You may heard the news that Instagram will be hiding likes in the US starting this week. They’re calling it a test but they’ve been progressively rolling it out in other countries over the last few months so it seems as if they’re ready to make a permanent change. And it’s a big one because likes have been a core part of the Instagram model from the beginning.
If you’re like me you may have mixed feelings about this. As an individual, I understand the negative impact that the popularity contest of Instagram can have on the emotional health and self-esteem of users. But as a business, I have concerns.
Without likes, how will small businesses measure the impact that you’re having? How can you demonstrate your appeal to prospective clients? And how will it impact building relationships with your audience or other businesses in your community?
The good news for businesses, is that, even though other people will not be able to see likes, the account owner will still see them.
By measuring likes and other analytics, businesses and creatives will still be able to see how their posts are performing and the impact that they are having. And the Instagram algorithm still rate you based on the number of likes you receive, regardless if they are seen or not.
In some ways, the end of likes will level the playing field for small businesses, allowing them to compete with larger, more-established businesses.
Instead of measuring success by likes, your audience will measure you by the value they gain from your post.
So change your focus to ensure that your posts do one of the following:
- Answer a question
- Solve a problem
- Communicate something about your business or company culture
- Upbuild by sharing something funny, beautiful, or meaningful.
Using Instagram as a networking tool to build relationships with prospective clients or other businesses will require greater effort.
To be seen by or to connect with your audience, you will need to remember:
- Keep liking! Likes will still be important, even if they don’t show. The person receiving the like will see and appreciate your support.
- Leave meaningful comments which can be seen by both the account owner and their audience.
- Repost Stories and published posts on your own account
So all-in-all this change should be a positive one.
- Likes shouldn’t affect your self-worth and beliefs about success so removing that variable will mean better mental health for everyone.
- Removing likes levels the playing field for small businesses.
- Everyone will benefit if we focus on creating posts with value and building meaningful relationships.