Instagram Threads New Features: Improve Your Dental Marketing Strategy
Since its launch in early July of this year, Instagram Threads has made several updates to the platform reflecting user feedback. Now users can access Threads on Web browsers, share posts through Instagram, add alt text to images, and much more.
As Threads continues to improve, dental practices should definitely consider adding this platform to their dental marketing strategy. Read on to find out more about Threads, the latest updates, and how social media for dentists can help your practice grow.
What is Threads?
If you haven’t heard much about Instagram’s new Threads, don’t worry—this up-and-coming app has only been live for a couple of months. In a nutshell, Threads is a microblogging platform similar to X (formerly known as Twitter). Thread users can include up to 500 characters in one post, as well as 10 images or 5 minutes of video content.
Why Did Meta Launch Threads?
In 2022, after Elon Musk acquired X, users and advertisers began leaving the website in droves. Several apps like Mastodon and Bluesky attempted to claim those lost users by “becoming the new Twitter,” but none had widespread success.
Enter Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram. As soon as this social media giant threw its hat into the ring with Threads, it amassed 30 million downloads overnight. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg felt confident he could provide a similar microblogging app to entice those users leaving X (Twitter), and he was right.
How Does Threads Compare to X (Twitter)?
In a lot of ways, Threads is very similar to X. Both apps feature a home page full of short text posts, images, and videos. Users can follow each other, and repost, like, and comment on posts.
While it doesn’t have all the capabilities that X does, a lot of users seem to prefer Threads because of the positive vibe, lack of ads, simplicity, and compatibility with Instagram.
Plus, this dental social media publisher supports Instagram, which makes Threads a great addition to your marketing toolbelt.
Threads has released several updates in the past two months. If your dental practice is working on an Instagram marketing strategy, you may want to include Threads as well. Keep these updates in mind when you’re ready to try out this new social media platform.
1. For You vs. Following Feed
One of the first updates Threads made was differentiating between a “For You” home page and a “Following” feed. Users can decide whether to scroll through a mix of people they follow with suggested posts or only the people they follow.
For example, you can discover posts from influencers that you’ve never encountered before on a Threads “For You” feed. Influencer marketing is a powerful tool, especially for dental practices, and the “For You” feed option can help get your posts in front of your target audience.
Recently, Threads changed the way they display reposts. Now, reposted content will appear in the “Following” feed as well as the “For You” feed. Users can also see a list of all the content they have reposted in a separate tab on their profile page.
Reposting content is a great marketing strategy for dentists because it’s a great way to increase engagement on your practice’s page.
4. Send Thread Posts Through Instagram Messaging
In order to make Threads even more compatible with Instagram, users can now share Threads posts directly to someone’s Instagram DMs.
When Threads users select the paper airplane “share” icon, they will see “Send on Instagram” as the first option. Once that option is selected, a list of users they most frequently interact with will automatically pop up. You can also search for a friend if they’re not listed.
5. Sort Your Following List
One change implemented from user feedback is the ability to sort the people you’re following by “latest first” or “earliest first.” This feature makes it easier to look through the accounts you’re following in chronological order.
6. View Your Liked Posts
Like Instagram and X, Threads also now includes a list of your liked posts on your profile page. It’s a bit trickier to locate than the repost list though. To find “Your Likes,” select the Settings hamburger menu on the top right corner of your profile page.
7. Alt Text on Images
Users can now include alt text with their images and videos. However, this feature is currently less straightforward than X. In order to see alt text in Threads posts, you must select the Settings menu on your profile page, select Account, then Accessibility. In this menu, you can toggle “Show alt text” on.
Sharing photos with alt text is a great social media marketing idea for dental practices because alt text can also help boost your practice’s SEO.
You can also include alt text on images with social media signs and other props in your dental office.
8. Authenticate With Rel=Me
This update is unique to people who use other forms of decentralized social media like Mastodon and Minds. You can now share a rel=me link to these other platforms that leads back to your Threads account. A rel=me link can only be sent from the owner of the Threads account, so it’s a way to verify your identity across platforms.
9. Mention Button
Another fun update is the Threads mention button. Now, when you visit someone’s profile page, there are two large buttons just above their Threads: Follow (or Following if you already follow them) and Mention. When you select Mention, Threads automatically starts a new draft, beginning with the linked username.
You can also achieve the same thing by typing “@” in a new post and writing out someone’s username.
Users can also choose whether or not they want to allow mentions in their privacy settings.
Brighten Up Your Social Media Presence
One way to measure success in social media marketing is consistency. If your practice decides to give Threads a try, make sure you give it a consistent effort. Outsourcing your social media operations to a dental marketing agency like My Social Practice is a great way to maintain and polish your online presence.
Frequently Asked Questions
Threads is a social media platform that works alongside Instagram, but is more similar to X (formerly known as Twitter). Your dental practice can use Threads as a way to share short text posts, while Instagram for dentists is mainly focused on sharing images.
Currently, in order to create a Threads account, you must have an Instagram account as well. The two social platforms are owned by the same parent company, Meta, and connect to each other in several ways.
Many businesses use Threads as just another way to advertise their products. You can definitely go this route and repurpose Instagram and Facebook ideas into your dental Threads account. Share team photos, fun dental facts, and any current promotions your office may be running.
You could also consider using Threads with a more personal approach. When dentists are active on social media as themselves, they can really connect with patients (and future patients). As people feel like they’re getting to know you, they will also get a better feel for the culture of your practice and know what to expect from a visit.
Currently, Threads does not use hashtags. In other social media platforms, hashtags (the # symbol + text) act as a universal link to every other mention of that same phrase. Hashtags are an effective way to group ideas together and search for relevant posts. They can even help your dental practice go viral on TikTok.
Because both Facebook and Instagram use hashtags, it’s certainly only a matter of time before Threads rolls out the use of hashtags as well. In fact, Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram shared that hashtags are “on the list” for future updates.
About the Author: Adrian Lefler is a dental marketing expert and a key member of the dental marketing team at My Social Practice. My Social Practice is a dental marketing company located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Adrian is passionate about helping practices grow through SEO for dentists. If you’d like to book one of the members of My Social Practice’s speaking team, you can do that HERE. Interested in learning more about the benefits of dental SEO or our dental website service, please give us a call.