Rumor has it, Instagram is contemplating getting rid of likes. That noise you’re hearing right now is me screaming at the top of my lungs, “Hell fucking yeah.”
I love Instagram. In fact, it’s my favorite social media platform but as a social media strategist — I am constantly frustrated with the incessant obsession over what value an Instagram like actually brings to a client (or even a personal account).
Solopreneurs, small business owners, and Fortune 500 marketing teams are always asking me the same questions:
“Charlsie, how come we only got 2,000 on that last post? Shouldn’t we be getting more since we have 12,000 followers?”
“How come the post on Thursday only had 40 likes?
“Should we buy followers to get more likes on our posts?”
Likes, likes, likes — it’s all client’s ever think about and while it’s a metric that has been put on a pedestal, it’s time for it to go away.
Instagram shouldn’t just be about the number of likes a post has on it (or even the follower count). Unless you’re Taylor Swift (Taylor, if you’re reading this - call me) and you’re rocking an average of 1.6 million likes per picture — likes shouldn’t be at the top of the social strategy food chain for any brand trying to make social waves.
Quality content should be the driving force behind any and every Instagram post, including what is shared in Instagram stories (if you’re a brand and you aren’t using Instagram stories to talk to your audience — we need to talk). Having a kickass social content strategy for Instagram and producing one-of-a-kind, unique content that aligns with your brand will naturally help produce the likes that brands so badly desire.
Working with social strategists to produce meaningful content strategies and brand specific content is the key to not only upscaling your social presence but authentically connecting with those that already resonate and hold a relationship with your brand (or could potentially form a relationship with your brand).
Yes, if this potential hiding of likes passes on Instagram, influencers and celebrities are going to be pissed but in the digital age — we have to adapt to what’s best for each platform as it grows and expands and it sounds like Instagram has the same stance as social strategists everywhere: “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get.”
As my client’s know - it’s all about strong content. So for those worried about Instagram potentially taking likes away, I raise you this question — are you afraid your content isn’t enough to speak for itself? If so, your priorities are all wrong and it’s time to reevaluate.
Look at this potential Instagram change as a challenge worth accepting and showing your brand profile (or even your personal one) who’s boss.