With so many social media apps on the market, you might think another platform would have trouble making a splash. But, Meta just said, ‘hold my drink,’ and launched Threads, the latest social media app to rival Twitter.
In the midst of its takeover by Elon Musk, X (Twitter) is now experiencing a mass exodus. In 2023 alone, it lost 100 million users, making it the perfect time for Meta to launch a new social platform. This is the sort of low-hanging fruit Mark Zuckerberg couldn’t possibly resist.
In this article, we’ll going to explain what Threads is and how customer service teams can use it to provide a more personalized experience.
Table of Contents
- What is Threads?
- Why Threads Matter
- What Service Teams Should Know About Meta's Threads
- How Threads Service Could Differ From Twitter Customer Service
What is Threads?
Threads is a new social media app developed by Meta set to rival X. With Threads, you can share text updates and take part in public conversations. Posts can be as long as 500 characters and can feature links, photos, and videos of up to 5 minutes. To log in, you need an Instagram account, as Threads uses the same credentials.
Threads was launched on July 5, 2023, and immediately attracted a lot of interest, with 10 million people joining the platform within seven hours. As over 100 million users downloaded the app on that same day, it became the most downloaded non-game app in the past 10 years.
Why Threads Matters
It’s hard to predict if Threads will dethrone X as the “go-to” micro-blogging app. Still, as it was brought to life by a social media giant that has access to a younger demographic, its customer experience potential can’t be ignored.
Threads has millions of daily active users. And, since it’s a Meta product, most users integrated their Instagram accounts to connect with people and businesses they already follow. This makes it easier for a brand to build an audience on Threads if it already has a decent following on Instagram.
How so? When a new member joins the app, they’re given the option to follow the same accounts they do on Instagram. All they have to do is click the “follow all” button.
Additionally, users are shown a list of accounts the algorithm deems interesting for them. These suggestions are drawn from what Threads knows about each user based on their activities on Instagram. This means your company’s account might be featured as one of these suggested options.
Finally, there is already a good chance some of your customers are currently present on the new Meta app. In fact, a conversation about your company might already be happening. So, customer service teams should ensure that they engage in social monitoring and listening with the same care they do on their other social channels.
What Service Teams Should Know About Meta’s Threads
Let’s take a look at what Threads has to offer when it comes to customer service.
You can receive live notifications from brands that customers care about.
Threads has an impressive user engagement rate of 87%, making it a great tool for brands to share real-time updates with their customers.
Even if you have a smaller following on Threads, users are likely more active. This gives companies an opportunity to build closer relationships with customers and prospects.
Those who interact with companies on Threads tend to be loyal followers. If you’re looking for a platform where you can share exclusive content, limited-time offers, or updates on your product or services, then Threads should be your go-to option.
You can provide support that perfectly matches your customers' needs.
Customers value personalization. Threads gives brands a chance to deliver support that’s perfectly in line with people’s needs and expectations.
Threads focuses less on global conversations and news. Instead, it emphasizes responsiveness and connections.
Threads also prioritizes more casual communication. Brands can use it for providing order updates, answering queries, or resolving product issues.
You should embrace early adoption for increased visibility.
Being an early adopter of new technology gives brands more edge. It enables them to grow and be where their customers are. Less competition means greater exposure and higher chances of engaging with your target audience. This can lead to more partnerships, bigger sales, and gaining thought leader status.
However, to achieve all of the above, you need to continuously create engaging, visual content that appeals to your customer base.
Before joining Threads, customer service leaders should ensure they have enough resources to dedicate to this channel. That includes time and people to commit to consistent content generation on the platform.
There is a cross-platform experience for service teams and users, alike.
Threads and Instagram are best thought of as sister apps. They’re interconnected and bear certain similarities in the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI).
Meta made it convenient to share the same update to both platforms, without any back-and-forth.
For instance, let’s assume that you’re launching a flash sale and want to inform your followers on both apps. After writing an update on Threads, you can share it on Instagram by clicking on the paper airplane button.
Select Add to Story, and you are automatically taken to Instagram where you can publish the same post and/or add any tweaks to it.
There’s one other layer of convenience worth mentioning. If your company already has a verified account on Instagram, then it will also be verified on Threads the very minute you launch your profile.
Threads is (currently) an ad-free experience
What service teams should know about Meta's Threads is that, as of August 2023, the app is a 100% advertisement-free space.
While this is eventually will change, the very same way it did for Instagram, customer service teams should strike the iron while it’s hot. As brands don’t need to compete for attention with paid posts or videos, their organic reach potential is much higher.
You can host regular Q&A sessions.
Another way customer service teams can leverage Threads is by running ask-me-anything (AMA) or Q&A sessions.
The app is better suited for this form of customer interaction, as it offers a much longer character limit (500 compared to just 280 on Twitter). Customer-facing teams can answer questions more thoroughly without breaking them up into separate tweets.
Running a session with your Threads community can boost the company’s transparency and help customer service teams spot any recurring questions or issues among your audience.
How Threads Service Could Differ From Twitter Customer Service
Even though Threads looks very similar to X, there are some major differences between these two social media platforms you’ll want to consider before supporting customers.
Direct Messages (DMs)
There's currently no direct messaging on Threads. This means the Meta app can’t exchange private messages with customers. For handling individual requests, your customer service team will still need to rely on other channels.
Threads is still unavailable in some parts of the globe, including the European Union, which has some of the strictest privacy laws in the world.
This means that if you’re an international brand adding time-sensitive or important announcements to the app might not be the best choice for reach. Meanwhile, as the more senior app, X’s global reach is much wider.
While discussing user reach, it’s also worth mentioning discoverability. Threads doesn’t offer search functionality, affecting the option for customers to easily initiate contact with your brand.
X, on the other hand, offers an advanced search bar that lets you browse via hashtags, company names, keywords, and user profile names. Here’s where the app’s longer tenure speaks in its favor.
X is famous for its hashtags. Threads doesn’t allow any. This might be because it focuses more on building closer relationships with customers or followers instead of being a news aggregator.
By not using hashtags, users experience less noise and receive updates from brands they are genuinely interested in. It also creates less anxiety and information overload than X.
In short, while customer service teams might be able to engage more interactively with their clients on Threads, it's not the best place to offer individual assistance. However, as Threads is way less crowded than X, it’s easier to stand out. Provided that you create relevant content, it’s a perfect outlet for building customer trust and loyalty.
Getting Started on Threads
The process of adopting Threads should be the same as for any other tool. Start with familiarizing yourself with its key functionalities, determine how it can benefit your business, and identify potential use cases.
What do you want to use it for? To improve communication or boost collaboration? Perhaps to increase engagement with your followers? Knowing this will help you set clear objectives for adopting Threads.