‘Not going to pretend that we’ve got a fancy strategy’: How Ladbible is getting a feel for Meta’s Twitter rival Threads

Brands and publishers are already experimenting and engaging on Meta’s text-based app Threads. Among them is Ladbible, a social-first publisher that is currently in the process of figuring out what resonates and what doesn’t on the app — but don’t call it a strategy. It’s far too early for that. After all, Threads isn’t even a week old.

Digiday caught up with Ladbible’s Instagram & TikTok Lead, Rebecca Tyrell, to get the lowdown on the team’s first impressions and how they’re using it so far.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

What are your first impressions of Threads?

It feels very much like going back to Ladbible’s roots — we started off with memes and viral videos — and that’s what we went with when Threads launched. One example is the Elon Musk versus Mark Zuckerberg debate on the platform. We took a viral video from our Content Bible (our submissions platform) of kids racing, and we popped a social media logo on each one, while Twitter fell over.

Thanks to Instagram’s seamless transition for users to follow the same IG accounts on Threads, there’s people that have already been following us for a while, as well as those who might’ve never heard of us. We are thinking of what we can post, not only for our loyal audience, but these newer followers to ensure they keep following us on Threads. 

What conclusions have you drawn so far? 

At this early stage, we wanted to get involved in the hype and excitement of Threads, so we’ve kept our posts positive and uplifting. We didn’t want Ladbible to already start bombarding users with the same typical posts they’d find on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, which have a lot more articles, videos and commercial content. A couple days after launch, I noticed some publishers were already adopting their standard strategies from other platforms to Threads, and even as a user, I found it quite irritating this early on, as it felt like being bombarded when everyone is still just trying to have fun there.

For now, we’ve tested out a few links to articles and viral videos, but we’re keeping it very light and positive before we incorporate a solid strategy.

How are you currently using the app?

Close to launch, we received some guidance from Meta for Threads, including community guidelines, types of content we can post and character counts for text posts. So far, we’ve been  posting every half hour or so, simply because there were so many people on Threads so our posts would naturally get eyes on them.

We’re currently playing it by ear, so I’m not going to pretend we’ve got a fancy strategy on the go already. It has very much been, what can we do? But we’re already looking ahead at what type of light schedule we can get in place on the app. It won’t be anything like we have on Facebook yet, which is a very rigid strategy of posting articles and videos alternately. 

What about engagement?

In terms of engagement, Unilad and Gamingbible both already have more followers on Threads (343,000 and 98,500) than they do on Twitter (202,900 and 74,200). Generally, we’re seeing more engagement on Threads than we would on Twitter, but it really does depend on the post. Given Threads only launched last week, we’re not too caught up in metrics — we’re just having fun with it right now. 

Engagement is always a good sign that we’re doing the right thing for our audience. We’re always social listening and keeping an eye on comments, but we are seeing positive reactions to what we’ve posted so far. I think we’ll just play it by ear and slowly introduce more post-types, but still keep it relevant to the audience and what we know they’re interested in.

What type of content do you think might do well on Threads for you?

We’ve started testing some of the posts we use on other platforms on Threads, but we’re always keeping an eye on the comments to check what people are saying about it, and the general sentiment. The carousel on Threads, for example, looks really great, and arguably better than they do on Instagram, so we’ll definitely carry on experimenting with that.

As a social-first publisher, what types of features would help you on the platform?

We’re definitely hoping there’ll be opportunities for monetization because we are a business, but as we’ve not even got that for video on Instagram yet, I won’t hold my breath.

Search functions would be really helpful. Currently on Threads you can search for other brands, but not for keywords or hashtags, and that’s an important feature. Trending Topics is also a big part of content creation across Instagram, Facebook and even TikTok, and enables users to share posts and comments across platforms.

We’d love to see Instagram’s post collaboration feature on Threads, so we’re keeping an eye out for that. They’re so helpful for things like company-wide campaigns because they enable us to get it in front of as many eyes as possible.

We definitely need scheduling and insights functions built into Meta’s existing business suite. At the moment, there’s no scheduling option, which can prove tricky as my team doesn’t have a dedicated weekend team. So we’ve been posting less content across Saturday and Sunday. And while we do everything on our phones because we are native on social platforms, we haven’t got any insights other than what we see on the posts themselves. 

https://digiday.com/?p=510585

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