How to use Threads as a podcaster

Hint: it's not about forcing a marketing strategy. It's about connecting, listening, and staying open to new ideas.
July 11, 2023
Erin Ollila
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By now, you’ve most likely heard about Threads by Meta, a text-based app similar to Twitter, that was created by the Instagram team. With 100 million people signing up in just five days, Threads has made social media history.

For podcasters, social media is a place to talk shop with other podcasters, connect with listeners, and grow their audience. A brand new platform like Threads is full of potential for podcasters — as long as you use it right. In this article, you’ll learn what we know — and don’t know — about how to use Threads to establish yourself and your podcast.

First, let’s understand what Threads is

Threads is, at its most basic, a competitor to Twitter: users write, share, and respond to mostly text-based posts that appear on a feed of other posts, some from users you follow, some from users you don’t. At the moment, it doesn’t have direct-message (DM) capabilities, nor does it have a web version.

Threads’ own description of itself is a little more optimistic: Its Apple Store listing says, “Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow. Whatever it is you’re interested in, you can follow and connect directly with your favorite creators and others who love the same things — or build a loyal following of your own to share your ideas, opinions and creativity with the world.”

Sounds like a dream for a podcaster who has already built a community and is looking for a space in which they can continue their conversation with their audience. 

Like many other social media platforms, Threads helps users to communicate with a private or public audience; though, if you’re a podcast host, a private account won’t help if you’re looking to build a community on the platform.

Posts on Threads can be up to 500 characters long each and multiple posts can be nested within one…well, thread. And while it is a text-central app, posts may include links, up to 10 images or photos, and videos that are less than 5 minutes long.

What does someone actually post about on Threads?

There’s something so refreshing about the very first days of a new social media platform being released. There’s the buzz of being an early adopter as everyone feels both excited and awkward and unsure of what to say.

That’s a sentiment that was being shared over and over again on the platform during the first few days. People were curious how to use Threads. No one quite knew exactly what to share. It was as if they were grabbing the mic and asking “Is this thing on?”

So Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram took to Threads to explain how people should think about communicating on the platform. He says, “...it’s less about the text versus photos and more about what public conversations you want to have.”

So what conversations do you want to have? And how does your podcast factor into the conversation?

Let’s start with what you shouldn’t be doing

If you’re reading this with the hopes that you’ll walk away from this article with a content strategy or marketing plan for growing your podcast on Threads, you may be disappointed. No one can tell you, at this moment in time, what type of content will perform the best or how to develop a strategy that grows your audience and your podcast by leaps and bounds.

Why? Because no one truly knows how to use Threads right now — no matter what they might tell you. The platform is less than a week old. You’d have to be able to see into the future to interpret engagement data and analyze content trends to learn what type of content performs the best. 

We're all partaking in an experiment of sorts. The way we connect with each other on Threads over the next few days, weeks, and months will begin to set the tone for how the app is used.  But there is one thing to consider as you witness your fellow podcasters flocking to this new social media channel: a vast number of Threads users seem to be collectively sighing with relief as they communicate on a platform that doesn’t currently have ads, the opportunity to DM, or an apparently obvious algorithm that dictates who and what they see.

We’re all so burnt out from the amount of content and ads that we’re bombarded with on a daily basis that a space without ads or any shared content strategy is something to cherish.

The joy is in the experience. It’s in actually seeing people in your feed that you don’t yet know, in joining conversations that interest you, and in not having to constantly think about how to position the information you share so that it benefits sales and marketing.

So the first step to growing your podcast using Threads is to let go of the urge to force a marketing strategy into your engagement plans.

Here’s how to use Threads as a podcaster

At this point, you’re probably wondering how to use Threads for your podcast if you’re not supposed to be following the usual social media advice.

It’s actually pretty simple. 

At this moment in time, I think you’ll get the most out of the platform if you commit to showing up and engaging. There’s no right or wrong way to do this, either. Though, I’d caution against signing up for a Threads account and then acting as a voyeur, not an active participant.

Users are longing for real, unadulterated conversations, so get out there and make some connections. Listen to what your audience is talking about and learn more about their needs. Who knows, you may even gain your next guest expert or find your biggest fan.

