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How Instagram Removing the ‘Like’ Count Affects Marketing

Social media has been a huge marketing outlet for businesses today. How do we know if people are enjoying certain content? By the number of likes.

One of the major social medias, used by 1 billion people monthly and 500 million daily, is Instagram.

Have you noticed anything different about your current Instagram feed? If so then you are one of about 70% of Canada’s population affected by their test to remove the like count.

The focus is on the quality of the content, not the number of likes. Thus, only the account user will be able to see the count.

This puts businesses that utilize the algorithm of likes on their content for promotions in a different position. So how will it affect your business if it becomes an official change?

How Instagram’s Algorithm Works

In the past, Instagram organized its feed only by the time it was posted. The most recent could be found at the top.

In 2016, Instagram introduced a new algorithm that changed how user’s feed was shown. Simply put, the most relevant content was displayed further up in someone’s feed.

The factors that affect your relevancy to people are:

1. Interest

Instagram takes what users interact with and identify a trend between the posts. If you often comment on photos of puppies, then you are more likely to see puppies at the start of your feed. The goal is to identify what the users prioritize and show content related to that.

2. Relationship

Instagram wants the content it shows users to be something users enjoy seeing or interacting with. The more interactions you have with others, the more the algorithm will recognize you as having a relationship. This would include things like comments, enabled notifications, direct messages, or tags.

3. Timeliness

Now this is not to say that Instagram showcases feed chronologically. Instagram does showcase newer posts first but not the newest. For businesses and brands recency is more related to the idea of posting when people are active. Paying attention to when your audience is online will help indicate when you should post so it will be higher up in their feed.

The goal is to give users the content they want to see most, right away.

Businesses Without Instagram ‘Like’ Counts

A ‘like’ is easily given. It takes no time and no effort.

This shift forces businesses to become more deeply invested in the analytics of their posted content. Companies need to figure out what actually works, instead of guessing.

Identifying what kind of content thrives is going to be key.

Finding what drives conversions and stepping into a more authentic path for your services. Look at other metrics such as the save feature or reach.

For businesses it may be more beneficial to focus more on comment engagement when working with Influencers now. Commenters are more likely to invest in your brand since they took the time comment on a post.

What Removing ‘Like’ Count means for Influencers

Many people have developed a large following and have created businesses surrounding their online personalities.

Companies then partner with them to promote their products. For those that utilize influencers for conversions, this may make it more difficult. A clear indication of the amount of reach an influencer had would have been the number of likes on an average post. We may not have this anymore, though.

For Influencers themselves, it may be more difficult to establish yourself if you haven’t already. Brand are less likely to choose you over someone who they can clearly see getting transactions.  

It may give Influencers more creative freedom in their posts. Most Influencers feel they can’t post content that may fall flat in user engagement. If their posts lack that conversion, the brand may not work with them. Without visible ‘like’ counts, they have more artistic freedom.

Focus When Posting

Instagram is unique in that it allows you to showcase your products. This could be through photos, videos, and Stories.

This new system could actually allow you as brands or businesses to assess the content you are posting. To make changes that reflects what you wish to project to your audience.

By no longer focusing on a like count, it can allow you to narrow-in on content that generates more buzz with comments or saves. This can actually be more beneficial to you as those people are more likely to generate conversions and sales.

4 Reasons to Include Social Media Video in Your Business Marketing Strategy

No matter what size your business or what niche you’re in, you’ll need to take social media video marketing seriously. Though it’s not the only tool in your social media toolbox, it definitely is a major one. The ability for a business to tell its story and engage its audience is a powerful sales tool, and video is helping to tell better stories.

Two men holding a laptop, editing an online video.

Video content can help businesses reach 4 specific goals:

1. Web Traffic

Social media video content is an effective way to drive traffic to your website. Video content continues to grow and drive the internet. It plays an integral part of the online social lifestyle. Demand for social media video content is continually growing on social channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and especially YouTube. A successful social media video campaign will include a CTA (Call to Action), the most popular being “Visit our Website”. Other CTAs include “Learn More”, “Sign Up Now”, “Book Now”, or “Shop Now”.

Gaia.com is an online resource that streams videos about alternative health, yoga and inspirational films and documentaries. This brand knows the benefits of using video on social. Their video on Facebook had 248 shares and 6.3 M views with a clear CTA to visit their website to learn more.

2. Engagement

When social media videos showcase your brand and tell your story effectively you connect and engage with your audience. When that video content is not only worth watching but also worth sharing, you increase your audience reach.

Canadian Tire™ successfully showed its support for the Canadian Olympic team during the summer 2017 Olympics with this inspirational video that only subtly shows its product: tires. It turned out to be one of the most viral videos of 2017. It just goes to show that your businesses’ story is not just about showcasing your product. It’s also about the things your company believes in and supports.

3. Brand Awareness

More and more brands use social media videos to tell their story and give their brand personality.  It’s that personality that followers want to see, and what makes your brand stand out from the crowd. Recognition is a key element to your product’s story.

