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If you haven’t already heard, Instagram is testing hiding likes in the U.S. This has already been a reality for other countries like Canada and New Zealand and there is absolutely no reason to panic. I truly believe the benefits outweigh the disadvantages and if it makes you feel better, the majority of people we’ve talked to are actually excited about this change! But like with any change to social media platforms and their algorithms, it will take some adjustments to your strategy to make the most of the changes.
Have you ever noticed that the people you follow on Instagram start to all talk about the same topics within months of each other? That’s because we often fall into the trap of comparing our own strategies to others and try to replicate them for your own success. We see someone getting a lot of likes so we want to try it out too. But here’s the thing, that very rarely leads to your own success.
By taking away likes, you’ll (hopefully) no longer feel the need to chase likes by recreating content that you see is popular on other user’s accounts. You can now focus on telling your own story and sharing your work in a truly authentic way. Of course you’re still going to want to tailor your content to your audience and what’s resonating with them but now you won’t get stuck in that comparison trap.
Likes give us a sense of instant gratification, which is why we’re all so attached to them. However, they really don’t do all that much for building a loyal audience or growing your business. You know what does? Real conversations. And removing likes will likely increase the number of comments on posts leading to more authentic conversation.
Make sure you’re reciprocating though! When you receive comments on your posts, make sure you’re responding in a meaningful way to encourage a continued conversation. And don’t just stop there! Make sure you’re also going out and networking on your own by leaving thoughtful comments on other people’s posts. Social media is a two way street and you want to make sure you’re an active participant.
For a while now, Instagram users have actually been consuming content differently (which is partially why engagement has been down). The majority of users are actually spending a lot more time watching stories rather than scrolling through their feed. This means you should consider shifting your strategy to focus more on Instagram stories.
Of course you’ll still want to post on your feed but you want to make sure you’re also regularly showing up on stories as well. It can be as simple as sharing your latest post or giving more context and information on your latest post. Or you can share behind the scenes of your day or projects. The options are endless!
This also gives you another opportunity to engage with your audience by creating fun polls, allowing them to ask you questions, or any other interactive element. Make sure you make the most of all the features stories has to offer!
Your followers may not be able to see how many people have liked your posts but you’ll still have access to your own analytics. This way you can still see what’s resonating with your audience and tailor your strategy accordingly.
This is the main reason I don’t think we should have too many alarm bells going off over the likes removal. Access to your analytics is essential to making sure your strategy is working and making adjustments if you see an opportunity in your metrics and you’ll still have access to all that information!
Overall, I believe we’ll have more control over our own little Instagram worlds allowing us to dive deeper with our audience to create more meaningful communities. And that’s what social media is all about if you ask me!
Bold & Pop is a full-service social media, branding and Squarespace design collective that is focused on helping their clients’ businesses pop! Started by industry veterans, Mallory Musante and Anna Osgoodby, they know just what it takes to bring a brand’s story to life. With over 10+ years of experience each, they’ve worked with a variety of lifestyle clients including everyone from start-ups and small businesses to major TV networks and A-list celebrities.
Learn more about Bold&Pop and check out their services here.
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