The following transcript was taken from InSights, a staffing and recruiting podcast from Haley Marketing Group dedicated to providing quick-hitting takeaways on Social Recruiting, Content Marketing, and Employer Branding. To listen to the episode, click play on the player above or visit the episode page [InSights] A Marketing Lesson from Amazon
Brad Bialy: Matt, Instagram is making a change to the way the social platform behaves in seven countries. That’s Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand. In a test, the platform has removed the like counter from user posts. (source) How do you feel about this?
Matt Lozar: I want to know why.
Brad Bialy: You want to know why?
Matt Lozar: Yeah.
Brad Bialy: I think I know why.
Matt Lozar: Okay.
Brad Bialy: I think that Instagram is tired of being a vanity platform, that Instagram is tired of being exclusively about likes and the influencer mentality.
Matt Lozar: Okay. I mean, I understand where they’re coming from, and it is a bit of a drug. I have taken a step back, and if you post a picture up there, you do like to see how many likes you get.
Matt Lozar: It’s a bit of a self-gloss, that vanity metric to where my post only gets ten likes or 100 likes, it’s a bit of a drug. I think Instagram, some people probably take that a little too seriously. For me, whatever, I didn’t post good content. Some people take that engagement number and have it very seriously, so if Instagram becomes a place that you post content, I think that’s more just a mindset change of people being able to go to Instagram and not look for the likes, it’s just seeing images or videos.
Brad Bialy: So, Instagram was created to be a photo album, right? It’s a place where you can upload your photos, you can document what you’re doing, you can share your experiences and your journeys through life, essentially, on this platform.
Brad Bialy: For me, I think what ended up starting to happen is this influencer mentality started to take over, where if you don’t get 40 likes on a post within the first hour and a half, you’re contemplating taking it down because it’s not quite good enough. I think that ends up leading to a lot of vanity, a lot of concern for the end-user.
Brad Bialy: From a staffing firm and a business standpoint, you can’t compete against those models. You can’t compete against the Kim Kardashians of the world as a staffing firm. You just can’t. This move, from an Instagram standpoint, I think it levels the playing field. Sure, those posts are being seen by more people. The Instagram influencers still have a larger network, but if individuals don’t know how many people are liking or engaging with content, then the best content continues to resonate well. It’s not about the number; it’s about the value of the content.
Matt Lozar: How will Instagram decide what to show me in my feed? Will it go back to chronological order? Past Matt loved chronological order on Facebook and Instagram.
Brad Bialy: I think Instagram is still going to run the data behind the scenes, I don’t think they’re getting rid of that number or getting rid of that metric, they’re still going to track all of that and use that to their advantage, I think it’s just what the end-user sees.
Matt Lozar: So, we’ll be able to like it, it just won’t tell us how many people have liked it?
Brad Bialy: Exactly right.
Matt Lozar: Oh, okay.
Brad Bialy: What’ll happen then, is if you’re staffing firm is posting content … Great question, Matt. If your staffing firm posts content … This, again, is just a beta test in seven countries, not for the United States yet, but if you were to post something on Instagram and somebody liked it, the other users on Instagram won’t see how many people have liked that.
Brad Bialy: For me, it eliminates the vanity of Instagram, it brings it all back to the community, and brings it just to what Instagram wants you to do, is to bring individuals closer together through photos and videos.
Matt Lozar: So, when I post something on Instagram, it will get likes.
Brad Bialy: Correct.
Matt Lozar: I will see how many likes.
Brad Bialy: Correct.
Matt Lozar: But, Brad won’t see how many likes?
Brad Bialy: That’s exactly right.
Matt Lozar: That’s interesting. I think one of the points Brad said, that was strong, it’s a struggle we have in staffing recruiting because there’s only so much engagement available. As Brad said, you’re competing with the influencers of the world, the politics of the world, the sports of the world. You can post something … Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Donald Trump, Dallas Cowboys, their engagement is going to be through the roof. That’s what’s, I think, very challenging in this industry of staffing and recruiting, is it’s just not as interesting of content.
Matt Lozar: We can make good content here and there, like showing the content of your office, best of staffing, anniversaries, birthdays, company parties, company outings, team summits. That’s the kind of content that can work well. Not having those likes displayed to other accounts will change the way that content is interpreted, but I also think what’s important is if you see … You’re still going to see how many likes are on your content, and then we want to post more of that. That’s still a piece of data that’s available for anyone that posts on Instagram. We’ll see if it rolls over to Facebook and Twitter, too, but Instagram’s testing this out right now.
Matt Lozar: What can you do with that engagement data coming in to continue still to make the right decisions based on the insights available?
Brad Bialy: There’s data and scientific research that shows posting on social media creates a psychological spike. You want to know whether or not your friends like what you’re posting, so the fact that the user can see that is still great.
Brad Bialy: For me, I want to just come back to the fact that it levels the playing field, and it makes it all about the content. Individuals aren’t liking things just because they know a million other people liked this. Good content will always cut through the clutter. I don’t care who you are.
Brad Bialy: Good content for staffing firms will always cut through the clutter.
Brad Bialy: As a staffing firm, this levels the playing field for you to create good content that can compete against the influencers of the world. If you’re creating value for job seekers in your local market, if you’re sharing feel-good imagery of your team, you’re sharing the good stuff. Finger quotes there. It will cut through the clutter, and that is important to remember.
Matt Lozar: It gives you a chance … Just because a popular account posts content and has a million likes already if we see that, we’re going to like it because we’re more inclined to.
Matt Lozar: Brad’s saying, just because the content’s there, the quality of that content is what’s going to set apart the engagement. If you have strong engagement, it receives more impressions.
Brad Bialy: To wrap this up, if we think about what Instagram means for the staffing and recruiting industry, we’ve talked about Instagram in past episodes, about what you should be sharing on Instagram. Really, this change … Again, it’s just a beta test in seven countries, so it’s nothing official right now in the United States. For me, and for Matt, as we talked here throughout this segment, it levels the playing field for the staffing and recruiting industry, and for all businesses on Instagram by not having a vanity metric as the core function of the post. When you can’t see how many people have liked a piece of content, ultimately, the content stands out on its own.
Brad Bialy: We need to create good content that adds value to the end-user, that adds value to the applicant or the prospect, and from there, I’m going to say it one more time, good content will always cut through the clutter.