More on the Instagram Change and How it Affects Social Media Marketing
A few weeks ago, news of Instagram’s removal of the number of “likes” every post receives hit the social media world like a tidal wave. Why post to Instagram if content cannot be recognized by how much it is “liked”? While this change has been in action for only a short period of time, the proverbial “big picture” behind Instagram’s disruption is beginning to be seen in a different perspective. Very simply, it’s time for change in social media. This is because what Instagram users are seeking is changing. This, of course, affects social media marketing.
“Likes” not as well-liked as first thought.
In a commentary for Buffer, Kevan Lee states that the use of likes might not have been the best (or most accurate) metric by which to evaluate the effectiveness of social media marketing. Citing Chris Taylor of Mashable as a source, Mr. Lee points out that Instagram users will click “like” on a post for a variety of reasons, ranging from “this is great” to “I guess,” among many others. In short, a lot of “likes” can make a single Instagram post look popular – but why? That’s what Instagram users want to know.
Instagram users are paying attention.
Due to changes in what Instagram users are looking for on this platform, a new era has evolved. And the keywords are: “behavior” and “attention.” Today, user behavior is the main criteria to determine relevant content on social media. Through social media marketing practices such as resharing, commenting, clicking, referring and following specific content that’s posted, user engagement on Instagram is more intensive. And these are the points which brands and those involved in social media marketing must pay greater attention to. The generalities of “likes” has been replaced by a preferred in-depth and concentrated focus of user attention.
Another chapter in the story.
Additionally – and in connection to the desire for knowing more about what makes a social media post “click” (literally and figuratively) with Instagram users’ attention – we can consider the growing influence of Instagram Stories. This type of Instagram post uses metrics that include reach, completion rate, and exits to provide a clearer look into what is working (or not working) when users engage with a particular Story – and far more than the number of “likes” would.
Nano-influencers may set the new strength for influencer marketing.
It has been acknowledged that influencer marketers (or brand ambassadors) particularly feel the brunt of Instagram’s decision to hide the number of “likes” to posts. This does not mean, however, that influencers will become extinct. The trend for influencer marketing is the fewer followers, the better the engagement with Instagram users. As Michael Guta recently noted in Small Business Trends, nano-influencers (who have between 1,000-to-10,000 followers) hold the highest rate of engagement at 4.4-percent. This may not seem like a lot, but it is when contrasted to mega-influencers – who have a million followers but an engagement rate of 0.7-percent. So, the changes influencers need to make very much align with the shift in what social media marketing is now focusing on: quality (engagement) over quantity (likes).
Advantages for social media marketing.
Mr. Lee claims that despite the changes that are taking place, there is no cause for panic. In fact, social media marketing teams already have the advantage of being able to see how key stats perform, shift, and what (if any) adjustments need to be made. If an Instagram Story incorporates video, for example, marketers can check their respective dashboards and study viewing time and audience engagement and retention. Changes can then be recommended and made, if necessary.
If your brand or business has been affected by the changes made by Instagram, EGC Group can help adapt and streamline your strategy so that it will maintain a strong presence on this platform. Whether you use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or all three sites, we can help improve engagement with your customers. To learn more about our social media marketing services, contact us today.