• What will it Mean if Public Like Counts Go Away on Instagram?

    Instagram is among the most popular social networks, projected to have over 1 billion active users by the end of this year. Law firms can leverage the numbers to build their brands by extending their reach on this platform with informative content. Today, Instagram hosts over 25 million business profiles that use it as a marketing channel with a key metric being the public Like counts.

    Instagram has, for a long time, helped businesses generate sales and leads. It is more than an opportunity to share nice photos of your brand. Instagram Likes have been a central feature of the social platform. Through Instagram likes, law firms have gained credibility, popularity, and created a good brand image with the ability for the public to view their popularity by the Like count.

    Instagram is now, however, experimenting with modifications to their features, including Like counts. Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram, announced this year at the annual F8 conference that the platform would be experimenting with hiding the number of likes on posted photos and videos.  Currently it has been tested in countries other than the U.S. including Australia and Canada.

    What Does Doing Away with Likes Mean for Lawyers?

    The idea behind the removal of like counts for Instagram users would be to protect their mental health. The data and perception is that users seeing low like counts actually experience mental stress and in more severe cases depression and other significant issues. Based on this data, Instagram is considering a full removal of the public Like count.

    The news did not get a good reception by teenage Instagram users. However, it may have some potential benefits to businesses, such as law firms, as well as some challenges. What do the changes mean for the lawyers?

    1. Law Firms Will Finally Combat the Most Significant Influencer Marketing Challenge, Fake Likes

    Influencer marketing has been a useful tool for boosting law firms’ social strategy. Working with the right influencers can help your firm increase brand awareness, extend your reach to your target audience, and build trust. However, as a result of fraudulent influencer activities like buying fake followers and likes, the digital marketing efforts of some less than scrupulous businesses appear to have more authority than they truly did.  This will now be taken away if the Like counts are fully removed. Hiding like counts forces influencers to only undertake genuine influencer marketing, which can benefit your brand.

    2. You’ll Be Unable to Do Competitor Analysis

    With the removal of Instagram likes, competitor analysis will be more difficult. Knowing how impactful a competitor’s post truly is will be more challenging to determine. However, you can still review your firm’s analytics as this is not affected at all. Also, the comments on a competitor’s post can give you insights into their impact on the audience in a greater way that Like counts ever did.

    3. More Focus on Creating Quality Content

    The number of likes on a post typically created a perception of value. That is not necessarily the measure of its true value, however. With the absence of like counts, lawyers have to double down on giving real value through the creation of quality and valuable content to have an impact.  Focus on content that builds trust, that tells a story, and that shows who your firm is.

    What Are the Solutions Going Forward?

    Likes are the tip of the iceberg in Instagram marketing. Law firms can leverage other Instagram features to enhance their brand image and create engagement.

    • Using Instagram Stories to Engage Your Audience

    Instagram has 500 million active Stories users. A high engagement rate on Instagram stories can have the same impact that could have on your audience. You can use the Stories to exhibit the authority your firm has in the niche in place of like counts.  This also shows you are active, uses the most up-and-coming Instagram feature, and keeps your firm top of mind. 

    • Respond to Comments

    In the comment section of your page, you can gauge the popularity of your posts and those of the competitors too. In the comment section, you can encourage your audience to share your posts to increase your visibility.

    Through alternative engagement tactics like sharing content, engaging users in the comment section, hashtags, and followers, you can get the value that was derived from like counts. Hiding likes may seem like a challenge to businesses, especially law firms,  but makes the shift necessary to focus more on providing value for the audiences. It also offers a fair ground for digital marketing through Instagram. Take steps now to evaluate your Instagram strategy and how you measure success. Contact us for further consultation to help you succeed!


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