INSTAGRAM IS GETTING RID OF LIKES….

AAAHHH! But Brian, they’ve always had likes! Whatever will we do without them?

Before you totally lose it, let me assure you, likes are not going away forever. As of now, the creator will still be able to see the like count and viewers of the content will be able to see which of their friends like a piece of content. The audience just won’t know the total number of likes.

So, what does that mean?

Without like counts, users will be less enticed to engage with things that they don’t really care about!

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Force the Tracking of Value

There has been a ton of hype around vanity metrics and how bad they are for tracking value, but the truth is, 9 out of 10 times a business is using vanity metrics. The reasons for this may differ. Sometimes it’s because that’s what the big boss or the client wants, sometimes it’s because you don’t have any other tracking set up and most of the time it’s because vanity metrics are what people are used to.

Whatever the reason may be, vanity metrics have little to no value. Especially when it comes to something as broad as social media “engagement.” Every platform has different forms of engagements, every platform has multiple types of engagement and every type of engagement holds different value. See what I’m getting at here?

Without the number of likes being outward facing, companies are going to have to rely on more concrete numbers- for both internal and influencer campaigns.

Eliminate Tribe Mentality

The real reason social media has turned into a place of Bad News and Fake News is that it fosters a tribe mentality. As users scroll through their timeline, they are presented with content that is heavily curated with content that is “engaging.” Essentially, it’s full of content that has social proof.

Just because we know if everyone jumps off of a ledge we shouldn’t… Doesn’t mean we won’t. If we see that a thousand people have liked a piece of content, it doesn’t take much for us to like the content as well. If a video has 1,000,000 views, we want to know why!

So when it comes out that “The Russians are Stealing Your Data Through That App” everyone wants to have an opinion and everyone thinks they are right. And once everyone has put their two cents in the post has jumped to the top of the algorithm because it was “engaging” and now everyone is seeing the Bad or Fake News.

Without like counts, users will be less enticed to engage with things that they don’t really care about or don’t really know anything about. Instead, they will be seeing more content that those they truly care about are engaging with.

Proving Levels of Trust

By taking away the like count, Instagram is forcing people to decide who they trust and what content they truly care about. If you are shown which of your friends like a piece of content as opposed to how many people like it, you have to make a choice as to how much that content (or that person) resonates with you.

That’s where influencers, specifically micro-influencers, come into play. Micro-influencers may have smaller followings, but they have loyal and trustworthy followings. The easiest way to test this trust is to look at 1 to 1 action. You look for story replies (in your DMs), you look at sales, you look at anonymous Q&As, polls, etc… All of these actions are signs of trust and connection.

Once the connection is made and the trust is created, the dollars will come.

Make the Big Bucks

Grammarly Promotion iSocialFanz ran in 2017

An influencer that speaks directly to a group of people who share the same issues and has found a way to solve some of those issues with your product is invaluable. If you can get a micro-influencer that has a 100 followers to convert 5 of their followers, imagine what that would look like at scale?

Case: My whole schtick is I have ADHD and have decided that Perfection is a Fairytale and Control is an Illusion. The people who follow me know that and most of them experience at least one of those issues.

When I tweeted about how Grammarly helped me in my business, 200 people signed up. Now that is value-added. And it’s all because I am honest with my audience, anything I mention I use and stand behind and my audience knows that.
Point: Instagram is about to change Influencer Marketing and prove the value of the Micro-Influencer.

Want to hear more insights on this topic? Listen to Future of Social Media without Likes, Privacy and Forced Transparency