Algorithms are changing. Likes are being hidden. What does that mean for content creators? Matt Ross is back with strategies for working with, not against algorithmic social changes and the launch of hidden likes on Instagram.
Focus on Adding Value
Q: How have you adapted your strategies to an ever-changing algorithm?
Analytics are invaluable and are not a tool I take lightly, but in terms of the algorithm I couldn’t care less.
I cannot control what Instagram is going to do next, I can control the content I put out though. I would bet on what I can control 100 to 1 at every opportunity and so whether the algorithm shifts or not, my primary focus is & always will be to produce the best damn content that I humanly can that adds value to my audience.
That way, if the content is good enough, it will perform well on Instagram because of the engagement & traction it is receiving.
I am not unaware of peak posting times, the demographic of my audience, the countries which my support comes from, or the gender split that exists within my following. [However,] I truly believe focusing on how Instagram is making it difficult for [creators] to succeed is [energy] wasted when it could be put into executing [value add for your audience]. I am obsessed with focusing on my core following and bringing them value. That’s my north star.
What About ‘Likes’?!
Q: What do you anticipate changing when Instagram starts hiding likes? What will you do to stay ahead of the curve?
The short answer is: Absolutely nothing.
Likes are a vanity metric, meaning that their primary value is to feed ego. Likes alone don’t speak to the true, quantifiable value of your audience. You can be getting thousands, even hundreds of thousands of likes, but when it comes time to convert (sell something, promote click-through to your Youtube channel, push an affiliate product, etc.) that random number means sh*t if no one is actually taking action.
There is a lot more involved with determining your strength as an Influencer or Business (think number of comments, previous sales, DM’s received, click-through rate to your website, etc.)
Now, if your concern is that you’re going to lose branded work because of your likes being hidden, you’re being short-sighted as you [and your brand partners] will still be able to access your analytics, it just won’t be displayed publicly. That means any brand wishing to work/partner with you will simply request your analytics in order to assess whether or not a partnership would be mutually beneficial.
[Hiding likes] honestly makes absolutely no difference, except to those who place value in it as a golden metric.
Then, onto the second half of the question. Once again: Absolutely nothing different from what I’m doing already.
I will continue to obsess over adding value to my audience from now until I die. If you don’t [focus on adding value] with every post, you need to reassess.
Stop worrying about the damn likes and focus on whatever your craft is. Makeup, fitness, glassware, photography, producing toenail clippers, whatever the hell it is, push yourself to consistently improve your craft, add value to your audience, and constantly adapt to fill their demand. Everything else will fall into place.
To hear more from Matt, check out his podcast episode on Instagram hiding likes!
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