You’ve probably noticed by now that Instagram is hiding likes on its mobile app for Australian users. Like many, you may be concerned about your business profiles engagement and what this move will mean for your impressions, clicks, and conversions.
Instagram has explained that the decision to hide likes was due to concern for users wellbeing. Instagram has previously been ranked as the worst social media platform for users mental health.
The test aligns with Mark Zuckerberg’s end of year announcement, where he vowed to promote interactions with friends and family above other content in a bid to make using Instagram and Facebook more meaningful.
For businesses, this emphasis on users wellbeing and positive experiences has meant an algorithm shift that has changed how often audiences see business page posts and interacted with them.
This latest test will likely have the same impact, meaning lower engagement. There are however practises you can implement to ensure your business profile on Instagram remains popular with your followers and isn’t further impacted by Zuckerberg’s goal to make his social platforms a ‘positive force’.
Use Instagram Insights
You’ll still be able to see the likes your posts receive by using Instagram’s Insights tool or by viewing your profile on desktop. To view your likes when using the mobile app click ‘View Insights’ under each post. The heart symbol will show how many likes the post has received. You’ll also be able to see the number of comments and how many times your post was sent as a message to someone or saved.
Insights will remain an essential tool that will allow you to see what content is working for your business, and if any drop in engagement, impressions, and clicks occur. Track what works for your business goals and stick to it.
Prioritise quality over quantity
Focus on quality content that promotes engagement and conversation in the comments section and you’ll ensure your Instagram posts remain visible.
Hiding likes will increase the importance of having not just quality content, but a quality content strategy that understands what works for your business and maintains this across an ongoing period.
Make sure you maintain a consistent post frequency as well, one that you can maintain long term, so you’re never compromising on quality or posting for the sake of it.
Stories will remain as important as ever
Instagram Stories has never shown any public metrics. This hasn’t stopped them from exploding in popularity with both users, brands, and influencers. In fact, Stories increased Instagram usage by an average of 28 minutes.
They are, and remain, a really important content tool for your Instagram strategy. Make sure you continue to use them.
Use engagement tactics
Prompting conversation, replying to comments, hashtagging and encouraging others to share your content will now also become essential.
Consider investing in your content
If you haven’t put some spend behind promoting your posts then now might be the time to test this out. If you do notice a drop in engagement, promoting your posts is the best way to get in front of your followers.
It’s too early to tell whether this test will impact businesses in a negative or positive way. People may not like posts as much as they did, which may impact how many of your followers actually see your posts and this can impact your bottom line financially.
What remains essential, is that you focus on quality content that engages your audience and invites them to connect with your brand.