Should Advisors Jump On The Threads Bandwagon?

This article was first featured in Financial Advisor Magazine on Jul 18th, 2023.

Seemingly overnight, a standout new platform has emerged in the social media landscape. Threads, the latest release from Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta, blew past industry expectations and acquired over 100 million users in under a week. It’s a feat for the history books, as the new platform handily beat the previous record held by the artificial intelligence app ChatGPT, which took closer to two months to reach the same record-setting milestone.

Industry observers think Meta intended the new microblogging platform to be a “Twitter Killer” and take advantage of the older platform’s perceived missteps under its new leadership. Unlike other competitors, Threads has a unique advantage in that it could draft off the success of Instagram, which boasts more than 2.35 billion monthly active users.

That’s a lot of background information, so let’s get to the heart of the question: Should financial advisors carve out a space for themselves on Threads?

Why Advisors Are Excited About It

The most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to be everywhere; you just need to be where your audience is—and have a strategy designed for the platform they’re using.

Whether or not you know it, you may already have an audience on Threads if you’re on Instagram, where it’s easy to find your existing followers and move them to the new platform. That means you get to take advantage of Threads’ burgeoning success early on.

Here are a few reasons not to dismiss Threads:

  • It’s a new way to reach existing connections. If you’re already finding success with Instagram, Threads is another way to share and communicate with desired connections.
  • Threads was built with brand safety in mind. Industry experts anticipate that the platform will have a higher standard of verifying user identities than Twitter does, that the content will be more vigorously moderated and that Threads will better vet bots, scams, and spam.
  • It could be a gentler, kinder Twitter. While it takes time for any social media platform to develop a distinct culture, many observers expect that there will be more thoughtful, civil conversations on Threads than there have been on Twitter since most initial connections are to personal friends, family, business contacts, and major brands.
  • It had a record-setting running start. More than 100 million people have already signed up, which means Threads is already a thriving online community. Beyond that, most “new” users come with their existing social connections through Instagram.
  • There’s easy link sharing. It’s easier on Threads than Instagram to share links in a way your audience will likely see them.
  • There are no wait lists and no tech hiccups. Unlike Bluesky, Mastodon, Post.news, and other major Twitter clones, Threads poses no wait-listing or complex technical setup headaches before you start. If you have an Instagram account, you’re good to go. And Threads notably had an impressive, mostly bug-free rollout.

Reasons To Wait And See

Still, despite that successful, record-setting launch, nobody knows if Threads is here to stay. Many people think it won’t fully replace Twitter.

Before investing too much marketing time in the new platform, here are a few risk factors to remember.

  • The paint is still drying. Scratch the surface, and you might notice Threads feels a little unfinished. Want to search for topics? Follow hashtags and trends? See the folks you’re following instead of a general feed? Directly message a contact? You’re currently out of luck, at least for the immediate future.
  • It’s hard to say goodbye. If you’ve spent years curating your Twitter follows (or, for that matter, building a following of your own), you might find it challenging to start a new platform without your old friends. There’s no easy way to import contacts from one platform to another, and that’s unlikely to change.
  • Is this a flash in the plan? Threads is hot right now, but what will it look like in a year? Many once-promising social media platforms have since gone by the cultural wayside. It may be some time before we see whether Threads will find a place in the social media landscape, much less win the microblogging race.
  • And the punchline … Whether or not Threads has fully settled in as a product, financial advisors will still need compliance infrastructure to support it, and this has yet to catch up. As regulators keep an eye on social media, advisors will have to wait for archival services and compliance guidelines.

How Should I Get Started?

Are you wondering how many of your connections are already on Threads? Here’s how to find out: If you’re an Instagram user, download Threads from your app store and log in with the same username and password. There’s a good chance you’ll find a slew of invitations waiting for you. Follow your contacts, and request that they follow you back.

If you’re not an Instagram user, you must sign up there first. For you, Threads may be a bit lonelier, at least at first.

Are you ready to begin marketing on Threads? Start by using it for personal purposes to get used to it and see what audiences are engaging with and what content seems to get the most attention. Like all platforms, this one is meant to be social, so remember to like, comment and engage with other people’s posts, not just share your own.

Will Threads become a new way for advisors to market? Only time will tell. In the meantime, head over to my LinkedIn profile at www.linkedin.com/in/susantheder with all your thoughts and questions about Threads.

Get our best marketing ideas in your inbox with our monthly newsletter
Current FMG customer? Download our app today!

Personal Information Form