Don’t count Threads out yet: One brand’s success story

This is the time to experiment.

How Visit Orlando uses Threads

Threads was the hottest app ever.

Then its user base plummeted.

Where does that leave brands trying to stay abreast of the next big thing while still making the most of their limited time and resources?

For Visit Orlando, the tourism arm of the theme park capital of the world, Threads represents a chance to experiment, play and repurpose content.

“It’s interesting when we talk about strategy with Threads,” Adeta Gayah, director of social media and content for Visit Orlando, told PR Daily. “I think it’s kind of funny because the strategy for Threads is that there is no strategy. It’s very much a test and learn platform.”

Here’s what Visit Orlando found from testing and learning — and how you can apply these same lessons.



Starting the Thread

The Visit Orlando social team was generally aware that Threads would be coming out in the near future. Their first strategy was just to hold their username and see what happened.

But then, in a surprise move, Meta launched Threads ahead of schedule. So Gayah and her team decided to jump into the opening day fray. Their initial game plan involved emulating Twitter content — after all, Threads was initially launched as a direct alternative to Twitter, with its text-heavy focus.

To their surprise, the engagement came fast and furious.

“And we thought like, OK, what we’re seeing so far is people just kind of being witty and cheeky about what this platform is,” Gayah said. “So we’re going to play into that tone a little bit more.”

They leaned into that plan for the first few days, furiously brainstorming on Teams and pushing content into the world. Their following grew quickly.

The second phase of their plan evolved from broadcasting content to jumping into popular conversations with other brands. Since there was no search function and discoverability was even more limited in those early days, these interactions helped them get found.

“So we would like jump into the comment section and try to figure out how to insert ourselves into it, where applicable,” Gayah explained. “After about a week or two, we started to see other brands jumping into our conversation. And that felt pretty good.”

Thread unfurls

It’s now been more than two months since Threads launched. Visit Orlando’s followership is still low compared to other apps they’re on — 43,000 on Threads versus 149,000 on X and 403,000 on Instagram. And Threads itself has changed since those heady, red-hot days. Usage has declined and some brands are backing away. But not Visit Orlando, though they have refined their approach.

“Initially, it was trying to be super responsive, jump into conversations. Now it’s more putting content out there and seeing who responds and responding as we can,” Gayah said. They’re also now actively using content they’ve already had approved for other channels on Threads, increasing their efficiency — though always with an eye toward the tone of the platform.

“One of the things that we’ve been a little cautious not to do is to not turn it into a marketing channel just on our side,” Gayah said. “So we’re not linking to the website, we’re not promoting programs on Threads the way we would in some of our other channels. We’re in that honeymoon period where it hasn’t been touched by advertising, so we don’t want to be the ones to bring too much advertising into the picture just yet.”

Their current strategy is not significantly different from their Twitter strategy: one to three posts a day, with much less engagement than in those early days of brand building on Threads.

“We’re not putting any more resources beyond that,” Gayah said. “We think it’s worth it at this point because of the association it has with Instagram and who it’s owned by, we think it’s worth continuing to feed the channel and exploring and learning, putting different types of content and seeing what the reaction and response is. But without deep analytics, it’s not something that we can really put like a true ROI against.”

The future

Indeed, when asked to think about how their strategy could evolve over the next few months, Gayah was looking to the future she expects to be added to the platform — and the end of that advertising honeymoon.

“The next step, I imagine analytics and metrics are going to come out, and then it becomes an advertising platform for us,” Gayah predicted.

For now, she certainly doesn’t recommend putting all your eggs in the Threads basket. But if you have the resources, it is worth having a presence, she believes.

“The more you can do to learn, just soak up as much knowledge as possible. The platform will inevitably change, and so we’ve got to get ready for it. But if you can go into that with some knowledge of the types of content or comments that people are reacting to, I think that’s already putting you one step ahead.”

Don’t miss PR Daily’s 2023  Social Media Strategies Virtual Conference to learn more tactics for cracking the code of the most influential platforms today.

Allison Carter is executive editor of PR Daily. Follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.



PR Daily News Feed

Sign up to receive the latest articles from PR Daily directly in your inbox.