Instagram as a marketing tool
For brands, social media is a marketing tool. Helping to easily engage with your intended customer market through engaging content. Instagram has become an effective platform with its visual appeal, high engagement rate and 1,000,000 active users (statista, 2019). Brands can easily reach their current audience or even reach new audiences through targeted content. The positive ROI of Instagram is shown with the large budget’s companies put into the platform – advertising through it and toward influencer marketing. It’s an easy way to keep current while sharing new ideas, trends, products and services with a large number of platform users. Instagram helps pave the path to brand loyalty.
While removing likes is only being tested it has the potential to change how the consumer is interacting with content. Brands see value in likes, therefore, it will propose a challenge in how they measure value in the platform. With only the account user able to see the number of likes they get, some accounts may see an initial drop in their numbers, but in the long run, they should be able to see what content actually produces and gains larger interactions.
Positives and negatives of removing the likes
So what threats does removing the like button bring? This may bring an engagement issue. With larger brands that already attain a lot of comments, it may not seem so much of an issue but for influencers, this could be potentially damaging. Rather than measuring likes, brands will likely want to see more tangible results from influencers meaning that more work will need to go into posts. For brands, this could be effective as they will likely choose influencers based on the feed, audience and interaction rate in terms of conversation and click-throughs to products rather than just the follower count and likes on photos.
It is positive, in terms of it making you think more about the content rather than who has posted it. Meaning that the interactions that posts do gain will be more important and valued. It is, after all, easy to just go through your feed and double tap. But to go through your feed and actively interact with posts through comments, shares and saving, this will show truer interest.
What does this mean for smaller brands & Influencers
For small brands and start-ups, this will help the step up in creating better and competitive content to larger brands that may mass produce it. As long as your content is engaging and looks good, this won’t be a problem. It will also help you distinguish yourself away from those that may usually purchase followers, likes and comments.
How this will work and the effect of influencer marketing will be interesting to see. Luckily for business accounts including influencers, you still have your insights dashboard which should show you true interaction.