Taking a similar marketing approach as Dove™, Always™ came out with this video as part of their “Like a Girl “campaign. They used a powerful message of empowerment for women to gain attention and respect for their brand. Their campaign went on to win numerous awards including an Emmy.

4. Generate Excitement and Educate

Leveraging the power of short social media video content by creating instructional how-to videos, showing off a new product from every angle, or simply using text to tell your product’s story creates interest and excitement while getting your message across. If you create content that’s both informative and useful, you’ll create trust in your brand, and a set of loyal customers.

Today’s Parent shows off an easy Ikea™ hack using one of their products in this cheerful video with a “Back -To-School” theme so relatable to families that want to avoid the common entryway clutter.

Are you looking to optimize your digital marketing strategies using video? Contact us today and let’s get started!

7 Tired Social Media Tactics to Retire in 2019

Social media is constantly evolving, so the life expectancy of any given tactic is usually relatively short. Unfortunately, some tactics don’t seem to die when they should.

Cartoon hands holding up social media action signs.

These techniques can become a significant problem, since they’ll likely lead to a waste of resources and advertising budgets. No matter how simplistic the strategy, it still takes some level of time and effort to execute, meaning that resources spent on tired social media tactics could be re-allocated to something more effective.  

Furthermore, tactics that don’t properly reflect your brand could cause you to make unnecessary or even detrimental changes to your strategy.  

Here’s a look at 7 of the most tired social media tactics to leave behind in 2019.   

1. Gaining a Following by Following the Masses

Although this used to be one of the most popular ways to gain followers at a rapid speed, there are big problems with this technique.   

These days, consumers are increasingly selective about who they follow. You may have been able to gain followers quickly years ago by following massive amounts of people, but today, potential followers could flag you as a fake account. This will in turn hurt your brand reputation and social value 

Mass following will not work anymore. In fact, gaining followers this way will ensure that most of them don’t have any interest in your product or service, and will also lead to a feed that’s full of irrelevant posts.

2. Using Automatic, Impersonal Messages

Consumers are putting a huge value on personal contact and attachment when it comes to how they choose to spend their time and money. Obviously, no one feels attached to an automated message, especially if it’s clear that it hasn’t been modified in the slightest.  

In the past, a potential customer would hit “follow” on a brand’s social media page, and their inbox would immediately light up with an automated message to welcome them and invite them to make a purchase. However, consumers are becoming less keen on being treated like a faceless prospect.  

Instead, wait some time. Once the relationship has been fostered, and the consumer is familiar with your brand, you can then begin to send messages that may come across as promotional. Better yet, tailor your messages to each potential customer.  

3. Fluffing Posts with Backlinks

Very few people ever seek out advertisements. Most people try to avoid advertising as they scroll through their various social feeds. Quality content is important. Your content should be creative and make you stand out as a leader in your industry.  

Unfortunately, many brands tend to stuff their content full of backlinks to their products or services or fill up social posts with hashtags in hopes of attracting more attention. Both of these are drained tactics that make your content less appealing to followers. In 2019, it’s more about selling your brand by selling your authority, not your products or services.  

Offer people a genuine value in exchange for their attention, and they’ll come to you without much pushing.  

4. Publishing Duplicate Content on Multiple Platforms

Cross-posting is no longer effective. 

In past years, you may have gotten away with posting the same content across multiple platforms without any real issues. Things have changed. You can no longer cross-post without swapping out copy or content. 

Audiences are becoming more and more segmented. This year, your posts need to be optimized to each platform to maximize your engagement and customize your approach. Learn which platforms work best for your needs and how to leverage them based on your objectives.  

5. Trying Things Once and Giving Up

Advertising is an ever-evolving process. Social media campaigns take time to garner leads, and they’re not an overnight, one-time effort.  

Have you tried: 

  • Sponsored Content on LinkedIn?  
  • Video content on Facebook?  

Many people try things once, ‘fail,’ and never give them another chance. It takes time and experimenting to discover what does and doesn’t work for your brand on social media.  

If you tried LinkedIn ads and didn’t see results, perhaps it’s time to try them again and track your process to review later.  

6. Asking Users to Share Content

Remember the ‘Like and share’ campaigns popular in the past few years? This approach has gone out of style.  

Although these types of posts may appear to have an effect, most of the time, they’re not receiving any more engagement than a regular post. More importantly, they can make your brand come across as needy or desperate.  

Although this technique is still acceptable when running promotional giveaways, there are other ways to gain a solid following and potential leads.  

7. Relying Solely on Organic Posts to Reach Your Audience

The days of exclusively organic content has diminished rapidly. Social platforms – Facebook in particular – are constantly updating their algorithms to favour paid content.  

Your brand cannot simply set it and forget it. It’s important to incorporate a paid advertising strategy into this year’s marketing plan.  

Do your research. There are many variations of social media ads. When thinking about which social networks to use for advertising, look at which ones are performing well organically and go from there. 

Of course, we’re here to guide you through this year’s marketing trends. Contact us today to discuss your marketing goals. Let’s chat!