Like many brands, you might be wondering how you can leverage the rival social media platforms Threads and X to set yourself up as a thought leader. You might even be questioning which platform is destined to outperform the other, and where you should be focusing your social media marketing efforts.
The social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, has undergone massive changes with Elon Musk at the helm. In response, Meta launched a similar text-based, conversational platform named Threads. So how do these two competitors stack up, and which one is the best fit for your brand? On the surface, Threads and X look and feel quite similar. Both platforms are accessible via app and website, and both allow users to post, reply, and like content. But there are also substantial differences between Threads and X, and understanding how those differences pertain to your brand is key.
Before pouring time, energy, and big budgets into your social media marketing, make sure you weigh the pros and cons of each option. Some brands are dedicating their energy to one platform or the other. Some are choosing both. If you want to bring your brand’s expertise and thought leadership to the people through social media, (amp) has developed a guide to help you choose the right platform.
The Basics of Threads and X
Founded in 2006, Twitter quickly became a cultural phenomenon. The social network redefined the word “tweet” for an entire online culture, and its legacy grew into a digital space for freedom of thought and conversation. Twitter featured a wide variety of prominent celebrities and businesses. The platform was going strong until the very recent and abrupt X rebrand by Elon Musk, which has frustrated and disillusioned many longtime users.
Threads, founded earlier this year by parent company Meta, is a clear newcomer on the social media scene. Designed to be a direct competitor to X, Threads boasted 100 million signups within the first five days—the fastest user signup of any app ever created. Since then, early excitement has waned, and numbers have fallen dramatically to only 8 million active daily users. With both platforms struggling to gain—or maintain—users, Threads and X are struggling to set themselves apart by offering unique features.
Which social media platform is best for my brand?
As we just explored, Threads and X offer different features, but they also cater to different user cultures. Brands wanting to share their thought leadership may find success with one but not the other. Before investing in a social media platform, it is important to consider the user demographics of each channel, as well as the tone and personality of your brand, so that you can show up for your best-fit audience. Here are a few key factors to consider when making your decision.
• An August 2023 study published by Business Insider reported that nearly 90% of brands received more post engagement on Threads than on X, despite the platform having fewer users and overall features. Household brands like McDonalds and Red Bull have benefitted from Threads engagement, and Reuters gained 6.5 times more post likes via Threads, even with 99% less followers on the platform.
Key Takeaway: While there are currently fewer active users on Threads, they are much more engaged and responsive than X users. For brands looking to dive deeper into social media, user engagement is critical. However, the massive user base of X gives brands the opportunity to reach more people.
• Because of the significant and frustrating changes to the X platform, including new post restriction policies and subscription models, people are searching for a qualified competitor. User feedback indicates that the daily limitations and paid feature exclusions on X can be frustrating, and claims of increased hate speech across the X platform are driving users to find a safer, more inclusive online space. So, while X boasts more users and a longer history, if Threads continues to roll out new features and maintain its online culture of positivity, people may make the permanent transition to Threads. On the other hand, if Threads—or another, yet-to-be-seen competitor—is lackluster, people might just go back to the tried-and-true X platform.
Key Takeaway: Threads offers an opportunity for brands to start fresh on a burgeoning platform. By hopping on the platform early, you have the potential to grow with it. However, Threads might fade as quickly as it’s risen. As of now, it is unclear if it can stand the test of time, and some brands may not want to invest in a platform only to have it fade away.
• Generating followers and reaching them with targeted ads is imperative to growing your brand identity on social media. With Threads, brands can seamlessly and instantaneously import their Instagram followers, so there is no time wasted building a following from scratch. And because Threads is owned by Meta, users can also cross-post to Instagram and Facebook for greater exposure. X, however, edges out Threads in social media marketing. Whereas X regularly shows ads to users, ads are not available on Threads.
Key Takeaway: As a brand, audience reach and engagement are critical components of growing your business. X is the clear winner for brands looking to reach new audiences through social media ads, but Threads might be a better place to develop your brand’s voice and relationship with customers.
As new social media platforms rise to fame or fade into the background, one thing remains constant: social media as a means of communication is here to stay. Any brand that wants to grow, remain relevant, and continue to reach new audiences needs to understand that cultivating a strong social media presence is so much more than keeping up with cultural trends—it is a critical component of establishing your brand as a thought leader.
Social media management with (amp).
If you’re ready to explore Threads or X for your brand, (amp) can help. With our strategic, transparent, and creative team of experts guiding you, (amp) can develop and elevate your brand’s social media presence. Learn more about our social media and community management capabilities by visiting our website or contacting us for a consultation.