Does your brand rely on Instagram Likes? If yes, read on.
On November 8, Instagram’s CEO tweeted that publicly hiding “likes” is now being tested in the U.S.
While the importance of vanity metrics, such as Instagram likes, may have been overemphasized, developments across the social ecosystem the last couple of years have made it abundantly clear: engagement rather vanity metrics should be the focus.
We first wrote about this change when Instagram announced it in April. The definition of social engagement is changing, but context has always been key.
By context we mean more meaningful insights that give you a richer, deeper story of what your audience cares about and how they feel. You need context that provides actionable insights to engage with your audience in a whole new way.
Fixating on Instagram likes as a performance metric can be tricky. While the volume of likes and comments does constitute “social engagement”, it is still a volume-based metric that tracks how audiences engage with a brand’s content regardless of the nature of the interactions. Brands that report high level of engagement as the sole measure of brand success are often missing the context of the engagement, which is even more important. Add to that paid media, which is a contributing factor to social engagement and increases volume without accounting for authentic brand perception and interest.
Chances are, your brand’s like counts aren’t actually affecting your bottom line. So, what should you be focusing on? Here are some ListenFirst recommendations on the type of social media insights that actually impact ROI:
Integrating Earned, Organic and Paid Performance
By measuring sentiment on conversation and comments posted on their owned content, brands can truly understand what factors and elements of the content are driving specific emotions from their audience. Insights into how audiences really feel, and what is driving them to feel this way, allows brands to segment out what audiences really like or dislike. Then, they can focus their content strategies on what audiences love, and further build a more meaningful relationship with them.
At ListenFirst, we recently released a next generation social media listening tool that combines emotional sentiment on conversation AND comments on owned posts with organic and paid social performance. This powerful combination gives you a full understanding of the who, what, how and why of your audience. Now, that’s insight you can act on, quickly.
Instagram Saves might not be as high profile as Likes, or even as widely tracked as other authorized data points such as Impressions. However, it speaks more directly to what really matters for brands – purchasing intent. If a product post resonates with someone so much that they want to save and return to that content, that’s a far clearer indicator that a consumer is interested in buying that product.
Answering how often the audience is responding to call-to-action messaging is critical in determining the effectiveness of any social media content where the goal goes beyond brand awareness. Tracking downloads, lead generation, event registration, how many coupons are redeemed, and contest participation is more closely tied to business goals than likes and followers.
Estimated Media Value
When it comes to paid partnerships with influencers, understanding how much value they’re actually creating when they post about your brand on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook is critical to understanding the ROI of the partnership. Through the Estimated Media Value feature of the ListenFirst platform, brands can get approximations about how much branded content would cost on conventional paid channels to determine campaign effectiveness.
Share of Voice
No brand exists in a vacuum and being able to track the performance of competitors and benchmark against their social media activity is essential in determining how to best optimize your own brand’s strategy. That’s why the ability to track an unlimited amount of competitors on social media, as ListenFirst offers, is so critical.
As Instagram likes and other vanity metrics start to be phased out, brands can stay ahead of the curve by proactively focusing on indicators that more directly relate to user engagement. Leveraging ListenFirst will enable brands to identify and activate against the social media metrics that actually do impact performance.