Agam Berry is a digital marketing expert with over 10 years of experience in the digital marketing field. After graduating from Punjab University in 2010, he started making his mark in digital advertising by helping webmasters monetize unsold ad inventory. As a digital marketing pioneer, he regularly shares insights and tips on business, entrepreneurship, and marketing on his site www.agam-berry.com.
Here he talks to us about why Instagram is switching away from the likes model and how this will affect social media influencers and entrepreneurs who market on the platform.
Instagram caused a furor in social media when it unveiled plans to move away from the Likes model and hide the number of Likes on posts from public view. While the update is supposedly still in beta stage and limited to accounts in Canada, this development, when rolled out en masse, will likely change the way entrepreneurs market themselves and their products on social media.
Why is Instagram hiding likes?
The main reason why the social media giant has decided to hide Instagram Likes in the new design prototype is to combat the popularity contests that inevitably goes on in the platform. After all, Instagram is the platform for anything pretty, luxurious and easy on the eyes. If your post is attractive, represents the luxurious or ideal lifestyle, and if you curate your posts so that only the best photos show up on your feed, you are bound to get more likes. More likes mean more followers.
Unfortunately, this had led thousands of influencers and wannabe influencers to do anything to get the most number of likes and followers, to the point that interaction on the platform has morphed into watching who’s on top. By removing Likes from public view, Instagram, in its explanation, stated that this can help followers focus more on content and not on how many likes a post gets.
How will this affect entrepreneurs?
This may have a huge impact on how entrepreneurs market their brands and products on social media. For one, this should put a premium on organic interactions such as comments from real followers. This also puts a bigger pressure on entrepreneurs to be more interactive on the platform. Reposting stories, making interesting content, replying to comments and using hashtags are key engagement tactics that will prove even more valuable with this new algorithm in place.
This move to put Likes behind the back-burner will definitely change how entrepreneurs use the platform as a marketing outlet. Experts say that to keep your brand relevant in the post-Likes era you have to be more engaged, more authentic, and become more open to diversity. Treat Instagram as a vital part of a marketing platform, not as your sole marketing outlet.
This is actually a good thing, since removing superficial likes can make influencers look to genuine interactions as the driving forces behind popularity instead of curated and fake posts. This can only drive the quality of content on the platform upwards. This is always a good thing, whether you are a social media influencer or an entrepreneur.