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Should My School Join Threads? Here’s What You Need to Know
Connor Gleason

The arrival of a new social media platform isn’t uncommon, but something about Threads feels different.

Threads, the new platform developed by Meta, is creating a buzz among social media managers, content creators, and school marketers alike. Donned “The Twitter Killer,” the new platform has seemingly presented itself as a viable replacement for Twitter.

Numerous discussions are springing up about how to navigate the app, the types of content to share, and the strategies for integrating Threads into existing social media strategies.

Then what's the big deal?

Well, Twitter has collected more than its share of drama since Elon Musk took the reigns: pushback over the need to pay for “verified” accounts, a nearly 60% drop in advertising sales, and just recently, Musk announced a cap on the number of tweets that non-paying users could view each day — another dramatic policy change that generated waves of users threatening to jump ship and abandon the platform.

Twitter’s cap announcement came just days before the launch of Meta’s Threads app, which more than 10 million people signed up for within the first seven hours of its launch. By comparison, it took Facebook 852 days and Twitter 780 days to reach 10 million users. Threads gained 30 million users in less than 24 hours...

The good news is that for schools looking for an alternative to Twitter, Threads could be it. Since most schools have an active presence on Instagram, starting a Threads account is easy. Users can transfer their school's Instagram account handle to Threads, meaning there’s no real threat of someone “stealing” your school’s account name.

But the big question for schools is: should our school join Threads?

Like other platforms, understanding your user demographics, popularity trends, and your content strategy is crucial for any school or district considering adding Threads to their social media marketing strategy.

Let’s take a look at Threads, why it's gaining popularity, and what factors your school should consider before launching a new social media platform.

What is Threads? Understanding a New Social Media Space for Schools

Designed to facilitate real-time, public conversations, Threads allows users to engage in short (500 characters), concise conversations, much like Twitter's renowned 'tweet' format. Similar to Twitter's functionality, Threads provides options to like, repost, reply to, or quote a thread, with each post displaying the number of likes and replies below its content. While Threads isn't available in the EU right now because of its strict data privacy rules, users elsewhere around the world have the flexibility to set their accounts as public or private.

Although Threads is closely linked with Instagram, it's the interface that bears a resemblance to Twitter's layout. What sets Threads apart is its focus on simplicity rather than an array of flashy new features.

There are some notable differences that could affect your school’s strategy:

  • Without an apparent algorithm, the Threads timeline simply displays content in the order it was posted.
  • There’s no native desktop or web browsing experience at the moment, meaning users can only view and post on the platform’s mobile app.
  • Currently, there aren’t hashtags on Threads, and users can’t search for specific content.

There’s a lot on the line, too — once you create a Threads account, you can’t delete it without also deleting your Instagram account.

mockup of sandhills schools threads account

Shoutout to Sandhills School for “tying in” a classroom lesson into its first Thread post — bonus points for the pun!

Twitter had once been the “newsroom” for schools’ content, sharing news and announcements in real-time, and Thread’s similar, straightforward approach could very well be the reason why many users eventually migrate. The familiarity of the platform, combined with its fresh approach to social media communication, seems to be drawing in users who prefer Threads functionality — sans the chaos of Twitter.

With that in mind, there are some great opportunities, as well as some considerations, as you think about adding Threads to your school's social media strategy.

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Pros and Cons of My School Adopting Threads

As with any significant decision, it's crucial to weigh the pros and cons before committing your school to a new social media platform like Threads. Here's a look into the potential benefits and challenges that come with this decision.

Pros of Your School Using Threads

  • Reach a New Audience: By joining Threads, your school can tap into a fresh, engaged user base. This includes potential students, parents, and alumni who are active on the platform. With a quickly growing community, Threads can help your school increase its visibility and reach, attracting potential students and staff and keeping alumni connected.
  • Increased Engagement: Threads' community-centric model encourages two-way interaction, potentially leading to increased engagement and stronger relationships.
  • Early Adoption Advantage: Being an early adopter of a rapidly growing platform could give your school a competitive edge and enable it to establish a strong presence.
  • Improved Communication: Threads' user-friendly interface and real-time conversations can provide a direct channel for timely communication. Its real-time nature makes it an effective tool for sharing important information with students, parents, staff, and the broader school community.
  • Community Building: Like Twitter, Threads can have the potential to foster a sense of community, making it a platform for your school to share updates, celebrate achievements, and build school spirit.

