The first two fabled words from Adam Mosseri’s tweet that triggered shockwaves through the digital advertising space last week. Facebook’s head of Instagram then followed up with something even more alarming: “We've been testing making likes private on Instagram in a number of countries this year. We're expanding those tests to include a small portion of people in the U.S. next week. Looking forward to the feedback!”
Why? Considering just under 80% of US marketers (emarketer) find Instagram posts to be the most effective form of influencer marketing - for perspective, only 23% of US marketers feel the same way about Facebook posts - it comes as no surprise that the potential dismissal of the most basic measurement of content performance has raised questions over how this will impact the industry. Especially within the mainstream media, journalists are ready to merge Instagram removing likes with the downfall of influencers as if they are contingent on each other. This is a one-dimensional view of the industry - centred around ‘likes’ being the sole currency of the influencer space.
All that Glitters is not Gold
‘Likes’ have, for a long time, been branded as a superficial metric for displaying advertising performance. For brands who are still new to this space, falling into the trap of allowing a creative strategy to be replaced with setting and chasing engagement rate targets, is a common mistake. It negates creativity whilst playing into the hands of fake followers and superficial content creation.
Looking forward, how should marketers and creators react and benefit from a potential shift away from vanity metrics to finding deeper value amongst influencers?
Whether a campaign is product-based or building brand awareness, the focus will evolve to adding niche creativity and stimulating authentic dialogue for brands. For instance, our collaboration with Burt’s Bees was entirely driven by promoting their message of sustainability. Or our collaboration with Net-A-Porter, which centred around endorsing five artists and their unique skill set, showcased the brand’s willingness to invest in the independent creative community.
@missholldoll working alongside the dramatic power of nature for Burt's Bees