Is Instagram Removing its ‘Likes Count’?
If you aren’t currently using Instagram for your dealership, it’s a great tool to show the personality that’s hiding within the cubicles. Because Instagram is a photo-based platform, it’s also a great way to show off beauty shots of your vehicles and any unique inventory that sets you apart from your competitors.
But for most, the biggest goal of Instagram is getting likes. Earlier this month a reverse engineer posted photos that showed a version of the platform without the number of ‘likes’ shown below the post, sending shockwaves across the internet. According to an article from Business Insider, “Instagram told Business Insider that this isn’t a feature the team is testing “at the moment,” although the company didn’t clarify whether it could be tested in the future.” So now that it’s been leaked that Instagram may consider taking that feature away, what should be your dealership’s goal be on Instagram?
Strive for Genuine Engagement
Genuine engagement is key and for the best results, should be a daily occurrence. This means not only posting eye-catching photos but also helpful descriptions on each photo — sharing knowledge that will be recognized as helpful or interesting by both the car connoisseur and novice alike. Remember to stick to the 80/20 rule: 80% of your content should be social and only 20% should have a sales-driven message. Walkaround videos, how to set up Bluetooth on a new model, and employee features are great social content ideas. Occasional vehicle features, sharing new incentives, and weekend sales will cover your sales push. Your followers will appreciate your focus on being social instead of trying to sell them a car on Instagram. If you still think you should have a sales driven message multiple times a week, answer this question — do you go on social media to be sold a product? Or are you on social media to connect with your friends, family, and the brands that you care about? Social media as a whole isn’t completely sales driven, so neither should your dealership while using these platforms.
Build a Relationship with Your Followers
Other ways to increase engagement from your followers is to build up a relationship with them. Encourage car buyers to post photos of their vehicles and (after asking permission) share this on your page, congratulate them, and welcome them to the family! Learn about popular hashtags for your brand and location and use them religiously. Even though other people may not be able to see how many likes a photo gets in the future, still continue to like and comment on other accounts and their relevant photos. Don’t forget to keep it professional! Other people can see the photos that you like, so make sure to minimize personal browsing and liking while logged into your dealership’s account.
Although this rumored prototype of Instagram removing the ‘like’ count on photos may affect other industries like influencers, we don’t think that it would change much for automotive. Dealerships should already be implementing an engagement heavy plan and with the right content, other people being able to see how many likes your photos have shouldn’t matter either way.