By now we’re sure you’ve heard about the new kid on the social media block, Meta’s Threads, AKA “the Twitter killer.” By the time you read this post, Threads’ user count is likely upwards of 110 million, making it the fastest growing consumer app of all time. And those users aren’t just signing up and waiting around to see how the platform takes shape, there are tons of active users – just a couple days after launching, Threads reported that users had already published more than 95 million posts. In just the first week, without much more promotion than a simple announcement, Threads has shot to the stratosphere faster than a SpaceX rocket.
So, how are people using Threads, and, more importantly, how can restaurant brands add the platform to their marketing mix? According to Meta’s official announcement, Threads is meant to be a “positive and creative space to express your ideas.” Instagram Head, Adam Mosseri, added that Threads, compared to Twitter, is supposed to be “a less angry place for conversation,” explaining that the company will not do anything to encourage the sharing of hard news or politics on the platform. If you download the app and take a look around, that sentiment looks like it’s holding true so far – the content seems to be less about politics, news, and opinions and more about good old fashioned internet fun (think lots of memes, funny quips, and Taylor Swift references).
The good news for brands – no one really knows what they’re doing on Threads yet, so this early phase is an opportunity to experiment, explore, and engage on the platform. Even if you run a small operation and don’t have the time or resources to fully dive into a Threads strategy, there are still a few simple steps you can take to get your feet wet:
- Create an account. Be sure to include your logo, bio, and URL. If you already have an Instagram account, Threads makes this process super quick and easy.
- Establish your brand voice. Think about how you want to present your brand on the platform and make sure your voice is consistent. Fun and informal seems to be the general tone most brands and users are taking, but you don’t necessarily need to take that as a rule – just make sure your voice is true to your underlying brand personality.
- Start engaging. Follow some other restaurant brands you like or other businesses in your area and like or comment on their posts to join the conversation. Try plugging into popular local accounts by typing the name of your city into the search bar and following the first few accounts that show up. The followers of those accounts will likely be restaurant-goers in your area, so click on their follower list and start engaging. Gary Vaynerchuk’s “$1.80 strategy” is a great strategy to follow for building an engaged community — more on that here.
- Post your first Thread. You’ll want to start populating your account and testing what kinds of posts resonate with your audience, so say hi, ask a question, or share a funny gif. You’ll likely have low engagement on your first posts so no need to spend too much time crafting the copy, it just needs to get the ball rolling.
How are restaurant brands using Threads?
While we’re all just getting started on the platform and it will surely go through some growing pains, Threads offers a great avenue to amplify your brand’s personality and converse with your audience.
In this early stage of the platform, brand content from restaurants on Threads varies widely. Many brands have created their accounts and are simply parked on the platform waiting to see how it takes shape, while some are reposting their content from Twitter or Instagram. Other brands, however, have taken the dive head first into the new platform, posting original Threads while interacting with followers and other brands.
Here we’ll take a look at a few restaurant brands to keep an eye on that are off to a solid start on Threads.
If you follow the world of restaurant marketing, you’re probably familiar with Crumbl Cookies. The dessert brand has been killing it on social media since its 2017 launch, amassing 3.9M Instagram followers and 6.9M on Tik Tok, pushing their app into the top 15 most downloaded in the food and drink category. If you need a brand to look to for some social media inspiration, Crumbl Cookies is the one.
On Threads, their content is a mix of funny quips (some are Threads originals, others are recycled from Twitter), gifs, memes, and lots of clever replies to their followers and posts from other brand accounts.
One of Crumbl’s more interesting posts on Threads – free cookies for early adopters. The brand published a Thread explaining that the first 1000 people to use the “THREADS” promo code on the Crumbl app get a free cookie. This is not only a great way to grow your following and generate engagement right off that bat, but also an easy, low-cost promo that almost any restaurant brand can do.
Post by @crumblcookiesView on Threads
Post by @dunkinView on Threads
Dunkin’ is another brand taking advantage of this new channel to amplify its brand personality. The donut chain has been using Threads to post witty comments, pose questions to its audience, reply to brand mentions (or general mentions of coffee or donuts), and poke fun at other high profile brands. It’s clear that the Dunkin’ team is viewing this new platform as its own separate channel, as there is very little overlap between their content on Threads, Twitter, Instagram, and Tik Tok. While the brand’s irreverent voice is consistent across all platforms, its Threads content seems to be a bit shorter-form and more conversational.
Sprinkles is another brand using Threads to drive engagement through its quirky brand voice. The premium cupcake chain seems to be testing the Threads waters with a few original posts, frequent replies to followers plus comments on other brands’ posts, and some re-posted content from Instagram, including the social media shoutout du jour, a nod to the Swifties.
Post by @sprinklescupcakesView on Threads
Post by @coffeedosecafeView on Threads
The Southern California-based coffee chain is known for its colorful, stoner/psychedelic, “not your grandma’s coffee shop” branding, and that voice has translated well to Threads. While their Instagram and Tik Tok channels typically feature branded and user-generated photo/video content, Coffee Dose has decidedly leaned into internet culture on Threads, posting well-known memes remixed with some coffee flavor. Given that the brand is inactive on Twitter, Threads has given Coffee Dose a great opportunity to reinforce its brand voice in a new way.
Virtuous Pie, a vegan pizza and ice cream restaurant, is using something of a mash-up of all the previous tactics we’ve covered – their content is a mix of reposted Instagram photos, conversational prompts, funny musings, and tried and true memes. Perhaps more importantly though, they have been very active replying to followers and other brand pages, a great way to get noticed and build engagement.
Again, as you can tell from these examples, no one completely knows what they’re doing yet in terms of a Threads strategy. Right now, the platform is a bit messy, chaotic, and experimental, which means this early stage is a great opportunity to grow your audience, test content, engage, and build a community.
So how will CardFree be using the new platform? Threads will be our main hub as we keep an eye on digital marketing in the hospitality industry. We’ll be covering the same type of content we’ve shared in this article — follow us for links, tips, observations, and maybe even some Taylor Swift memes to give hospitality pros some inspiration to navigate through the world of digital marketing
Post by @virtuous_pieView on Threads