As social media platforms like Instagram change their public measurement from seeing Likes to hiding Likes, it makes me wonder how it will impact user behavior.
The big question on everyone's mind is "How will this impact my Likes?"
My initial thought is that the change will encourage more people to comment vs just scroll and like something they may or may not have read or consumed.
When I think about this change from a user and a brand perspective, two things resonate:
Users or followers are more likely to add a comment - although it may just be "I agree" so no more additional value than a Like
They will migrate their time to another platform where they can see the activity of others
Obviously there are other things that can happen like brands sharing Likes from their dashboard publicly, perhaps via Instagram Stories.
If #1 happens:
It shows loyalty to you as the brand and to Instagram as the platform of choice. As a brand you are likely to now get more value from your followers AS LONG AS the comments are worth more than an "I agree". It's going to take more time to calculate as reading all the comments will take more time than just looking at the Like count. But, as a brand or Instagram user, encourage your followers to post a comment beyond "I agree".
If #2 happens:
Does this show loyalty to you and your brand or does it show disloyalty to Instagram? As a brand, let's hope it's the former and it shows loyalty to your brand. As a brand this will also mean you need to rethink your digital marketing strategy as your ideal customers have migrated somewhere else. Be sure to stay connected to them. Ask and communicate with them to make sure you stay connected no matter the platform.
Think about the value of each. What can you do for your business with Likes? Count them. That's about it. What can you do for your business with Comments? Connect, engage, consider, change...with your audience.
Comments may be more challenging to put a numerical value to for dashboard reporting purposes but comments hold much more weight and value than a Like because of the longer term insight comments provide.
As you think about your marketing, your brand, your sales, your business strategy, think about the time, effort and money you're investing in each Like. When the Likes go away, so does the value each has. Then, you're left with....nothing.
Plan for the comments - there's SO much more value in comments for your business than a Like. Plan and implement!
I offer a one hour consult which can help you sort through the chaos and identify what works best for you. It's only $125 for one hour of value. That will give you a much greater return on your investment than 125 Likes! Check it out and get started here.