So Instagram are Removing Likes, but how might this affect Influencers on Instagram?

With the removal of likes on Instagram fast approaching, collaborating with relevant influencers and content creators has become more important than ever to ensure greater return on your investment. A hanging question still left unanswered is how this change will affect influencers on Facebook & Instagram and the way the partner with brands?

The reality is no one knows exactly how much things will change. What we do know is that measuring engagement on Instagram and Facebook posts will of course be more difficult and brands will have to rely on comments and other techniques such as direct follower count, unique purchase codes and Google Analytics in order to track return on investment.

Is this all bad? Not at all – the removal of likes in the words of Facebook aims to ‘remove the pressure of the amount of likes people receive’. With less pressure on being seen to have likes and comments on your posts people are likely to post more often! Brandforme predict a shift in focus from the engagement vanity to a more ‘authentic’ sharing of content where users post the things they actually want to post, not what they think will resonate well with their audience.

Applying this to influencers could be a positive thing for brands. It’s no secret that 80% of influencers do not deliver the expected return on investment, and much of the engagement that we see on influencers feed posts is skewed by support from other infuencers who ‘like’ and ‘comment’ on the content in return for the same back. Sadly this isn’t the type of engagement that is useful to brands so the question has to be asked, is post engagement actually a reliable way of measuring the capability of an influencer, or are we just being lazy when justifying decisions?

Once brands are forced to look beyond likes, the real value of an influencer or celebrity seems to be much clearer. How does this person(s) align with your brand values? Are they a real conversation starter and interact with their followers? Will they help people quickly build trust for your brand?

These are the real questions that any business considering using an influencer should be asking and without likes smoke screening the importance of content and value to your brand it should be easier to focus on what really matters. Here’s to a more authentic future.