Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

9 Learnings from the Buffer Team

By admin Jan23,2024

OK, I’m going to call it: Threads is here to stay. After a record-breaking start, Threads is fast proving that it was no fly-by-night fad but a force to be reckoned with among the other social media giants.

Threads by Instagram now has an estimated 160 million monthly active users and counting. To put that into perspective, that’s a little over a third of X’s (formerly Twitter) monthly active users of 550 million — and X has a good 16 years on Threads. 

The platform bears a striking resemblance to X, but fans are quick to point out the community-building focus. Introducing a clever tags system — a bit like a marriage between hashtags and subreddits — and a host of handy new Threads features has been a catalyst for growth in recent months, with more to come.

Buffer users are big fans of the platform, too. The ability to publish to Threads with Buffer is one of our most requested features to date, with more than 1,600 upvotes. And we’re working on it! We expect the API (the code we need to plug Threads into Buffer) to be shared with us in the coming weeks. Follow along with our transparent roadmap for progress.

Plenty of Bufferoos have become regular users of the tool, with a handful of teammates finding success (and community) in some niches. Head of Communications and Content Hailley Griffis has loved connecting with other moms. Staff Product Manager Amanda Marochko has been growing a following by sharing more about how Buffer builds in public. Staff Product Manager and alt-rock musician Brandon Green has gained over 500 followers in just over a month on Threads — which is particularly impressive, considering he wasn’t active on Instagram and didn’t have a following he could migrate over. 

Successful as it may be, Threads is still in its infancy, so it’s difficult to predict a guaranteed path to growth — though with social media algorithms constantly evolving, we can’t really say that about any social media platform

Still, in our time on Threads, we’ve picked up some patterns. Plus, as we’ve seen with platforms like Instagram and, more recently, TikTok, growing a following early, before the space becomes too crowded, is often a little easier — so it’s worth investing in now. 

In this article, I’ll share nine tips for doing exactly that. Here’s how to grow on Threads, with advice from Bufferoos doing just that. 

1. Let your other followers know you’re on Threads

The good news: When you first set up your Threads account, you probably won’t be at 0 followers for long. Your Instagram followers who are already on Threads will get a notification when you sign up and prompt to follow you — this is how both Hailley and I built up sizeable chunks of our Threads followings at the outset.  

Unsurprisingly, Threads and Instagram integrate really well, so it’s easy to cross-post from one platform to the other. Tap the paper plane icon below any threads you post to share it to your Instagram Stories or straight to your feed. 

Your content will appear over a Threads background like the one below (but note that any media you add won’t be automatically shared as a regular feed post). 

Tapping on the thread in an Instagram Story will send your followers straight to your Threads feed, so if you’re looking to drive traffic there, Stories may be your best bet. 

It’s worth letting your followers on other social platforms know they can find you on Threads, too — especially if you’re leaving those platforms to focus on Threads. Social Media Consultant Matt Navarra, a formerly avid tweeter, ditched X in favor of Threads several months back and ensured his X followers knew how to find him by amending his bio and handle. 

News you’re active on Threads doesn’t have to be quite as all-or-nothing, but the occasional tweet or LinkedIn post reminding people they can find you on Threads — and what you’ll be sharing there — can help grow your following. 

2. Find your niche

Brandon has found particular success from “leaning hard into a niche,” he says. The beauty of Threads is that even the nich-est of niches are finding homes. For Brandon, that’s being a “music theory nerd with specific tastes, but also working in tech.”

“Being vulnerable about those things seems to resonate strongly,” he adds. “This shows up not just in likes and follows but also in the types of replies, which are often much more conversational.”

Not sure where to focus your attention? Follow these steps to identify your content pillars, which can be a helpful starting point for your Threads social media strategy.  

Once you’ve found your niche (or a few) to focus on, it’s time to tap into tags. 

Threads tags are hashtags — with a twist. Unlike on other platforms, Threads tags function more like topics than just a filtered search. The goal, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri shared in an update, was to “help us build a space that really fosters healthy conversation.”

The feature seems to be working as intended. It’s a great way to find other people in your niches (and, in turn, grow your following). 

“Using tags has helped me connect with like-minded individuals in specific spaces,” Amanda says. “I’m being more intentional about who I’m following on Threads versus how I’ve approached it on other networks, really looking to follow other individuals in the Product Management space or those who work in social media.”

