What the Instagram “Like Ban” Means For Your Social Strategy

August 2, 2019

The News:

Instagram is shaking up the foundation of social media as we know it. 

Across the world, Instagram is rolling out their test to hide like counts on the platform. The test is already in place in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand.

The move is a step toward making Instagram a more “mindful” platform, in that, the emphasis will no longer be on how popular a post is based on likes. This decision comes two-fold, based on research which has shown the profound impact that social media can have on an individual’s mental health, and to make a shift to higher quality content, including a higher volume of video and Instagram Stories.

While hiding likes on the platform is a positive move toward a platform focused on connection rather than popularity for individual users, it does pose an interesting challenge for marketers with an emphasis on social strategy.

So, how does hiding likes impact your social marketing strategy?

Why It Matters: 

The social media landscape is always changing, but this shift, in particular, changes the course of social media as it has existed since its inception. Removing visible likes from the platform won’t remove likes altogether. They will still be visible to you on your own page. However, removing visible likes means that marketers will need to focus on other ways to measure success.

The future of Influencer Marketing will also need to adapt. If social influencers are a part of your content strategy, it may be time to re-evaluate how you’re choosing which partners to work with. As “vanity metrics” such as likes and follower counts become less of an emphasis on Instagram, pivoting to success based on click-throughs from profile or Story links (if you or your partner reaches the 10K follower threshold for in-Story links), and online or in-store sales.

While the test hasn’t come to the United States just yet, it pays to think ahead and evaluate what your social media strategy on Instagram might look like without likes. In the meantime, our Marketing and Social Media team suggest focusing your efforts on more live Story content, video, and copy that calls for engagement.

Ready to take your social media strategy to the next level? KSA&D can help!

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