Instagram Threads 101: A Simple Guide for Live Event Marketers

July 20, 2023

Everyone’s talking Instagram Threads, Meta’s explosive new text-based app going head-to-head with Twitter.

Over the years, countless social media upstarts have attempted to challenge the big four — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube — but few gained much traction for live event marketers. Snapchat managed to survive and thrive thanks to Gen Z who’ve similarly catapulted TikTok, and short-form video, to new heights. In response, Meta introduced copy-cat versions of its competitors’ greatest hits, Stories and Reels, which are now cornerstones of every live event marketer’s social strategy. Instagram Threads is Meta’s latest calculated move — a well-timed “Checkmate” on the heels of Twitter’s rocky regime change.

While Threads is far from perfect in its current state, it has a real shot at becoming a powerful social channel for live events over time, usurping Twitter as the go-to place for news, or carving out its own niche entirely. Here’s what you should know before diving in:

Activating Your Account

Creating an Instagram Threads account for your business is quick and easy. Download the Threads app on iOS or Android, then use your existing Instagram credentials to log in. Don’t have an Instagram account? You’ll need to create one first. You’ll use the same handle on Threads with the option to import your profile photo and bio, making setup fast and smooth.

Pro Tip: During setup, make sure you automatically follow anyone with a Threads account that you already follow on Instagram. Anyone who joins Threads and already follows your business on Instagram will get the same prompt. It’s a brilliant move on Meta’s part to help new users quickly build a community with zero extra effort!

Key Benefits

1. Simple setup
Activating your Threads account is ridiculously simple, as is building your initial audience, due to the app’s direct connection to Instagram.

2. Long character limits
Threads can be up to 500 characters long — a significant increase from Twitter’s 280-character limit (for those who don’t subscribe to Twitter Blue). You can also include up to five minutes of video, photos, and hyperlinks in your posts.

3. Ripe for experimentation
As a text-based platform, you won’t need to saddle your design with another bespoke asset request. You can start by repurposing your Twitter content, or even experimenting without visuals, as Meta makes improvements to the app.

Current Limitations

Threads launched quickly as relatively bare-bones product, missing a number of tablestakes features that Meta promises are on the way. Here’s a quick summary of the biggest gaps:

1. No ‘following’ feed: Without a feed of content from accounts you follow, users who follow you are less likely to see your posts

2. Analytics is limited: Right now, you can’t track link clicks or post reach.

3. No ‘discover’ or ‘trending’ tab: Users can only scroll a single feed curated by an algorithm. Hashtags have little to no relevance yet.

4. No search feature: Currently, you can only search for accounts as opposed to content, which limits community management abilities.

5. No advertising: Marketers are unable to advertise on Threads at this point – all content is organic in its current state.

Our Take on Threads

With over 150 million downloads and counting, early data showed brands experiencing high engagement on the platform, which has waned over the weeks since launch. While it’s too soon to gauge exactly how people will use Instagram Threads long term, adding Threads into your content mix now presents a opportunity to have a little fun and see what sticks as the app picks up steam. With such a low barrier to entry, first-mover advantage gives you the chance to test, learn, and track trends among your community in a relatively risk-free way. Plus, you’ll have a leg up should Threads really take off.

If you’re looking for more digital marketing tips for live events, check out Part 1 of our series on demystifying Google Analytics 4.