How to Survive on Instagram Without Likes

Have you heard? There’s a good chance Instagram is doing away with likes. We’ve thought long and hard about what this means to the platform, and we’re here to tell you that yes, you CAN still succeed without that ? validation! In fact, we think this change is going to change the face of social media for the better.

Whether you’re a brand, business or influencer, we’ve broken down the ways to succeed and thrive in this new Instagram landscape.

What’s the goal of this change?

  • In a recent keynote, Mark Zuckerberg stated the following of Instagram’s future: “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many posts your likes get…we want people to be less interested in how many likes a post gets, and focus more on connecting with other people.”
  • Who else is in favor of this change? We’ve seen many mental health professionals applaud the potential of a social media platform that rewards creativity and takes the focus off of posting things and then waiting around to see if others like them.
  • Current status: Right now the new Instagram format is being tested on Canadian Instagram users

Doing away with likes seems crazy, right? Don’t fret. Look how explosive Instagram stories are, and they don’t have public metrics or likes to back them up. Also, #mentalhealthreminder does it REALLY matter how many likes your pic gets? ?

What’s going to change?

For businesses and brands

  • Determining what influencers you should work with is going to require a little more creativity. Right now you can look at a potential influencer partner’s feed and see what kind of engagement they are driving just from a few posts. If those metrics are gone it will mean that finding the right influencers to work with requires you to ask more of them (like a media kit or swipe up rates).
  • It also means that you should determine what you value from influencers, especially as they relate to your brand. What is their messaging/tone like, their aesthetic and—at the end of the day—will you enjoy working with them?

For Influencers

  • Show your value in new and unique ways! From what we’ve seen, you’ll still be able to see your likes—it’s just a little bit more removed and privy to your eyes only—so continue to measure, monitor and share how much engagement you generate.
  • Don’t make a potential partner do all the work when determining your influence: create your own Media Kit. Take screenshots, highlight unique brand posts that still drove engagement or quality content and interactions with the audience, and show off your Instagram story game!  

Don’t Just Survive – THRIVE!

For businesses and brands

  • Get creative in analyzing data. Get used to asking influencers for transparency around their metrics.
  • Before working with an influencer, ask for and review media kits.
  • Don’t be afraid to work with influencers who have a range of follower counts. Ready about the benefits of working with Micro vs. Macro Influencers in our blog post.

For Influencers

  • Share honest follower #s and figures. Be ready to convince stakeholders of your reach and engagement.
  • Put together a stellar media kit. What to keep in mind? Make it easy for a business partner to see why you are valuable to them! Also, keep it simple, make it look good and be authentic and transparent about your social statistics + why you are a benefit to that particular brand.
  • The best part: If you’ve felt stifled from posting artsy/creative/outside the box content in the past, hiding likes could change all of that for you and your followers!

We totally get it: this update is new and potentially scary for brands, influencers, and Instagram users. The face of social media is changing (and will continue to) and together we will figure out how to navigate every step of the way! If/when Instagram gets rid of likes it’s just going to require a bit more up-front work. Work understanding and creating value for your clients, the influencers you work with and—for influencers specifically—for yourself and your brand.

Post by Evie

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