We are genetically wired for interaction. Pre-internet, interactions happened in-person, but with the digitisation of the world, the majority of us have grown accustomed to them happening online.
The new kid on the block, Threads, acts as the middleman by offering social media users a human approach to online interactions. The text-based, conversation-led platform is a hub for like-minded social media frequenters to come together and discuss shared interests or involve themselves in important conversations—from education and healthcare to music and fashion.
Compared to Twitter, Threads has been likened to a warm hug. This is because its group-chat style offers a safe space for users to comfortably share their thoughts. Threads has also seen a surge in users taking an out-of-the-box approach to what they’re sharing with their community members. Speaker and author, Kiaundra Jackson, admitted to sharing things on Threads that she would never share on any of her other social media platforms, from spur-of-the-moment thoughts to personal opinions. Sharing such thoughts is a surefire way for Kiaundra to strengthen her relationship with her community.
The notion of community has become so centralised for brands and creators looking to achieve online success, that those who fail to tap into their communities miss out on leveraging a niche group of people for both business and personal gain.
Luckily, as Threads is still in its infancy, building communities from scratch is easy. On established platforms like Instagram, communities are very clearly set up, with brands and creators hosting the most popular, being instantly recognisable. Trying to persuade community members to abandon their loyalty is almost an impossible task.
Threads offers a level playing field full of wandering users looking to be taken in by or creating their own community. Creators and brands can take advantage of this by optimising their profiles and content output to reach as many of these people as possible.
The great thing about communities on Threads is that users can carry them over from their Instagram accounts. This means that their pre-existing communities are ready and waiting for them, allowing the user to pick up where they left off. However, does community interaction look the same on Threads as it does on Instagram? If not, how can brands and creators adopt a new approach to community engagement on this vastly different platform?
What does building a community on Threads look like?
We’re in the age of meaningful conversation. Don’t get us wrong, visual content is still thriving, but the modern-day social media user wants more. Something meaningful. Conversations are exactly this.
If creators on Threads want to contribute something useful to their community, they must be seen to be involving themselves in relevant conversations. Put perfectly by social media marketing educator, Lia Haberman, “conversation contributors will become just as powerful as content creators”. Offering sound thoughts to the right conversations paves the way for deeper community connection due to the weight that words carry. Not only this, but appearing to be actively listening and contributing to important conversations will entice new members to join your Threads community.
The conversational nature of Threads also deters the growth of the passive consumption of content. Reading on screen text—and a lot of it—forces the users to slow down and concentrate on the words in front of them, naturally increasing active engagement. On the other hand, Threads encourages mindfulness among creators, as they will have to think more about what they are publishing to such a conversation-heavy space. What conversations will their Threads generate? How will these conversations benefit or hinder their community?
The future of communities on Threads
Communities across Threads will begin to see more frequent interaction from their favourite creators and brands due to the app’s ease of use and less demanding content creation. Take travel updates, for example. Creators on Threads are more easily able to share frequent, in-the-moment updates on their travels, keeping their community engaged and feeling like a priority even while on holiday.
As a result of the surge in such intimate Threads communities, dedication to community management will continue to prevail. Seeing as the entire platform revolves around interaction and connection, the enactment of these will be held in such high regard. As the epicentre of each community, conversation hosts should be looking to correctly monitor and prompt activity where necessary to ensure community members feel seen, heard and prioritised.
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