It’s Time to Focus on Content, Not “Likes”

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On just about every social media site, it’s all about the amount of Likes a person gets. Well, one of the biggest platforms for social media marketing, Instagram, might be doing away with the Like feature.

This was first discovered by Jane Manchun Wong, a woman located out of Hong Kong who researches unreleased features in various apps. Instagram did confirm this report to TechCrunch and said this design feature is currently a prototype and being tested in Canada.

Users are still able to see the who and how many people liked their post, but the Like count will be hidden to the public, according to SlashGear and other online reports

This might seem like a small change, but something this simple could really change the game for your brand’s social media marketing.

Behind the Like

Over the years, there’s been more pressure to obtain a certain amount of likes on posts. It has turned into an unhealthy competition between individual users and brands, some of which will do just about anything to get Likes, including buying them.

Likes are powerful because they are immediate feedback,” Renee Engeln, a psychology professor at Northwestern University, told CNN. Brands can drive themselves crazy because they’re posting quality content but not receiving what’s said to be enough Likes.

Likes are a key metric for tracking post performance for both influencers and brands. This is data you can easily get and use to compare your brand to your competitors.

What This Means For Your Brand

Instagram post without likes displayed (via  WTVR ).

Instagram post without likes displayed (via WTVR).

If Instagram Likes are taken away, your brand will get the opportunity to shift its focus to more authentic and engaging content.

Here’s what your brand should focus on:

Genuine Interactions - Building Your Community

Interact, follow and comment on other accounts that align with your brand. Not only are you helping make Instagram a positive and uplifting place, you’ll be building your own brand.

Even though Likes may disappear, your comments will still be visible to everyone. By interacting with other like-minded brands, you have a better chance of reaching their followers and your ideal audience. Don’t just hope for people to stumble across your brand, be intentional and make an effort to find your audience.

Instagram Stories

Instagram has over 500 million daily active Stories. Instagram Stories are a way to be real and in-the-moment with your followers or give them a look behind the scenes. You can even add a call-to-action that directs viewers to swipe up to view anything that you have linked. Overall, Instagram stories are a way to make your brand approachable to your audience and catch their attention quickly.

Quality Content

It’s time to forget about Likes, even if Instagram doesn’t end up hiding them. Your brand should focus on creating quality content for your followers. If it appeals to your audience and has positive feedback, you shouldn’t be focusing on one simple number. Focus on how much value one piece of content brings to your audience — that’s what brings people back anyway.

“Quality over quantity. Depth over width. Reach does not equal value and follower count doesn’t mean people are listening. We need to stop focusing on optimizing the number of views and instead concentrate on making each one of those viewers care about your brand. Because, at the end of the day, that’s the only way you’ll drive results to your end goal.” - Gary Vaynerchuk

Story By: Taylor Wright