As a marketer and instagram user, I've become less of a fan of the like button. On instagram, the only thing that matters to marketers is your engagement rate. Without likes, how will you know who posts engaging content and who doesn't? How will we determine who the right influencers are if you can't easily tell how engaged their audience is?
There are other engagement metrics that matter just as much (if not more) in determining a user's influence. As a personal user of instagram I believe the like button has become a metric that people, especially users under 30, are using to validate themselves.
There are other forms of engagement that often are overlooked and in many cases can be a more accurate measure of success for a post. What are these metrics? Reach, profile visits, saves, link clicks or swipe ups, and comments. Let's take a look at each and determine why they are essential in calculating an engagement rate.
Reach - this is the amount of people who saw your post pop up in their feed. With Instagram's new algorithm updates, posts typically see approximately a 10% organic reach. When your reach exceeds that number, that is a true victory!
Profile Visits - An Instagram user spots your post on their feed, stops, and clicks through to view your full profile. You have literally stopped a person in their tracks and sparked their interest… huge win!
Share - A share is one of the best forms of engagement because you inspired someone to share your content with their friends. Your audience is now doing the work to get your content seen.
Saves - Someone liked your post so much, they save it. This is the ultimate engagement if you ask me.
Comment - This type of engagement is arguably better than a like… It means that someone had a thought or reaction to share with you. Your content sparked a conversation. This type of engagement will likely replace the like button as the metric to look at to measure true engagement since it will now be the only publicly visible action.
Link Clicks - This means that your excellent content persuaded someone to go to a landing page, which is a huge win for any marketer.
We are currently living in an Instagram-obsessed world and I am becoming increasingly aware of just how dangerous it can be. Why? Because people are using this metric as validation for themselves or their experiences. In other words, they "do it for the gram."
Art exhibits are being designed to inspire instagrammable moments that go viral. Experiential marketing campaigns are monetizing on our desire to capture exciting experiences and create pop-up after pop-up with flourishing selfie walls and insta-worthy activities. While I am not opposed to a beautiful photo and am forever searching for more inspiration, I fail to see the purpose of the like button in these initiatives.
At the end of the day, liking a piece of content on Instagram just means I glanced at it while scrolling through my feed and will most likely never revisit it. If I come across content that really speaks to me, I would rather save it or even comment to join the conversation!
WRITTEN BYCourtney Spritzer