Make connections

Podcasts help you build trust with your listeners. They show up episode after episode ready to learn from you, laugh with you, or follow along with the story they hear. By sharing your voice and your message, you’re building trust and developing a connection with your audience.

So when you think about how you show up on social media as a podcaster, take a moment to reflect on that lesson.

While you can definitely think of social media as a way to grow your visibility, the only way people will continue to engage with you on any platform is if they formed a connection with you.

So get out there and meet new people. The home feed is currently showing a mix of people you follow and some you don’t. Instead of continuing conversations with the people you communicate with all the time on other platforms, see what those new-to-you accounts have to say.

But you don’t need to live at the mercy of the algorithm to find new connections. Use the search function! Search for keywords like podcast, podcast guest, podcast host, and podcasting if you’d like to widen your podcasting community. Then, try keywords related to your target audience and start building connections with both groups of people. 

A search for "podcast" on Threads

Do market research

Once you start connecting with other Threads users, make a point to listen and learn from them. Because it’s a text-based social media app, Threads is a great place to get market research about your audience.

As a copywriter, I love brand messaging and ideal client personas — for non-marketers, “client personas” just means a description of a type of person that’s a target client. But where I see a lot of people go wrong is that the personas they create are usually self imagined. They’re developed based on who business owners think or would like their clients to be, and the needs and desires of these personas are guesses. But they don’t have to be.

Doing market research helps podcasters learn more about their audience. If you already had an Instagram account for your podcast or your loyal followers have found your personal Threads account, begin your research by asking them questions about what they want from your show.

And even if you aren’t currently well-connected to your audience, there are many ways to approach market research. Social listening — that is, seeing what people are saying online — is one of the best ways. Instead of using the search function to find types of people, try using it to search terms that your audience may be interested in. Then, pay attention. 

You’ll want to learn more about what they’re curious about, where any knowledge gaps are, what levels of awareness they have as it relates to your products, services, or the story you share on your show, and, if conversion is what you’re after, how ready they might be to convert from a listener to a lead or paid subscriber.

Come up with future episode ideas for your show

There’s one more thing you can do as you’re learning how to use Threads: As you’re making connections with both listeners, other hosts, and potential guests, use what’s being said as inspiration for future episodes.

Are there any misconceptions about something you could clear up? Is your audience excited about a timely topic that you feel confident speaking about? Maybe you’ll see people in your audience discussing something you never previously considered talking about on your show. The opportunities for inspiration are endless. Excellent listening skills are the key to making the most of all the conversations that are happening on Threads.

You may also find a potential guest for your show that you weren’t connected to before. Look for individuals who are generous with their time and knowledge and show interest and excitement about the topics they’re discussing. 

Take notes on what you’re hearing and who may be qualified to come on your podcast. Join conversations to ask questions so you understand exactly what your audience needs. Know that you don’t need to implement all of your ideas at once. Some may need exploring further, and anyway, good research will help strengthen any episode ideas you have.

Remember, no one knows how to use Threads strategically yet

There’s no right or wrong way to use Threads as a podcaster. Embrace that and try new approaches to connecting with people on the platform. 

In one of my first few hours on the app, I remember reading a post where someone suggested that people use Threads “strategically” by taking a different approach on this social platform than they have before — meaning, if someone lurked previously, they should put in the effort to begin conversations or if someone was the initiator of chats before, they experience being a participant rather than the conversation starter. While I think connecting on social takes a bit more of a nuanced approach, I did like the idea of bringing a different facet of yourself to the conversation and trying new things.

And if you’re still worried about how to use Threads from a content perspective, take a deep breath and experiment. Before writing this article, I asked some of my podcasting friends on Threads how they planned to share their show on the platform. Most were still unsure. The general consensus was that they wanted to maintain the dialogue and conversations they were experiencing and they weren’t going to worry about being strategic with their marketing yet. 

Of the few who had given it some thought, they suggested that maybe they’d share quotes from their weekly shows to entice their new audience to listen. The first thing I plan on testing is posing questions about the topic I’m addressing in each week’s episode so that I can widen the conversation and include my entire podcast audience.

What you’ll do is completely up to you. Experiment. Enjoy, and know that if a method you try seems to fail, there’s always something to learn from it and you can easily pivot to try something new.

