Goodbye Likes, Hello Authenticity!

SOUND THE ALARMS! Look, we know. The latest changes to the platform might make you feel like Instagrammageddon is imminent. With the removal of like counts, how can you determine the effectiveness of your campaigns? What might this mean for social media marketing? Fear not. Here’s our two cents.

It’s not just about the numbers

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: social media is about building a community that engages. At the end of the day, quality content that your audience actually cares about is what matters. Your platform is intended to provide an experience for your customers, wherever they might be in their journey.

From awareness, to familiarity to trust and finally commitment, consumers today require a high number of touch points before they’re ready to buy. Sure, people might “like” your content, but you need to attribute meaning and action to those likes. Conversion is the ideal outcome, not a high like count.

Think about your own experiences as a consumer on social media. The brands that you currently follow, why do you follow them? You aren’t actively seeking to be advertised to. It’s because they put out things you actually enjoy seeing, whether they make you laugh, or provide you with inspiration, or connect you with other people that enjoy the same things you do.

“We want people to be less interested in how many likes a post gets, and focus more on connecting with other people.”
Mark Zuckerberg

Don’t Fear the Filler

In terms of building a strong platform, brands don’t have to avoid posting filler content for fear of getting fewer likes that might make them look less popular despite contributing to a better foundation overall. Some posts naturally get fewer likes than others, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t equally important for building out your platform.

Testimonials and graphics might have fewer likes than a fun employee portrait, but they provide important information to people seeing your profile for the first time. Hiding like counts, there is now a greater freedom to post these brand-awareness pieces without the guilt that those smaller numbers might induce.

Insights that Count

Considering analytics on social media, you want actual insights on what’s driving business and what gets conversion. When you think about content that’s thumb-stopping, likes aren’t necessarily a good indicator of such.

People have gotten so good at mindlessly scrolling that there’s a large possibility they don’t even remember half of the things they like. Since social media marketing is fundamentally about content, there is now more qualitative measures of success on social, like creativity, flow, relevance, consistency, etc. rather than solely quantitative metrics (i.e. likes alone).

And, if you truly can’t overlook the numbers, there are other metrics that provide more meaning than likes. Analytics like reach, impressions, and saves still exist for Instagram Business profiles. Furthermore, brands still know their own number of likes, so it becomes less comparative and more about growth from an individual perspective. It’s no longer a popularity contest; growth and KPIs have become more reflective than competitive.

These changes reward businesses with an organic following and an active audience. Now is a stronger reminder than ever: stop seeking approval and produce content YOU actually enjoy that demonstrates your brand well. Post things that make YOU smile before you hit share. Authenticity and creativity will reap true benefits in your social community, beyond like counts.

If you're looking for support with your organization's Instagram strategy, Simplified Social can help. From consultation to implementation, we have you covered. Connect with us today to learn more.

Alexandra Carnio