Cons For Schools Using Threads

  • Additional Time and Resources: Managing a new social media platform requires additional time and effort from you and your team members. Your school will need to create, manage, and moderate content consistently to see effective engagement.
  • Uncertain Longevity: As a new platform, Threads' long-term success and stability are not guaranteed. It could be risky to invest heavily in a platform that might not endure.
  • Learning Curve: Your school’s communication team may need training to familiarize themselves with the new platform, and this learning process could take time.
  • Fragmented Audience: If your community is spread across too many platforms, it could dilute the effectiveness of your social media efforts that are producing results.

Remember, successfully using Threads, or any social media platform for that matter, depends on creating a clear strategy, posting regularly, and engaging authentically with your audience.

Keep Reading: Like & Follow: 6 Strategies for Schools Adopting New Social Media Channel

Being Where Your Audience Is

It's a fundamental principle in communication and marketing: to effectively reach your audience, you must meet them where they are. That “place” is often one of the various social channels, and Threads is proving to be a popular choice.

Ask yourself: Is your audience present on Threads, and is the platform suitable for the kind of interaction your school seeks?

If this answer is "no," then it’s fine to wait. If your target audience is already there and active, then consider joining. This doesn't necessarily mean abandoning established platforms but rather expanding your reach to embrace platforms where your audience is increasingly active.

Doane Academy Threads screenshot

Doane Academy connected the “threads” between its first post and a moment in the school’s history — very creative!

Simply having a presence on Threads isn't enough to support your social media goals, however. Similar to Twitter, quality content and authentic and meaningful engagement are key. That means not just broadcasting messages but also interacting with your community with amazing content tailored to the platform.

Content Strategies for Threads: Connect, Experiment, and Be Patient

As with any new platform, the first rule of thumb for creating content for Threads is to experiment and explore. At the moment, no one seems to really know what they’re actually doing, and just like any new platform release, it will require a learning curve. There aren’t ads on Threads (yet), and without an apparent algorithm to curate content, it seems like the Wild West for the content and discussions that would have been shared on Twitter. With that in mind:

  • Take the time to familiarize yourself with the app. Understand its unique features and how they can be used to your advantage.
  • Respond to comments, like and share relevant posts, ask questions, and encourage discussion. By doing so, your school can build a more interactive community.
  • Try different types of content, whether that's text-based updates, photo or video posts, or interactive Q&A sessions, and observe what gets the most engagement from your audience.
Culford School Threads mockup

At the heart of Threads lies the chance to connect with your community with school updates, celebrate achievements, or start discussions that reflect your school's values and vision, as Culford School did in a recent post. The key here is to make your posts engaging and relevant, so tailor your content to make your community feel valued and heard.

It's important not to rush the process. Effective engagement on a new platform like Threads requires time, and you may need to tweak your strategy based on your audience's response. Be patient, learn from your experiences, and over time, you'll be able to build a meaningful presence.

Key Takeaway

Choosing to join a new social media platform like Threads is a decision that needs strategic thought and planning. It presents exciting opportunities but also comes with its own challenges. Your school should take a comprehensive view, weighing the benefits against the drawbacks and assessing whether you have the bandwidth to effectively utilize the platform.

As always, remember that the ultimate goal of any social media channel is to foster a positive, engaged, and interactive community. If Threads aligns with this goal and your audience is active there, it could be worth your school's consideration.

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Connor Gleason Headshot


Connor has spent the last decade within the field of marketing and communications, working with independent schools and colleges throughout New England. As Finalsite’s Senior Content Marketing Manager, Connor plans and executes marketing strategies and digital content across the web. A former photojournalist, he has a passion for digital media, storytelling, coffee, and creating content that connects.

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