You wake up in the morning to your alarm ringing. You reach over, grab your phone to shut off your alarm and check your social media. For most of us, Instagram is the first app we open in the morning and the last one closed before going to sleep at night. The Instagram platform is one of the largest (with over 500 million daily active users) and it’s leading the way for all other social media applications. As a business owner, you understand the importance of having an active profile on Instagram.
What are likes? It’s when someone shows your post affection (they literally click a heart icon) and let’s face it, the ‘likes’ we receive on our posts make us feel good. It gives us a sense of affirmation that what we’re posting, people probably want to see. As an Instagram user, you may be influenced by others liking posts or by the number of likes on a post. Think about Kim Kardashian and if she posted a cute picture with her daughter North West but only received 2 likes. What would you think? You might think that she committed a crazy crime and the world had turned against her! (or, you might just believe that Instagram is glitching) Either way, you may follow suit and not like the post based on the low number you see. Sometimes, not even intentionally, we may base a person or businesses popularity image on the average of likes they receive per post. When posting photos, the goal has become to get as many likes as possible- through hashtags or trends instead of the quality of the photo. Likes have created pressure for Instagram users and we feel the heat when our posts don’t get a high number of likes.
If you’ve been on Instagram within the last 24hrs, you may have noticed that something has changed. You are (or soon to be) no longer able to see a “like count” on Instagram posts. When you see a photo on your feed, it will show you the name of someone’s profile you most likely follow or engage with and “others”. You are now the only one able to view how many likes your content gets. Your followers can still look at the list of people who like your post and they could technically, count each one. But, the magic number of likes not being available on a post will make it hard and time-consuming for users to collect this data.
Why Did Instagram Do This?
Instagram has a funny way of completely taking over our life from time to time (if you’re an active user). Instagram is also an amazing free platform for businesses, but it has negative effects on the mental health of a lot of users. According to a recent survey, Instagram was ranked as the worst social media platform for mental health and wellbeing of teens and young adults. The way we connect with the likes we receive can be detrimental to our self-image or even the image of our business. Instagram is TESTING this feature and it doesn’t mean that it will be here to stay. The notice writes, “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your post gets”.
What Does This Mean For Your Instagram Business Account?
Unless you have an Instagram influencer business, this may not be a totally negative change for your profile. Let’s quickly talk about vanity metrics according to Instagram. First, what is a vanity metric? This is basically a metric that makes you look good but adds no value to the goal of your social strategy. Let’s say you’re on Instagram to get more leads, the ‘like number’ you’ve received on each post does not reflect how many leads you attain from your account, although people may believe so. Therefore your likes are just a vanity metric and really don’t mean as much as we think they do. With that being said, you may actually look more appealing to others if they can’t see that your posts don’t get a lot of double taps. Likes are also not entirely authentic because they can be bought (crazy right?) or influenced. Did you know a picture of an egg got 25 million likes?
Stay on Instagram
Don’t leave! I get it, sometimes change sucks but let’s think about the impressions your Instagram profile has on others. Every time you post with your brand colours or logo, it makes an impression on your followers feed. They see your business, the services you’re highlighting and they think about you. Having an Instagram profile and posting somewhat regularly, is essentially free advertising for your business. It’s important to engage with the posts of other users as a business to get your name out there.
What Do You Think?
Voicing your opinion matters! Instagram listens to their followers (to an extent) and changes their platform based on the feedback they receive. Let me take you back to December 2018, I call this the Instagram update scare. Overnight, Instagram switched from a traditional scrolling feed to a swipe system and users woke up enraged. Twitter was flooded with angry Instagram users and the word Instagram was trending worldwide but in a totally negative way. Within a few hours, Instagram went back to normal and explained that the new update was actually just a bug. So, whether you like or dislike this test, make a social post about it and let your followers (and Instagram) know how you feel!
Do You Need Help With Your Instagram Account?
Here at Siva Creative, we always keep up with the latest social media trends and today, this world changes fast! Whether you need help navigating Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, you can contact us to help. Our Growth Marketing Packages are an excellent way for you to make sure that your social media is being updated in the most effective way for your business to take full advantage of each platform. We get it, navigating the social world takes time and knowledge. Reaching out for help with your account is a great option that you shouldn’t feel discouraged to take. If you have any questions, need advice or would like to learn more about your online profiles, contact us!