In today’s blog, let’s talk about Instagram removing likes on all accounts, and how this will affect you/ your business. This concept has already rolled out in six countries, and I’m expecting to see it rolled out in additional countries very soon. So what does this mean for brands, influencers, and the everyday person?

Mark Zuckerberg has stated that he wants to focus more on creating authentic connections with Instagram users posting content that they actually like (rather than focusing on vanity metrics such as likes).

As for my thoughts? I totally agree with Zuckerberg. I’m super excited that people aren’t going to have to stress about whether they’re post is going to trigger the Instagram algorithm!

But…I also tend to wonder if this is just Instagram’s way of pushing more paid advertising.

You’ve probably noticed recently that your organic reach has gone way down. I know Gary V was just talking about this in a recent video, and I thought it was really relatable. If someone with an account as big as his is also feeling that decline, you know it’s not just you and your friends struggling, right? He actually mentioned how he used to get a million views on his videos, but lately, his views are more like 300,000-600,000 a video. Obviously that’s a huge hit for him! He’s lucky to have a big platform, but if you’re a smaller account, you’ve probably noticed that your organic reach with posts is going down.

I’ve had a lot of clients and friends ask me if I think they’ve been “shadowbanned.” (A shadowban is when you constantly use the same hashtag over and over again, so  Instagram no longer shows your posts on that hashtag feed.) Typically, I tell my clients & friends, that the issue isn’t being shadowbanned— it’s the fact that Instagram has reduced the amount of organic reach. In this case, you just need to keep doing what you’re doing.

This is even more of a reason I always tell my clients to get your followers off of the IG platform. It’s so important to offer freebies so you can collect email addresses, or connect with them on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Your goal should be to get your followers on as many platforms with as much information as possible. Why? If Instagram went down tomorrow, or they deleted your account (yes, they do sometimes delete accounts out of NOWHERE) and you lost everything, you’ll still want to have all your new leads on other platforms. This way, you wouldn’t have to start completely from scratch.

So many of us (especially influencers!) have put “all their eggs in one basket” so to speak with Instagram. It’s one of the biggest platforms for influencers right now, however, I think it’s time for everyone to take a step back and reassess to make sure that we’re providing value and adding a call to action so that your follower’s information can be collected outside of Instagram.

You’re probably wondering, so what is this going to mean for me?

As an influencer, your media kits are going to become more important than ever. Essentially, on the back end, you’re still going to be able to see how many likes you got on a post, but on the front end, those numbers won’t be visible.

Make sure you have an updated media kit that shows your likes, engagement, reach, saves, etc. Saves are huge because that is really what’s triggering the Instagram algorithm to show your posts to more people. So be sure that you keep really great stats and that you have all of those stats pulled together in a legible, clean format that matches the aesthetic of your social media so that if brands want to work with you, they can see who you are along with those stats!

It’s also going to be a lot more difficult to find influencers because you’re not going to be able to go to an account and easily see how many likes that person has. You can see they have X amount of followers, but you have to consider the rate of engagement.

It’s scary because a lot of people have gotten away with buying followers on Instagram specifically. When I was running influencer campaigns previously, it was really easy for me to say, okay, it’s likely that this person bought their followers because they have 100,000 followers, but they’re only getting 150 likes on a post.

Comments will become more and more important because those will still be visible even when likes are not. Those are just a couple of important things to consider as a  brand looking to work with influencers.

All in all, I think removing likes is great! It’s going to allow people to be more authentic on the platform, and post what feels good to them rather than just posting for the likes. It will mean more authenticity with posts that show who a person truly is.

I’m excited to see what happens, and I think it’ll be a good thing overall. And just remember, at the end of the day, likes don’t make your business, and if you have a product or service you’re selling, you really need to worry about creating those relationships on social media and not the number of likes. This is what my team and I are really well versed in.

If you’re interested in looking at how to turn your followers into customers, make sure to download the link to my free ebook, (at the end of this blog!) which contains 10 tips to turn followers into customers (because that’s what’s going to put food on the table for your family!)

I hope you enjoyed this blog and found it insightful. Let me know what you think! Do you think Instagram is going to remove likes? If so, what do you think this will mean for influencers, brands, and individuals all together? Are you for or against it?