How Brands Can Thrive On Instagram with No ‘Likes’
It’s no longer news that social media platform, Instagram is considering hiding the ‘likes’ count on posts as one of its anti-bullying measures.
A 2016 study showed that getting likes on posts has the same effect on the brain as getting a money alert, winning money or eating chocolate. It takes a toll on many-a mental state.
That’s one of the reasons why Instagram is considering the possibility of removing the ‘likes’ feature. If that happens, only you will be able to see the number of likes you get on your post, videos or pictures, others won’t. It has already been test-ran in Canada.
Twitter is considering the same. In a prototype named ‘twttr’, the platform is experimenting with hiding the Like and Retweet features.
What’s the implication of this for brands?
If your brand is active on social media, your social media strategy probably revolves around engagement. One of such levels of engagement is the likes your posts get.
There’s the knowledge that people are drawn to like posts that already have a large number of likes. There’s the part where you can merely put up something hilarious and people come swarming, dropping likes and moving on. It’s no secret that the likes surpass the comments most times, depending on the social media platform.
So what happens when people can no longer see the number of likes you have on those posts?
I believe that this is an opportunity for content creators to shine. It is an opportunity for brands to place premium on a good content strategy compared to the ‘drop and go’ approach adopted by so many brands currently.
In a social media world with no likes, your content has to be topnotch. If you are trying to be funny, you have to make sure people love that joke enough to want to say a thing or two about it or even share it.
People can no longer just click ‘like’ and move on. They have to actually write something. Your content must make them want to do that. It must be good enough to make them want to spare the time it would take to react on or read one or two more posts to comment on yours.
Call to Action
A forward-thinking brand in a social media world with no ‘likes’ will place premium on not just having a solid content strategy, but on ending each post with a ‘call to action’.
So many brands and content creators have downplayed the importance of including a call to action on their posts. Such brands will suffer for that negligence in a social media world with no likes.
They were used to creating content that people just drop a like or love on and go, but what happens when people can no longer like it, what are you counting on them doing? Sharing it? Letting you know how they feel about it? A call to action covers such bases.
Obviously, in a social media world with no likes, you need metrics to measure the success of your social media strategy and campaigns.
Before, it used to be how many people liked, how many people shared, how many people clicked on links, potential reach, and so on.
Now, since people won’t be able to like, ‘how many people comment’ has to be a part of that metric. And, “haha, good one”, “Weldone”, “Dope”, “This is good”, are not acceptable comments. People pay for services where BOTs write these things.
People see through all that and well, you’ll only be deceiving yourself and harming your brand with such because when it’s time to make end-of-the-month or year calculations, you’ll be stunned.
In all, a social media world with no likes give brands another chance to design content strategies that connect more with people. It will help brands understand more what their target audience want, what makes them tick, and what will draw a reaction from them, and that’s a good thing.
So, a social media world, most especially, Instagram where likes and retweets no longer exist won’t be such a bad or scary thing after all. You just need to find out what makes your target audience tick and create the kind of content they’d like to see.
A social media world with no ‘likes’ will be a people-centric one. So, for brands and influencers, you need to up your game. It’s only a ‘winter is coming’ kind of update if you are not ready to up your game.
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