Erin Ollila
Erin Ollila is an SEO copywriter, lover of pretzel bread, and host of the Talk Copy to Me podcast. Learn more and connect: https://erinollila.com
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How to use Threads as a podcaster

By now, you’ve most likely heard about Threads by Meta, a text-based app similar to Twitter, that was created by the Instagram team. With 100 million people signing up in just five days, Threads has made social media history.

For podcasters, social media is a place to talk shop with other podcasters, connect with listeners, and grow their audience. A brand new platform like Threads is full of potential for podcasters — as long as you use it right. In this article, you’ll learn what we know — and don’t know — about how to use Threads to establish yourself and your podcast.

First, let’s understand what Threads is

Threads is, at its most basic, a competitor to Twitter: users write, share, and respond to mostly text-based posts that appear on a feed of other posts, some from users you follow, some from users you don’t. At the moment, it doesn’t have direct-message (DM) capabilities, nor does it have a web version.

Threads’ own description of itself is a little more optimistic: Its Apple Store listing says, “Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow. Whatever it is you’re interested in, you can follow and connect directly with your favorite creators and others who love the same things — or build a loyal following of your own to share your ideas, opinions and creativity with the world.”

Sounds like a dream for a podcaster who has already built a community and is looking for a space in which they can continue their conversation with their audience. 

Like many other social media platforms, Threads helps users to communicate with a private or public audience; though, if you’re a podcast host, a private account won’t help if you’re looking to build a community on the platform.

Posts on Threads can be up to 500 characters long each and multiple posts can be nested within one…well, thread. And while it is a text-central app, posts may include links, up to 10 images or photos, and videos that are less than 5 minutes long.

What does someone actually post about on Threads?

There’s something so refreshing about the very first days of a new social media platform being released. There’s the buzz of being an early adopter as everyone feels both excited and awkward and unsure of what to say.

That’s a sentiment that was being shared over and over again on the platform during the first few days. People were curious how to use Threads. No one quite knew exactly what to share. It was as if they were grabbing the mic and asking “Is this thing on?”

So Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram took to Threads to explain how people should think about communicating on the platform. He says, “...it’s less about the text versus photos and more about what public conversations you want to have.”

So what conversations do you want to have? And how does your podcast factor into the conversation?

Let’s start with what you shouldn’t be doing

If you’re reading this with the hopes that you’ll walk away from this article with a content strategy or marketing plan for growing your podcast on Threads, you may be disappointed. No one can tell you, at this moment in time, what type of content will perform the best or how to develop a strategy that grows your audience and your podcast by leaps and bounds.

Why? Because no one truly knows how to use Threads right now — no matter what they might tell you. The platform is less than a week old. You’d have to be able to see into the future to interpret engagement data and analyze content trends to learn what type of content performs the best. 

We're all partaking in an experiment of sorts. The way we connect with each other on Threads over the next few days, weeks, and months will begin to set the tone for how the app is used.  But there is one thing to consider as you witness your fellow podcasters flocking to this new social media channel: a vast number of Threads users seem to be collectively sighing with relief as they communicate on a platform that doesn’t currently have ads, the opportunity to DM, or an apparently obvious algorithm that dictates who and what they see.

We’re all so burnt out from the amount of content and ads that we’re bombarded with on a daily basis that a space without ads or any shared content strategy is something to cherish.

The joy is in the experience. It’s in actually seeing people in your feed that you don’t yet know, in joining conversations that interest you, and in not having to constantly think about how to position the information you share so that it benefits sales and marketing.

So the first step to growing your podcast using Threads is to let go of the urge to force a marketing strategy into your engagement plans.

Here’s how to use Threads as a podcaster

At this point, you’re probably wondering how to use Threads for your podcast if you’re not supposed to be following the usual social media advice.

It’s actually pretty simple. 

At this moment in time, I think you’ll get the most out of the platform if you commit to showing up and engaging. There’s no right or wrong way to do this, either. Though, I’d caution against signing up for a Threads account and then acting as a voyeur, not an active participant.

Users are longing for real, unadulterated conversations, so get out there and make some connections. Listen to what your audience is talking about and learn more about their needs. Who knows, you may even gain your next guest expert or find your biggest fan.

