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Threads for Nonprofits: An Introduction

As new technology develops, nonprofits face the unique challenge of making a lasting impact on their communities while navigating limited resources. Social media has emerged as a powerful tool, allowing organizations to connect with their audience on a more personal level. Among the various platforms, Threads has gained immense popularity for its ability to tell compelling stories and engage followers.

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In this blog post, we will explore how nonprofits can leverage Threads effectively, enhance engagement, and maximize impact.

Understand the Fine Print

When you create your Threads account, it's important to know that you will acquire the same username you use with Instagram. If you want to use a different username for your Threads account, you should first change your Instagram handle to match the desired username.

Additionally, the fine print states that you can deactivate your Threads account at any time; however, if you delete your Threads account, it will also delete your Instagram account. Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri recently stated that they are looking into ways to have these accounts deleted separately, although there is no official timeline for this feature.

Understand Threads' Capabilities

Before you put in the effort to build a presence on Threads, it's important to understand the capabilities of the social network and how you're able to engage. As of July 2023:

  • If your nonprofit is verified on Instagram, then you are also verified on Threads. 
  • Instagram Fundraising Tools are not available on Threads. 
  • Threads can be up to 500 characters. 
  • There is no direct messaging option.
  • There is no ability to run ads on Threads.
  • You can engage with posts similar to other social media accounts: You can easily reshare, "like," and comment on Threads.
  • You can easily share your posts from Threads as an Instagram post or Instagram story.

Here are some ways to ensure that you are making the most of your organization's presence on Threads.

Don't Use Hashtags

When using Threads — in comparison to social media platforms like X (formerly known as Twitter), Instagram, or Facebook — one notable limitation is the inability to use hashtags within the thread. Unlike regular posts, where hashtags can be strategically used to increase discoverability and reach a broader audience, Threads lacks this feature. As a result, nonprofits must rely solely on the content and storytelling within the thread itself to capture the attention of their target audience. This emphasizes the importance of crafting compelling narratives and incorporating engaging visuals to effectively convey their message and drive meaningful engagement.

Announce Your Threads Presence on Other Networks

It's likely that many of your followers on other social networks have created a presence on Threads, so it's important to let them know of your presence so they can engage properly.

If your nonprofit does create a Threads account, be sure to announce it in other online communities you participate in. Create a post to inform your followers of your new account and encourage them to follow you there as well.

Understand the Risks

Although Threads has experienced rapid expansion, it has not revealed any strategies to tackle disinformation. This is causing concern among voting rights groups as the nation approaches an election year. Meta asserts that its Facebook rules also apply to Threads, but voting groups insist that the app requires a distinct policy. 

There are also questions about the safety of personal information shared on the platform. Similar to Meta's other social media platforms, users are expressing reservations about the extent of data access the app possesses and the possible risks associated with it. Compounding the issue are recent policy modifications by Meta that cast doubts on the company's dedication to upholding user privacy. This situation has positioned the Threads app as a focal point in the ongoing discourse around online privacy and the ethical management of user data by prominent technology companies like Meta.

Craft Compelling Stories

Threads enables users to share long-form content in a sequential manner, allowing for more in-depth storytelling and the ability to present complex information in a structured and coherent way. Due to the sequential posting feature, your organization can create narrative-driven content. Although posts are limited to 500 characters, you can attach another post to the thread to elaborate, tell more of your story, and encourage action. Nonprofits can leverage this feature to tell inspiring stories that resonate with their audience emotionally, such as stories of beneficiaries, volunteers, or the journey of an impactful project. By adding a personal touch to your posts, you can evoke empathy, inspire action, and establish a genuine connection with your followers.

Plan and Organize Content

To maximize the impact of your Threads, plan your content carefully. Consider creating a content calendar outlining the topics, themes, and visual elements for each post. This approach will help you maintain a consistent posting schedule and ensure that your messages align with your organization's overall mission and objectives.

Utilize Visuals Strategically

Visual elements play a crucial role in capturing the attention of your audience. Combine powerful images and engaging videos to make your Threads more dynamic and appealing. Infographics and data visualizations can also be used to illustrate the impact of your organization's work and showcase your accomplishments effectively.

Interact with Your Audience

One of the key benefits of Threads is the ability to encourage engagement within the content itself. Ask questions, seek opinions, or request feedback on your projects. Encourage your followers to share their own experiences or suggestions. Respond to comments promptly to foster a sense of community and show your audience that their input matters.

Know Who to Follow

On Threads, it's important to follow other accounts that share similar interests. Start with the "Discover" or "Explore" section of the platform, which often showcases trending or popular users. Use the platform's search bar to look for specific topics, interests, or influencers you admire. Additionally, consider browsing through posts that intrigue you and look at who is engaging with it; this can lead you to users who share your interests.

Don't hesitate to interact with posts and engage in discussions; this can help you connect with like-minded individuals. Lastly, take advantage of any recommendation algorithms the platform might offer, which could suggest users based on your activity and interests. By combining these methods, you can effectively find and follow individuals on Threads who resonate with your interests.

Incorporate a Call to Action (CTA)

While storytelling is essential, the ultimate goal of your nonprofit's Threads is to drive action and support. Include clear and compelling call-to-action (CTA) statements in your posts. Whether it's to donate, volunteer, sign a petition, or share the post, make sure your CTA aligns with your organization's goals and motivates your audience to take immediate action.

Collaborate and Partner

Threads also presents a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with other nonprofits or influencers who share similar values. Partnering with like-minded organizations can extend your reach to a broader audience and create a positive impact collectively. Additionally, collaborating with influencers can bring more attention to your cause and increase engagement.

Track and Analyze Performance

To refine your Threads strategy continually, monitor and analyze the performance of your posts. Social media analytics tools can provide valuable insights into engagement metrics, reach, and follower demographics. Use this data to identify which types of content perform best and adjust your approach accordingly.

Get Started with Threads

Threads offers a compelling and interactive way for nonprofits to share their stories, build a community, and drive action for their causes. By crafting engaging narratives, strategically planning content, using visuals effectively, and fostering meaningful interactions, nonprofits can leverage the power of Threads to make a lasting impact on their audience and create positive change in the world. Embrace these tips and watch your nonprofit thrive on social media as you drive your mission forward.

If your nonprofit joins Threads, be sure to follow TechSoup and let us know you're there.

Additional Resources

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