By now, you’re probably already well aware that Instagram is expanding its “no likes” territory and has successfully rolled out the “hidden likes” feature in the US, after testing it in a number of countries since May 2019.
I hear you, friend!
Taking likes away has caught us all by surprise! I mean, do you remember the good ol’ times when Instagram was all about liking your friend’s badly filtered pictures? Those were the days, son, those were the days…
Instagram claims that the reasoning behind this move is to make “Instagram a safer platform and reduce stress and anxiety on its users (particularly youth). And while I love and resonate this message – social media can indeed be a pretty harsh place sometimes – I can’t wonder but questions if this is really the whole truth?
Because, if Instagram truly wanted to play the mental health card, then hiding Instagram likes does not really solve the issue. What about the cyberbullying that happens in the comments? In the DMs? What about the unhealthy obsession over each other’s follower count? These are the metrics that truly cause trouble. But will Instagram go as far as hiding those too? I don’t think so.
The counter-argument is that this move was purely a business decision in response to the negative backlash in relation to the decrease in organic engagement.
Cause we all took a hit on that one…
Apparently, there’s been an average of an 18% drop in organic engagement between January and June 2019. That’s a pretty high number! And what do businesses do when their engagement drops? They put money into ads!
So, wait, does that mean that we all need to start putting money into ads and learn how to run Instagram campaigns? No. I think that this is the opportunity for all small business owner to activate the quality over quantity rule and start creating real, meaningful connections with their audience without focusing on the number of “double taps” their content will get.
In the episode, I’m inviting four social media expert to share their own thoughts on the topic. I know that Instagram’s decision to hide likes away is a big one – so I want you to hear as many different perspectives and get as much advice as possible, so you can use this change to your own advantage and continue kicking ass on Instagram!
Here’s a brief recap of what the experts are sharing in this episode, but make sure to tune in to listen to the details!
Instead of focusing on likes, here are the metrics you should be paying attention to:
Make sure to dive into your Instagram Insights and analyse your previous posts by filtering them using the above metrics. Look at your top-performing posts and identify a pattern. What worked? And why did it perform better? Was it the caption? The image? Did you engage with the audience in a different way? Make sure to analyse these in-depth so you can then push more of this content.
As Instagram removes likes, the focus is shifting from social proofing to connecting with people and building relationships… and that’s what matters!
Mia never actually reported on likes for her clients. Instead, there is now a new form of online currency – saves!
Saves are going through the roof and you should be designing and creating content for it to be saved and/or shared. It brings you back to the whole reason as to why you’re creating content in the first place – to connect with people, provide value and get people engaging with it through comments, shares, and saves. This will always trump over the number of likes that you receive.
One of the biggest advantages of this change is that it allows people to post whatever content they feel like without judging the performance of a post. It’s giving the user a lot more freedom to post what they want, when they want, giving every piece of content a chance to stand out
This will also hopefully take away a big portion of fake accounts and comment bots who are really hurting the user experience on the platform. Instead, business owners and influencers will seek to build deeper and more authentic connections with their followers.
It’s important to remember that likes are not completely going away. You, as the account owner, will still be able to see them but not your followers. So if you rely heavily on likes – you can still get your dose of endorphins from within your account insights.
Here are 5 tips to create content that helps you tell your story and attract your ideal audience: