What are the changes being made to likes by Facebook and Instagram?
Facebook recently announced yet another change to its platforms. On both Facebook and Instagram, users will soon have the ability to hide likes on their own posts, as well as choose which profiles they don’t want to see likes displayed from.
Why is this change happening?
According to Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, this change was made with app enjoyment in mind: “The idea was to try to depressurize Instagram a little bit, to allow people to be able to focus more on the people that they care about and being inspired and worry a little bit less about how many likes they or other people are getting."
In recent years, users have noted that being judged by publicly displayed numbers can lead to self-esteem and mental health issues. This has contributed to some people choosing to spend less time on social media. In theory, this latest change from Facebook HQ will allow users to focus more on generating, viewing, and sharing quality content, regardless of likes, and in turn, spend more time on social media.
What does this mean for organizational leaders?
If you’re a leader of an organization, being able to view likes may seem like an essential way of gauging the success of your social media presence. Since these platforms are not fully disabling likes, just making them optional, organizations will still be able to use the like count as a measure to analyze their engagement if desired. Small or new organizations might see the benefit of hiding likes on their posts, as to not diminish the importance of what they’re posting. In any case, organizational leaders shouldn’t only be paying attention to likes, but rather to more telling metrics such as engagement from comments and shares, as well as reach.
Which metrics really matter?
“Like” counts can be an important measurement for an organization to track — especially because some stakeholders and funders really value them — but that’s not the only important element to analyze. The top two social media metrics leaders and organizers should be tracking are engagement and reach.
Engagement Engagement includes a total count of likes, shares, comments, and clicks on your posts. Typically, a high level of engagement leads to a more successful — and wide-reaching — social media profile, since Facebook’s algorithms favor engaging content. To increase your post engagement, consider what types of content you can post that viewers will be excited to click, like, comment on, and share. Link clicks alone are also an important metric for organizations that are trying to drive users from social media to their websites to engage or take action.
Measuring your reach allows you to see how many people are viewing your posts and how far your social media presence is extending. Increasing your reach is important for reaching organizational goals, because it builds your organization's audience. If you’re trying to increase your reach, and you’re not a celebrity or well-known entity, you should start by improving your engagement rate. The more engaging a post is, the more the algorithm will display it. Another way to increase your reach is to have your content shared by a widely followed account.
If you’re looking for ways to increase your social media engagement and reach, we can help. Set up a free strategy call with our team.
The Overall Impact On Organizations
This update to Facebook and Instagram will not affect the metrics that are necessary to track and advance your social media presence, but it may require you to do more explaining to less social media savvy colleagues. As long as you pay attention to your social media accounts’ engagement and reach, you’ll have a great idea of how your content is performing.
Cover image via #WOCintech