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Monday, December 2, 2019

FYI: Instagram Removes Likes! YIKES! What it actually means for you!




I'm sure you've heard by now or have seen it for yourself, Instagram is no longer showing you the LIKE counts in posts.  They have made the LIKE counts private. Which means you are able to see your own like counts for your posts but you will not be able to see others.

Before we get any further, I want to ensure you are aware as to the "why" Instagram has decided to remove the LIKE Counts. Basically, Instagram wanted to reduce the stress of its users. 

As Mosseri shared, “the idea is to de-pressurize Instagram”, and make it a space that’s more focused on connections, conversations and community..." 

As we all know, social media continues to impact our daily lives, and it doesn't matter if its personal or for business. "Will they like this picture?" or checking to see how many likes your post received within seconds of posting it or feeling emotionally down/depressed because your post didn't seem to get the likes you thought it would. 

Aside from the stress this 'stress reducing' decision has created, you now need to figure out how this will impact you as a business. 

I'm sure you're asking yourself "How will you be able to identify influencers to review your books or promote them?" or "How will this affect my next release?" and you may have others! Take a moment to breathe deeply and exhale. The answer is it won't hurt, it will actually help!!

Seriously! It will definitely reduce not only your stress levels but also those of your readers/reviewers! It will also increase creativity! People will be able to post things and not worry that they are in competition with others (fearing less visibility). You will be able to focus on 'quality' vs. "quantity". 


"The fact that your “like count” is out of sight means that the focus is on your content, rather than a number, and can allow you to post more freely without being limited to your best times to post." - by Later

I completely agree with Later's insight! There have been many times where clients have opted to select 1 Instagramer over another (for reviews, posting promo, exclusive content, etc.)  based on LIKE counts vs. the actual number of followers or most importantly, the quality of the content (e.g. post). Yeah, the photo got a bunch of likes, but did the instagramer tag your account? Used hashtags that are relevant (either provided by you, your team or on their own) within their caption? Did they include an action item (e.g. follow author, buy book, add to list, etc.)? What about links? Did they include the link to where to purchase your book(s)? 

All of the above items are crucial for you and your business!

Pros to the removal of LIKE Counts: 
1. ) Smaller and/or Newer accounts will be able to blend in with the bigger/older ones and a very important point - they will be given more credibility! 

Why is this good? Because you will be giving potentially a new reader the opportunity to fall in love with your book!! Something else to keep in mind... they may be 'new' or 'smaller' (aka number of followers) BUT they may be great influencers within their community! If they love a book, their followers WILL buy it! If they discovered a new author, their followers will check them out as well! So just because some Instagramers have larger followings, doesn't mean they are great at influencing others! NEVER count out the smaller/newer bloggers/Instagramers! 

The content shared is significantly more important then the number of LIKES it gets! 


2.) Another very important pro is exposing fake influencers!
Similar to other social media platforms, people can buy followers and likes!  This doesn't assist you in any way! You want to follow accounts that have grown organically, have great content and are true influencers! Having a large number of followers and/or LIKES doesn't mean they can influence. Getting thousands of likes on a post doesn't prove influence either nor bring you any value. 


3.) Remember that I started in this industry as a blogger/reviewer! I KNOW personally the stress of creating content that will influence others to check out an author or buy the book I'm posting about! I also know what its like to not get included on a blog tour, or get an interview with an author or that review copy because I didn't have enough LIKES on my posts or followers overall!

What does this mean for you? With the removal of LIKE counts, Instagramers will feel relief that the likes no longer matter! Which means you will end up with MORE bloggers/reviewers wanting to participate in your events!! More people sharing your latest release equals more visibility!


4.) And what I think is the MOST important PRO is that the attention of the posts will return to what matters most to YOU! Getting Instagramers to take action on your (and others) account! This means having your followers click on your link, leave a comment or sending you a DM! These actions lead to a true ROI (return on investment) in the form of traffic and sales (you love those, right?). 


Now that you're feeling a bit better about the removal of LIKE counts, what do you do now?


I highly suggest creating pre-made posts that your Instagramer can copy/paste. This ensures that the information you want included is! This is used for when you have events scheduled (e.g. blog tours, SM blasts, etc.) AND you can event include some in your newsletters that you send to your readers! Include a quick note sharing that you've included some sample SM posts if they want to share about your new release, cover reveal, preorders, narrators revealed, etc. Trust me, your readers will share!! 


Create a list of hashtags that are specifically for your brand and individual books! Use these when you post yourself and for those pre-made posts! 


Do you have a list of bloggers, Instagramers, reviewers and book lovers that WANT to share your information (e.g. new release, event(s) you're attending, cover reveals, etc.) ? This isn't a sign up for a specific event (e.g. blog tour, release day blitz) though they should/would also receive those invitations to participate. This also isn't a required task (must share by certain date/time). This list is where you reach out and ask that they share and provide them with a few social media premade posts, images, hashtags and links. They will be able to post whenever they can (or want to). This group is one that you will KNOW will share/post because they truly want to! 


Something else you'll want to consider (if you don't already have one) is including a section on your website that bloggers, reviewers, influencers and book lovers in general can go to to grab these premade posts and any other items (e.g. graphic teasers, ads, media kits, etc.) that they can use for their reviews or when raving about how awesome your book is! 


Instagram was originally created and still is all about pictures and graphics! 
Invest in either hiring a graphic designer that specializes in branding and is knowledgeable not only about this industry but marketing/promoting books and authors! Or taking classes to enhance your own skills (or that of your team) if you create your own materials! I can't stress enough the importance of consistent branding (that of your business and your book (individual or series)) and creating unique graphics that stand out! 


There are several other things you can do and I'd be happy to set up a consultation to review these and other items you may wish to consider! Please send me an email to request additional information and to schedule your consultation session!  






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