Instagram’s New Update | What Removing Likes Means For You
Instagram is rocking the proverbial boat with it’s latest update to the US platform. Likes are going away, or at least they’re being hidden. Sound familiar? Instagram has already rolled out this feature in seven other countries including Canada, Australia and Japan, and most recently the United States.
Note: Likes aren’t gone indefinitely, they’re just hidden to the public. As a user, you can still see the likes on your own posts. It’s just the number count that’s disappearing from Instagram’s feed, but users can still see who liked which posts or viewed a video.
With the news of Instagram removing the public view of likes, as digital marketers, especially those specializing in social media marketing, our first thought is horror – how are we supposed to measure the engagement of our posts versus our competitors if we can’t see the likes? ? How will this impact influencer marketing efforts?
But it’s a good thing.
Adjusting Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Too often brands prioritize chasing likes, which is an arguably superficial metric, versus prioritizing meaningful content and crafting genuine relationships with their audience and communities. With this new change, brands can take this chance to reevaluate their value exchange with customers and determine whether their content is effectively driving genuine value for them or if they need a revamp in content.
In fact, for most digital marketers, likes have not been the sole point of differentiating between brands or influencers for a long time. Instead, likes have been set among metrics that include comments, shares, followers, click-through (rates), and notably – conversions – all of which offer more insight into engagement and effectiveness than likes. Digital marketers should be focusing their energy on a quality approach across the board, and this is another case in that point.
In terms of influencer marketing, brands and agencies will need to take more thoughtful approaches in choosing who to collaborate with. Historically, this market has relied on the public likes to infer reputation and favorability, but this Instagram update moves towards true business objectives and away from vanity metrics. The key here for effective influencer marketing is to identify content creators/producers that build authentic relationships with their audiences, that can get their followers to convert on the actions subscribed to them in the content. This includes taking a closer look at the type of content these influencers promote as well as the content they craft or create rather than just looking at how many likes each of their posts receives. The goal is to be authentic and not just dependent on a numerical value of popularity.
Instead of focusing on the likes going away, digital marketers should switch their focus on to paid content and amplify those efforts instead to achieve potential conversions and better ROIs.
In short, this new feature is beneficial in the long-term for brands as it will force them to reevaluate their content and approach to social media to produce thoughtful, dynamic content that will deliver on better engagement and draw consumers. This move simply refocuses our attention to authentic consumer engagement. When it comes to social media services, this quality approach is the one that we take with our clients. Feel free to reach out to learn more!