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Why is Instagram Removing Likes?

Instagram and Facebook are toying with the idea of removing like and view counts on profiles. There's no solid evidence to confirm that this is happening right away, yet the social media giants have started to test the water and review the changes that this would make. The feature has already rolled out for testing across 7 countries including Italy and New Zealand, showing a select few names of who's liked the post instead of a numerical value. 

SO, WHAT’S THE MOTIVE BEHIND THIS NEW FEATURE 

Instagram wants to hide the number of likes a post receives on social media in a bid to stop people from comparing themselves to one another. Social media influencers are great for brands and promoting a product, however, they also bring an almost toxic side in which people compare themselves to these influencers. This comparison could make people feel somewhat inadequate to their followers. 

The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri wants Instagram to remain the platform for connecting and sharing and wants fewer people to worry about how many likes they receive as ultimately, that's not what the platform is used for. Although this feature is great for the general public and those who have unfortunately fallen into the trap of comparing themselves to others, what does it mean for social media influencers and small brands who rely on these influencers for sales?

To briefly explain, influencers get paid to promote a brand's product or service to their followers, some may have a niche audience of 5,000 loyal followers, others could be reaching the masses with over 3 million followers. However, with this new feature, Instagram could hinder influencers' reach as some people judge a product on how many likes the post receives. If influencers can't visibly show the number of likes they gain on a post - a brand may have to reconsider. 

In Canada, a country that has already tested the no like feature, influencers have stated they feel less motivated to create content as brands are exploring other ways to sell their products as engagement decreases. With the chances of this feature coming to the UK increasing, we spoke to Bryony, an influencer marketing wizz who shared a few thoughts on how to successfully leverage social media platforms in a ‘like-free’ world: 

Firstly, you need to make sure the promotion is going to be worthwhile, so don’t be afraid to ask the influencer you'd like to collaborate with to send you stats, such as reach, engagement, and click-through rate (if possible). Typically, an influencer should receive around 10% engagement on their posts, however, with the new ‘no like’ feature, their followers may be reluctant to like the post but could still purchase a product the influencer is promoting. 

However, as a brand, you may want to focus on creating stunning content rather than awareness. In this instance, metrics won't matter and you can solely focus on the content they create rather than the engagement percentage. After all, if the influencer can tell a story and sell an emotion with the product, it will be purchased regardless of the likes the post receives. 

If influencer marketing is implemented within your business plan, I'd recommend finding a happy medium between the content you love and a level of engagement you're happy with. You may have to put in a bit of leg work here but with the power that influencers maintain, it will pay off tenfold. 

The best ways to discover the perfect influencer for your brand is to: 

 

  1. Look at the comments the posts receive - Do they seem legitimate, are they thanking the influencer for recommending a product? 
  2. Is the content perfect? For many influencers, this is a full-time job that they pour their heart and soul into. If the content they produce is low quality / lazy, this may indicate that they aren't all that interested in the products and services they produce. 
  3. Who have they worked with previously? Have they worked with similar brands to yours? If so, this means their audience is probably your target audience. There's no point in using an influencer who promotes car accessories for your beauty brand as the audience just won't be interested. 

 

Social media and its influencers will always adapt to the changes made by the platforms. Should the new no-like feature be introduced in the UK, it will separate the wheat from the chaff and highlight those influencers who are genuinely passionate about the industry and want the best for brands and their audience, making it much easier for you to find the perfect collaboration. 

Are you interested in creating the perfect social media campaign? TANGA Digital can create a bespoke strategy that best suits your budget, product and desired outcome. Get in touch today - email us on info@tangadigital.com 



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