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How Bask Suncare is Leaning into the Newness of Instagram’s Threads

DTC suncare brand Bask has seen success on Threads by leaning into playful and conversational strategies that drive community engagement.
Photo credit: Bask Suncare

Like many other brands in the direct-to-consumer (DTC) space, Bask was eager to test Threads when it launched in July 2023. The suncare brand is always looking for new and different ways to engage with its audience, and Threads was promoted as an extension of Instagram, its most valuable social platform.

“The moment we saw that Instagram — the platform where we have our most robust following — was launching a Twitter competitor we set a notification for launch,” said Mike Huffstetler, Founder and CEO of Bask in an interview with Retail TouchPoints.

Although the platform itself was very bare-bones, Huffstetler and his team immediately recognized three key benefits that aligned perfectly with Bask’s goals:

  • Threads had a built-in audience coming from Instagram, the platform that had the brand’s largest community of fans and followers;
  • The platform offers the opportunity to be more relaxed, informal and less polished than on Instagram; and
  • It gives Bask an opportunity to post more frequently and with more personality and humor.

Over the following weeks, Bask used the platform to lean into a new dimension of its brand personality, while also staying true to its core social strategy: “creating valuable, engaging content in order to build deeper relationships with customers and to stay top of mind,” Huffstetler said.

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Leaning into Playfulness and Personality  

The Bask brand “walks this line of being both elevated and relaxed, functional but not too serious,” according to Huffstetler, and different platforms allow the brand to show different sides.

While platforms like Instagram allow Bask to lean into its elevated aesthetic by posting very travel-oriented images and educational content touting its products, Threads gives the team an outlet to “flex into that playful, conspiratorial persona,” Huffstetler explained. As the brand has used the platform, it has uncovered a few key learnings of what works — and what doesn’t.

  • Ask questions: On its branded account, Bask prompts users with questions to get followers to chat and sharing their feedback. “If [that talking] doesn’t happen, Threads obviously won’t take off, and it’s actually in our best interest as a new brand to help it do so,” Huffstetler said.
  • Engage with other accounts: “It’s a good idea to not just scream into the void,” Huffstetler said. “More often than not you will get more engagement in a reply to someone else versus on your own post.”
  • Embrace authenticity and humanity: This may seem to be standard operating procedure for any social platform, but Threads is especially focused on real-time communication and sharing in-the-moment thoughts, feelings and ideas — akin to its competitor X, previously known as Twitter. That’s why Huffstetler advises users to “engage like a human being instead of a brand. Reply to people, speak in the first person, and be relatable.”

By taking this approach, Bask has been able to meet both current customers and potential collaborators. “We even hired a photographer to take Bask with him on a trip to Italy,” Huffstetler said. “This is one of the cool things about Threads right now. Even though it blew up quickly and already has a lot of users, it still has this feeling of the early internet and early social media. It’s friendly, open and earnest.

Insights, Analytics and the Future of Threads

Although Bask has already seen success as an early and consistent user, “it’s still early days in ‘Threadsland,’” according to Huffstetler.

That’s why the Bask team is focused on testing and learning — and is excited to see how the platform will evolve to help them reach their marketing goals. When asked what features and functionality are on his list, he zeroed in on one key area: insights and analytics.

“The thing we really want to see is any kind of analytics related to views and impressions,” Huffstetler said. “It would be great to not fly completely blind.”

Bask is also staying tuned for more robust search and discovery capabilities that can support brand reach and audience acquisition, “similar to hashtags that allows us to join conversations around specific topics,” added Huffstetler.

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