Here’s how to use a like-free Instagram.

If you’ve logged onto Instagram lately I’m sure you noticed a massive change – that the number of likes are no longer visible. 

Removing likes from Instagram is one of the biggest changes to hit the platform, ever. So the big question now is how to use Instagram, post likes? 

Instagram has been talking about removing likes from the platform since May 2019. They ran a trial in Canada and have now rolled out the test to more countries including Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand!

With the changes you’ll still be able to see how many people liked your post but you’ll no longer be able to see the number of likes on other accounts. 

Why did Instagram remove likes?  

Instagram has said that they have removed the like count to help minimise mental health problems in the community. However, the update also tied in with a significant 19% drop in organic engagement across the platform. 

 Although mental health concerns may be part of the reason behind the move – I think it’s safe to assume that Instagram knew such a significant change in the algorithm would spark pushback and may have rolled out the changes to distract from any possible algorithm changes. 

How should you be using Instagram now? 

Although we can’t see the total like counts,  they still count in the algorithm.  So you should continue to like posts that you connect with. However the updated change now means that comments will become even more important as social proof. 

If up until now your engagement strategy has relied heavily on liking posts, you’ll need to place a higher emphasis on comments. 

With likes removed, and organic engagement on the decline, now is the perfect time to review your social media strategy. Expanding your activity on other platforms, as well as making sure you’re driving your social media followers off the platform and onto your own website and email lists is now more important than ever.

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From the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri (@mosseri): “We know bullying is a challenge many face, particularly young people. We are committed to leading the industry in the fight against online bullying, and we are rethinking the whole experience of Instagram to meet that commitment. We can do more to prevent bullying from happening on Instagram, and we can do more to empower the targets of bullying to stand up for themselves. Today we’re announcing one new feature in both areas. 💙 Encouraging Positive Interactions In the last few days, we started rolling out a new feature powered by AI that notifies people when their comment may be considered offensive before it’s posted. This intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification. 🧡 Protecting Your Account From Unwanted Interactions With Restrict We wanted to create a feature that allows people to control their Instagram experience, without notifying someone who may be targeting them. Soon, we will begin testing a new way to protect your account from unwanted interactions called Restrict. 💛 It’s our responsibility to create a safe environment on Instagram. This has been an important priority for us for some time, and we are continuing to invest in better understanding and tackling this problem.” 💗 To learn more about these new updates, click the link in our bio. Artwork by @heysp

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Ramp up your Instagram strategy with stories

Ramp up your Instagram strategy with stories Shine communication

Instagram stories may just be the best thing since sliced bread in this digital marketers humble opinion. Yep, I’m making that call. Instagram stores are the secret sauce to any Instagram strategy right now, and with a 67% increase in users in the last 3 months I’m not the only one who loves them. 

But first up what exactly are Instagram stories? 

Instagram stories have their own feed at the top of your homepage.  You can upload short 15 second videos or images to your stories and they will disappear after 24 hours. 

Stories don’t have the ability for people to like or comment on the stories- but people can respond by sending you a private message. You can add locations and hashtags to stories to help increase the exposure like you would in a normal post. 

So how exactly can you use Instagram stories to increase your social media game? 

1.    Invite your followers behind the scenes

Some of the best social media stories I see show the day to day going on in the business. You might think that it’s boring, but people are nosy and love to get a snap shot into other peoples lives. So share what you’re doing and help build the all important like, know and trust with your followers.

2.    Use stories for sneak peeks and pre-launch

Build up interest and excitement in new products or services by providing a sneak peak.  It helps your followers feel ‘in the know’ and will help to generating buzz before new items are even available.

3.    Be the face of the brand

Businesses of all sizes should be getting in front of the camera, introducing their staff and letting their personalities shine. Because people do business with people. End of story. 

4.    Use polls to gain insights into your customers

Thinking of launching a new product but can’t decide the colour?  Ask your customers what they’d prefer. There’s nothing better than getting some direct feedback from your followers.   

5.    Have fun! 

The best way to get engagement on your stories is not to take them too seriously. Remember that they are only here for 24 hours- no-one is expecting high quality video production. Remember there is only so much you can say or do in 15 seconds.  

Stories can seem intimidating when you start but our advice is just to jump in!  Try a few different styles and you’ll be surprised with the number of messages that start rolling in. 

Need direction in your social media strategy? Get in touch to discuss how we can help your business in the ever-changing landscape of social media.