier alternative to X by de-emphasizing news and politics. Meta, the company behind Instagram and Threads, intends to create a public square for communities on Instagram and Threads that desire a less contentious environment for conversations.
Why should nonprofits consider using Threads as a social media platform?
1. Reach a wider audience: Threads gives nonprofits an opportunity to broaden their reach, especially among younger demographics. While platforms like Facebook cater to a large audience of users, Instagram—and by extension, Threads—attracts a predominantly younger user base. With 75% of 18-24-year-olds in the US using Instagram, nonprofits can tap into a receptive demographic for their messages.
2. Engage in real-time conversations: Threads is designed to facilitate meaningful discussions and connect individuals with shared interests. Nonprofits can leverage this feature to engage in real-time conversations with their supporters, volunteers and other organizations, fostering a sense of community and collaboration.
3. Stand out in a growing user base: Threads experienced unprecedented growth upon its launch. Although its user base has shrunk, it remains a platform with big potential. By establishing a presence on Threads early on, nonprofits can position themselves as thought leaders and pioneers in this evolving digital landscape. The ad-free nature of Threads (at least for now) can also set nonprofit messages apart from platforms like X.
Will Threads replace X soon?
It is uncertain whether Threads will ever replace X as the leading social media platform. While Threads experienced a surge in initial growth, engagement has subsequently declined to around 24 active million users (in contrast to X’s more than 200 million users). However, the strong connection between Threads and the existing Instagram user base, which consists of billions of people, provides Threads with a unique potential advantage. Nonprofits should consider including Threads in their communication strategies while closely monitoring its progress, as social media landscapes continue to evolve.
How do we sign up?
Signing up for Threads is a straightforward process. If you already have an Instagram account, you’re one step closer. Simply download the Threads app, and set up your account using the same username as your Instagram account. This seamless integration allows for a smooth transition of your data, followers and profile information.
Threads offers nonprofits an exciting opportunity to engage with their target audience and participate in vibrant conversations. While it may not replace existing platforms, its focus on real-time discussions and the growing user base make it an enticing platform to explore. So why not give Threads a try? Sign up, join the conversations and see how it can help your nonprofit connect, inspire and make an impact in the digital space.