How Shopify, Canva, and HubSpot are Excelling on Threads, and How You Can, Too

Caroline Forsey
Caroline Forsey

Published:

When Threads was first announced, I was wary.

marketer posting on threads account

We've seen so many new social media platforms enter the marketplace over the past year, ranging from BeReal and Clubhouse to Twitch and Lemon8. In all that chaos, it can be difficult to determine which ones have true staying power, and which ones are passing fads.

And then I heard Threads has become the fastest-growing social media platform of all time, and I took notice. In fact, Threads reached 100 million users within five days. By comparison, it took Instagram over two years to reach that same milestone.

It's too early to say if Threads has true staying power. But whether Threads sticks around for five months or fifteen years, it's vital your brand consider the benefits of meeting your prospects where they're at.

If you're interested in creating a branded Thread account, you're in luck. Here, I chatted with social media experts at brands that have already excelled on the platform — Shopify, Canva, and HubSpot — to learn their tips for gaining a following on the app and matching the platform's more personal tone. Let's dive in.

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How Your Brand Can Excel on Threads [4 Powerful Tips]

1. Have a playful, approachable tone.

One key characteristic of Threads that is vital to keep in-mind: It's not meant to be a professional platform.

Threads is an app meant to inspire discussion and a sense of community. As you scroll through Threads, you'll begin to get a sense for what the users' expect from it.

Few brands or creators spend time posting lengthy, formal paragraphs. Most posts are short, pithy, and more casual and playful than what you might see on other platforms like LinkedIn.

Morgan McTiernan, Social Media Manager at Canva (@Canva), which boasts 136K followers on Threads, told me she's found early success with the platform by adapting to that tone. As she puts it, "There’s a ton of interest in Threads and we’re seeing our community wanting to explore and engage with our channel."

McTiernan continues, "We had the channel up and running within 24 hours of Threads launching and have oriented our engagement strategy on creating content that highlights our product yet in a playful and approachable way. We’re finding success with this balance."

Canva on Threads-1

Morgan Lunn, External Affairs Lead at Shopify (@Shopify), which has 100K followers on Threads, agrees with this approach.

As Lunn puts it, "There's no draft feature or edit button — for now — which makes the platform inherently more candid. Use this phase of Threads to ask questions, be playful, and have (as they say) less corporate-robot copy on the platform."

She adds, "Note to reader: you see it often, but reposting old Tweets is lazy, and your followers are smart! The best platform strategy is to make the content unique to the platform. If people follow you on multiple channels, they want to see something different from you on each one."

2. Post daily.

Lunn compares Threads to the early days of Facebook, where "unfiltered posts, and multiple posts each day, are the name of the game."

As you get acquainted with the platform, consider posting at least once each day to explore which types of posts perform best on your account.

While it can seem like a lot of work to post each day, remember: Your Threads posts don't need to be polished and perfect.

As Lunn told me, "My advice is to think less, post more. Brands can get caught in the ‘perfect post’ spiral which inhibits their ability to post often (I’ve been there, trust me). With Threads, done is better than perfect."

She continues, "The exciting part of a new social platform is the ability to experiment and the opportunity to gain a new following. Don’t be precious, be fun! Also, engage with other accounts, your fans, and iterate based on the responses."

shopify threads

3. Use Threads as a brand awareness play — it's not meant for lead generation. 

HubSpot's Social Media Lead, Chi Thukral, told me that she was initially hesitant on whether to invest in the platform — but she's glad she trusted her gut, because she's seen immediate success on Threads and already amassed 60K followers. 

A big reason for her success? Leaning away from any sales-y content. 

As she puts it, "The reason we grew quickly on Threads is because we weren't trying to sell anything. Instead, we were simply showing who we are as if our brand were a person, which is what made our content so relatable."

She continues, "Threads is 70% like Twitter and 30% like Instagram — which makes it its own niche app as opposed to a rival (even though that's how it started out)."

Thukral advises, "The best way to think of the content and tone of voice for Threads is by thinking of it as Twitter's Gen-Z cousin. It's more casual, bolder, all about meme culture, and refreshing."

Which means it's no place for your latest product demo, or a pitch for your new software feature. You'll find success with the app if you treat it as a place for you to interact with a new community and introduce them to your brand.

In other words: Threads should be thought of as a brand awareness play. You won't find success if you attempt to use it for lead generation or to increase sales. That's not what it's for. 

As Thukral told me, "We are all learning about the platform and having fun is a priority right now for every user. The audience is loving not being saturated with ads or thought leadership content, so this is the chance to fully unleash your brand persona while the organic reach and algorithm is still untouched. How you spend your first few weeks on the app dictates a lot, so focus on really leaning into the Gen-Z culture!"

HubSpot threads

4. Be mindful that Threads is a distinctively new channel.

As you get up and running, it can be tempting to simply copy-and-paste your Twitter posts for Threads.

But that would be a mistake. Threads is a brand-new platform, and to succeed on it, you need to take the time to learn who your audience is on Threads, and what matters to them.

As Canva's McTiernan told me, "As brands experiment, it's important to be mindful of the fact that Threads is a completely new channel. You need to create distinctively different content than what Twitter or any other platform is known for. Understand your audience and tailor your content and strategy accordingly."

Additionally, she emphasizes how important it is to adopt a Threads strategy early — before advertising on the platform becomes a possibility.

McTiernan says, "There's a real opportunity for early adopters to increase their organic following across the platform and Instagram whilst it's free of advertising.  The Threads algorithm is favoring discoverability which is great for brand awareness. Be agile and start experimenting and growing now, while it's ad-free, and you're likely to build an audience quickly."

Lunn agrees that it's vital you treat Threads like the brand-new platform it is. As she puts it, "The platform has the mechanics of Twitter, the personality of Instagram, and the spontaneity of BeReal."

She adds, "Threads are way more personal than Twitter, and way less curated than Instagram. Keep the copy tight and short and think of your brand as a real person — then post like that. Whatever your persona is … lean into it."

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Topics: Social Media

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