Make connections

Podcasts help you build trust with your listeners. They show up episode after episode ready to learn from you, laugh with you, or follow along with the story they hear. By sharing your voice and your message, you’re building trust and developing a connection with your audience.

So when you think about how you show up on social media as a podcaster, take a moment to reflect on that lesson.

While you can definitely think of social media as a way to grow your visibility, the only way people will continue to engage with you on any platform is if they formed a connection with you.

So get out there and meet new people. The home feed is currently showing a mix of people you follow and some you don’t. Instead of continuing conversations with the people you communicate with all the time on other platforms, see what those new-to-you accounts have to say.

But you don’t need to live at the mercy of the algorithm to find new connections. Use the search function! Search for keywords like podcast, podcast guest, podcast host, and podcasting if you’d like to widen your podcasting community. Then, try keywords related to your target audience and start building connections with both groups of people. 

A search for "podcast" on Threads

Do market research

Once you start connecting with other Threads users, make a point to listen and learn from them. Because it’s a text-based social media app, Threads is a great place to get market research about your audience.

As a copywriter, I love brand messaging and ideal client personas — for non-marketers, “client personas” just means a description of a type of person that’s a target client. But where I see a lot of people go wrong is that the personas they create are usually self imagined. They’re developed based on who business owners think or would like their clients to be, and the needs and desires of these personas are guesses. But they don’t have to be.

Doing market research helps podcasters learn more about their audience. If you already had an Instagram account for your podcast or your loyal followers have found your personal Threads account, begin your research by asking them questions about what they want from your show.

And even if you aren’t currently well-connected to your audience, there are many ways to approach market research. Social listening — that is, seeing what people are saying online — is one of the best ways. Instead of using the search function to find types of people, try using it to search terms that your audience may be interested in. Then, pay attention. 

You’ll want to learn more about what they’re curious about, where any knowledge gaps are, what levels of awareness they have as it relates to your products, services, or the story you share on your show, and, if conversion is what you’re after, how ready they might be to convert from a listener to a lead or paid subscriber.

Come up with future episode ideas for your show

There’s one more thing you can do as you’re learning how to use Threads: As you’re making connections with both listeners, other hosts, and potential guests, use what’s being said as inspiration for future episodes.

Are there any misconceptions about something you could clear up? Is your audience excited about a timely topic that you feel confident speaking about? Maybe you’ll see people in your audience discussing something you never previously considered talking about on your show. The opportunities for inspiration are endless. Excellent listening skills are the key to making the most of all the conversations that are happening on Threads.

You may also find a potential guest for your show that you weren’t connected to before. Look for individuals who are generous with their time and knowledge and show interest and excitement about the topics they’re discussing. 

Take notes on what you’re hearing and who may be qualified to come on your podcast. Join conversations to ask questions so you understand exactly what your audience needs. Know that you don’t need to implement all of your ideas at once. Some may need exploring further, and anyway, good research will help strengthen any episode ideas you have.

Remember, no one knows how to use Threads strategically yet

There’s no right or wrong way to use Threads as a podcaster. Embrace that and try new approaches to connecting with people on the platform. 

In one of my first few hours on the app, I remember reading a post where someone suggested that people use Threads “strategically” by taking a different approach on this social platform than they have before — meaning, if someone lurked previously, they should put in the effort to begin conversations or if someone was the initiator of chats before, they experience being a participant rather than the conversation starter. While I think connecting on social takes a bit more of a nuanced approach, I did like the idea of bringing a different facet of yourself to the conversation and trying new things.

And if you’re still worried about how to use Threads from a content perspective, take a deep breath and experiment. Before writing this article, I asked some of my podcasting friends on Threads how they planned to share their show on the platform. Most were still unsure. The general consensus was that they wanted to maintain the dialogue and conversations they were experiencing and they weren’t going to worry about being strategic with their marketing yet. 

Of the few who had given it some thought, they suggested that maybe they’d share quotes from their weekly shows to entice their new audience to listen. The first thing I plan on testing is posing questions about the topic I’m addressing in each week’s episode so that I can widen the conversation and include my entire podcast audience.

What you’ll do is completely up to you. Experiment. Enjoy, and know that if a method you try seems to fail, there’s always something to learn from it and you can easily pivot to try something new.

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