In November 2019, Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri, announced a few changes coming to the popular social media app.
NB: This is an article from Travel Media Group
The most controversial of the updates is that the company is going to start hiding the likes feature for some of its users in the United States. Instagram already started hiding likes in other countries such as Canada, Australia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, and New Zealand back in July 2019. They are continuing to slowly implement the change and gather feedback.
Mosseri said that the main purpose of this change was to focus on fixing the negative effects that social media has on their user’s mental health. By hiding likes, the idea is to encourage users to create more authentic content and help combat the comparison of one user’s success to another in unhealthy ways. Studies have shown that Millennials and Generation Z have been the most affected by this. While Instagram is a platform based on creativity and building communities, some content creators tend to focus on clickbait and misleading content rather than information that would truly be useful to their followers.
So what does this mean for your Instagram Business Accounts, like the one for your hotel property?
Business owners and marketers alike were surprised by the announcement that likes would be hidden on Instagram. After all, many social media community managers currently consider likes a primary part of their performance metrics. If you’re concerned that travelers and guests won’t be able to like your photos anymore, you don’t have to worry. To clear up any confusion, the ability to actually like posts is not being taken away.
You will still personally be able to see how many likes your posts receive, however, the actual number will be hidden from your followers. Luckily, in terms of analytics, the number of likes a post receives is only one of many data points that you can use to measure the performance of the content on your Instagram Business Account. Many social media industry leaders say that likes are actually the most superficial measurement out of them all because they are less valuable to a business than followers, traffic, and comments.
Likes can also be unreliable as some companies and social media influencers actually buy fake likes from online bot services. To truly measure the success of your content you should really be looking at analytics such as how many websites visits you receive after a post or how engaged your followers are in the comment section. These are the numbers that can show monetary ROI, as your website visits and booking clicks are trackable and lead to actual transactions.
How can you start taking advantage of Instagram’s announcement?
A great place to start is by focusing on building engagement through guest comments and encouraging travelers to visit your website. Showing your followers the type of experience they will receive while staying at your property is the best place to start. Post photos of your property that catch their eyes and keep their attention. Include bright images or videos and provide information about your area or things to do nearby. Add an enticing caption to further drive their interest and a call to action. It is also important to engage with your followers if they are leaving comments and starting discussions. Instagram is moving toward a more personable and authentic user experience.
By putting a unique voice to your property’s content, you are not only going to start building a solid online community, but you will also gain the trust of your followers. If you can show your followers value and focus on their experience with you online they will be more likely to book with you over your competitors.