It’s been almost 2 months since Instagram began hiding like counts on posts, and according to an article by Android Police, Facebook may be planning to carry out the same international experiment.

As a provider of marketing services within the property industry, we’ve seen our fair share of developers and builders who strive for the creation of posts that will increase the number of likes on their social accounts, in an attempt to ‘trump’ their competitors.

While these metrics can somewhat provide you with an indication of how well your posts are appreciated within your social community, they don’t measure your ability to provide an incredible customer experience, deliver an impressive product, or share content that really matters (and converts) – which are much more important factors to consider.

So, what does the hidden like count mean for property businesses on social media?

The Property Republic Team considers the removal of the like count as a positive initiative for a number of reasons:

  1. Property businesses can now focus on more important social success indicators

Instead of judging a post’s success based on the number of likes it garners, property businesses can begin to measure success by other (more important) factors – such as how many people share, comment, respond to the post’s call-to-action, or visit your website after viewing the post.

Any content marketing expert will tell you that the purpose of having a presence on social media is not to purely achieve likes, but to make a connection with your audience, build a relationship, offer advice and education, and develop a sense of trust. While these goals may not offer the instant gratification that receiving a ‘like’ does, they will provide long-term positive impacts for your brand, such as increased conversion rates and the establishment of a loyal customer base.

  1. Property businesses can now focus on creating educational and entertaining content

On Instagram especially, developers and builders have fallen into the habit of posting content that is sales oriented and visually impactful, but meaningfully weak. In other words, they post high-quality images of renders, interiors, facades and SALE messages that look great, but do little to nurture, educate and solve the problems of viewers. As a result, these images receive a high number of likes due to their aesthetic, but don’t convert audiences or create loyal customers.

With the like count falling redundant, property businesses can begin to adjust the purpose of their content from attracting likes to solving problems, creating connections and providing education.

  1. Property businesses can stop competing based on likes

The number of likes on an account’s posts has become an easy way for property business to gauge their success compared with their competitors. As a result, many developers have begun creating content and boosting posts with the intent of gathering more likes than their main competitors – a feeble motive if you ask us!

Hopefully, now that the like count is hidden on Instagram (and perhaps soon-to-be Facebook), developers and builders will begin to compete on more important bases; such as their ability to provide an incredible customer experience. After all, differentiating your brand through customer satisfaction will prove much more effective than striving for a certain number for Instagram likes.

I’ll close with a quote that perfectly sums up what we should strive for, when it comes to creating effective social posts:

“How do we get found in social media engines? How do we get people to talk about us on social? We better be interesting and helpful, and we better do that on a consistent basis.” – Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute

Hopefully Instagram’s newest initiative will push more property businesses to focus on what’s really important on social media (hint: it’s not likes).