Likes are a thing of the past. Saves are where it’s at – and brands like yours need to pay attention. Instagram has been testing the removal of likes for a while now, which left brands scrambling, at first, to find a replacement success metric. That success metric is here – the private “saves” metric.
Instagram saves are a signal for how the Instagram algorithm works. The more saves your posts get, the more people will see it, according to the algorithm. That means, if you want to grow your account, focus your efforts on getting people to save your posts. How do you do this? Before I get into that, let’s take a closer look at what Instagram saves are and how the algorithm uses them.
What are Instagram Saves?
They’ve been around for a couple of years, as a way for people to collect and save their favorite posts. All it takes is tapping the “bookmark” icon at the bottom right corner of a post. It gets added to Saved posts so it is easy to find again.
What are Collections?
Collections provide a way for users to categorize saved posts. You can create a collection based on any classification you want to organize your posts with. The goal is to allow users to create a personalized library of their favorite posts.
How the Algorithm Uses Instagram Saves
The more saves your posts get, the more likely the Instagram algorithm will position your posts within the Explore page and higher within people’s feeds. Saves are one of the seven key factors the algorithm uses to rank posts in a feed. These factors include views, likes, comments, and saves. It sees the number of saves as an indicator of quality. The more likes, comments, and saves a post gets, the better – and it’s even more powerful if that engagement occurs quickly after the content is posted.
Why Instagram Saves are so Crucial
Instagram is testing removing post likes from a number of countries. The experiment first started with Canada but has expanded to include Brazil, Argentina, Japan, Ireland, Italy, and New Zealand. As this shift continues, the number of likes a post gets is less important, and the focus is now more about the overall engagement the posts get, including the number of saves and comments it gets.
Businesses are now starting to track the number of saves as part of their engagement rate calculation.
Engagement Rate = (Likes + Comments + Saves) / Impressions x 100
The “super like” term comes from James Nord, the CEO of the influencer marketing platform Fohr. A like is a way for a user to tell brands they’ve seen and enjoyed the content, but a save is an indication that this value is so strong they want to come back to view this content again later.
If you look at the posts that get the most saves on your profile, you can see the kind of content your audience is most connected with, which helps further fuel your content strategy.
Ways to Get More Saves on Your Posts
Not getting a lot of saves on your content? Use these tips to help boost your numbers.
Create Infographic Style Images
Photography is important, but mixing things up is never a bad idea. Infographics are a great way to make data-heavy or educational content more digestible. People may want to save it for later so they can take a closer look at the information on their own time. They serve as good reference material.
Write Better Captions
Your captions need to be more than emojis. Use the space to create value for your followers. Make your captions longer and richer. Think of each caption as a mini-blog post. The more valuable and interesting the content, the more likely your audience will save it. Go above and beyond.
Ask Your Audience
Just like you would ask your audience for likes, you can also ask them to save your content, too. The key is to include a call to action in your post caption. When done correctly, it not only acts as a friendly reminder to your audience that your content is worth saving.
It may feel a little like filler content, but they’re a great way to increase saves. People love to have a collection of quotes to share with their friends and family, so you should create some to include in your regular content rotation. They can be inspirational, funny, or otherwise related to your brand or products.
Aim for Evergreen Content
Instagram moves quickly, and you should never assume that your followers will ever see your post more than once. Timely and new content is important to the algorithm. That’s why you have to create content your audience wants to come back to again and again. Whether it’s a year-long calendar of events, a tutorial, a reference sheet, a checklist, a workout, or something else – it should be something that is relevant to your audience today, next week, month, and year.
Create Tips and Hacks Posts
Who doesn’t love an industry tip or something they’ve found online to help them save time? I’ll never forget when I learned how easy it was to pop popcorn in the microwave in a brown paper bag. Not only is it cheaper, but it also eliminates the chemicals in pre-made microwaveable popcorn bags. It was something I learned online, and I come back to again and again.
If you can craft educational content in this format, you can help users to get to know your products or services while also helping them learn something along the way. That is the perfect way to boost saves.
While there’s no official word on where “likes” stand in the United States, making adjustments to your strategy now to boost saves will certainly help if and when they disappear from the platform here. If you have an international brand, accounting for it now is essential.