Instagram remove ‘Like’ function
Instagram trialled the elimination of its like count in countries including Japan and Australia in July 2019, claiming that it would “remove pressure” on its users who may otherwise feel inadequate. In light of this, it’s certainly possible that Instagram could permanently remove like counts in the future.
This may impact your company if it works, or plans to work with influencers. In spite of the fact Instagram claimed mental health was the driving force behind its tests, sceptics believe removing the like counter would enable the platform to boost its sponsored posts.
Likes have traditionally been an indicator of engagement, value and potential sales. Without a like count, the success of an influencer’s post will no longer be immediately visible, and some brands may worry that users won’t interact with it as a result. On the other hand, posts through Instagram’s ad service will still display metrics, perhaps as a way of encouraging businesses to do their marketing through the platform itself.
Social media directly affects SEO
Since 2014, Google has denied that social media impacts search results, though studies have since exposed a positive correlation between rankings and social engagement. However, SEO experts believe that Google may be gearing up to directly incorporate social media into its algorithm.
The search engine launched Google+ in 2011 which was shut down in April 2019. Google has already been granted patent 9632972, which determines “influence in a social community”, shows how social media influencer scores are calculated, and explains how this score will be stored in association with a particular user. If Google took this into account, a business would have to place even more importance on its social media strategy, as this could have a significant impact on their search page rankings.
The majority of consumers currently use online search to find new products and conduct research. A 2017 survey by Kenshoo revealed that 85% of British, American and French shoppers surveyed were likely to use Google to find product ideas and information, while 72% turned to Amazon. However, social media sites are increasingly being used in the same way. The GlobalWebIndex survey found that 28% of users scanned social media for product research, a number which has risen every year, and is expected to keep growing—especially with people who predominantly use their phones for shopping.
A shift towards more visual search has also been predicted. Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann has claimed that “a lot of the future of search is going to be about pictures instead of keywords.” This is especially important for businesses targeting younger demographics, with 62% of millennials and Gen Zs demanding visual search abilities. As such, your company should boost its visual search visibility by focusing on image-based platforms. For instance, you may want to advertise products alongside similar goods on Pinterest, which already offers well-developed visual search capabilities, and an 8.5% average conversion rate for image-based ads.
Social Media Joins Forces With Siri & Alexa
Two out of three of the top voice searches relate to shopping, with over half of searchers are looking for a product or service, with 44% conducting additional research before buying, and 31% comparing their potential purchases. Furthermore, voice shopping is expected to grow to $40 billion by 2022—a huge jump from its 2018 value of $2 billion.
Already showing as an increasingly popular trend, social media is already being integrated with some voice-controlled digital assistants. This increases access for anyone to find what they need online. In the coming month, we recommend you optimise your social media posts for voice search to help people find your content.
To clarify, this means making your posts a ‘conversation’, for example, instead of using short abrupt phrases like “Chinese takeaway” as in days gone by, voice searches make use of natural sentences—often in the form of questions—such as “where is the best Chinese takeaway nearby?”
Hopefully this will allay any concerns you have about social media in the coming months. If you’re still unsure, we’re happy to help! Have a look at our Social Media Packages.