Mastering Threads – 5 Brands with Winning Strategies for the Newest Social Platform
Less than one week after its public debut, Threads has already become the fastest-growing mobile app in history. More than 100 million users signed up for Meta’s new social platform in just the first five days — and now brand marketers are ready to get in on the action.
While Threads looks nearly identical to Twitter, the vibe is noticeably different. Brand marketers on Threads seem to be looser in what they post, and they’re all about experimentation for the time being. Nine of the top 10 retailers have already activated their accounts on Threads, according to the National Retail Federation. These early adopters are working to create an organic presence by sharing behind-the-scenes content, telling stories, and running giveaways, even before Meta adds its advertising capabilities.
Some of the world’s largest brands and agencies are watching how people use Threads, and keeping a close eye on metrics, to determine which types of content get the most traction. Companies like Williams Sonoma and Gymshark, and publishers like Vogue, Vice, and Rolling Stone, are applying many of the same strategies they used on Twitter — with a twist.
Here are some of the creative ways top brand marketers are taking advantage of Threads to generate traction on the internet’s newest social media platform.
1. Ulta Beauty
A number of makeup companies were quick to activate their accounts, including Clinique, E.l.f. Beauty, Maybelline, Tarte, and Ulta Beauty. Of those, Ulta Beauty has come out as an early leader. In an interview, Ulta’s senior director of social media and content Christine White compared joining Threads to entering a party full of people you already know, and said her company is more focused on ROV — Return on Vibes — than ROI in these early days. Ulta has also been using Threads to forge connections with other companies outside the cosmetics space, reposting content from Crumbl and Dunkin, and replying to everyday users on Threads in a fun, casual way.
Always a leader in the social marketing space, Nike is taking a noticeably conservative approach on Threads. Although Nike was one of the first major brands to activate its account, the company’s social media team has at this point posted just a few times — far less than competitors. Thus far, Nike appears to be taking the same approach to Threads as it has to Twitter. Its posts on Threads are written in the same voice as the company’s posts on Twitter. In this early discovery phase, Nike is using Threads as a place to ask fans questions and learn what they’re interested in, and to generate interaction by reposting popular sports videos and GIFs.
Like Nike, Wendy’s is known for having a specific brand voice on Twitter. The fast food giant seems to be taking the same approach on Threads, poking fun at the feud between Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Elon Musk and reposting memes at a regular clip. In its first five days on the platform, Wendy’s has already posted hundreds of times, making it one of the most prolific brands on Threads. That effort appears to be working. As of Monday morning, Wendy’s had 240,000 followers on Threads, compared to Burger King’s 100,000 and Taco Bell’s 84,000.
4. Urban Skin RX
The skincare brand Urban Skin RX has taken a riskier approach on Threads. Rather than doubling up on content from Twitter, Urban Skin RX’s founder has been using Threads as a place to have frank, honest conversations with her company’s customers. She’s also interjecting humor into her posts, asking followers questions that might not seem appropriate on Instagram or Twitter, like “would you rather have face acne or butt acne?” That humorous, slightly cheeky approach could be a hallmark of how many brands handle marketing on Threads in the coming weeks and months.
5. Free People
While Free People is clearly having success on Threads — as evident by having amassed 132,000 followers as of Monday — the retailer’s approach is more traditional than some others on this list. Like Nike, Free People is using the same tone on Threads as it has on Twitter. The company’s feed is a combination of behind-the-scenes content, reposts of influencers wearing Free People products, and cheeky one-liners meant to reflect the brand’s cool-girl aesthetic. Free People’s social media team has also been busy interacting with other retail brands as a way to drum up engagement and grow the company’s following on the platform.