Hailley agrees. She sees tags as a way to “position a thought to an intended audience.” 

“This seems to yield wider reach and engagement,” she says. “I know if I post something with a tag, I’ll get folks who also interact with that tag to engage.”

4. Be authentic and helpful

I’ve often seen people talk about how different Threads feels different to other social media platforms. Of course, it’ll depend on what the Threads algorithm predicts you’ll like, but my experience on Threads has been a lot more wholesome than I’ve found elsewhere. 

Designer and Threads user Dannielle Cresp agreed — she shared some valuable insights with me about it in a great chat (you guessed it) on Threads. 

“For me, it’s about interacting with a sense of community and choosing to be both kind and helpful. It can be a friendly and welcoming space if you curate with that in mind.”

how to grow on Threads

As Brandon touched on above, vulnerability and authenticity have benefited him too or, in his words: “Posting things that are thought-provoking and showing (the weirder sides of) my personality. Threads definitely feels like a people-first platform, at least for now.”

5. Post consistently

While posting daily or even a couple of times a week seems to work well when it comes to increasing followers on LinkedIn or growing on Instagram, Threads seems to require a higher volume of posts for growth.

“I’m probably posting 10-12 times a day right now on most days, and I can see my follower count increases loosely correlating with how much I’m posting,” Brandon says.

Hailley, too, has found success in being active more often. “Posting regularly absolutely helps grow my threads. I’ve seen a noticeable difference when I’m posting two to three times a day vs. not posting or just posting once.”

Even brand accounts were quick to learn that marketing-heavy content was getting them nowhere on Threads. Brands finding success on the platform are tapping into fun trends (more on this below) more often than posting about their latest offerings. 

how to grow on Threads

“Promoting things for the sake of it does not seem to yield engagement or much growth — I’ve seen this in several fields and topics, not just music,” Brandon says.

But what if your ultimate goal is to drive people to your business? Brandon has a clever workaround that’s worth trying. “I’ve found it helpful to post a thread with links to what you want to promote, pin it to the top of your profile, and keep posting good threads that occasionally reference those pinned links.”

how to grow on Threads

To pin a thread to your profile, just click or tap on the three dots on the top right, then choose Pin to profile.

7. Lean into text and photo posts

On almost every social network, video tends to generate the most reach and engagement (check out our guide to the best content for each platform for more on this). But my Threads feeds aren’t video-heavy at all. I’ve tested the waters with video repurposed from Instagram, too, and received far less engagement than my text-only posts. 

This is something Brandon has seen, too. “I see people posting Reels-style videos sometimes, but they don’t appear much (for me), suggesting they’re not getting as wide reach.”

That said, I’ve seen some good engagement on posts that included a photo, as has Hailley. 

Brandon is prioritizing text-only posts (they’re certainly easier to create when you’re posting often!), while Hailley and I are adding photos to posts where we can. 

Trending tags and text formats have yielded a flurry of activity on the channel and could help you reach a new audience — but only when done right.

#Womensupportingwomen has been excellent for me,” Hailley says. “I specifically called out connecting with other moms as I don’t have that on other social networks, and that helped curate the list of folks I followed a little better.”

Hailley also shared an “Algorithm, connect me with people who like…” and it yielded plenty of engagement and new followers. “It’s almost my top-performing post and still gets engagement two weeks later (I have it pinned, though). I’ve seen threads like that do very well.”

Another trend Hailley taps into is #GoodMorning and #GoodNight, which she uses to share thoughts about the goings-on and rituals she has during her day. This offers another opportunity to be authentic and offer up a point of genuine connection for new followers. 

how to grow on Threads

Net new content is not always the answer. I’ve found that jumping into the comments and (thoughtfully!) weighing in on threads in my niche can be just as effective at growing my following as sharing original content. 

For example, while the comment below didn’t get much engagement, I woke up to find a flurry of notifications after sharing my thoughts on a thread started by one of my favorite creators. And it took far less effort and brainpower than creating something new! 

how to grow on Threads

What’s your experience been on Threads? I’d love to hear more about what you’ve learned. Tag @buffer in a post on Threads, or leave a comment below. 

By admin

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