‘Saves’, my favourite social metric
Since the launch of Instagram, it has ️been ‘likes’ ❤️ that have grabbed the headlines. From Jennifer Aniston arriving on the platform in 2019 with a group shot of the original friends cast, to the famous Egg post that has amassed over 54 million likes so far. Influencers, brands and every day users have judged the success of their social content by the number of ‘likes’ they accumulate. But ‘likes’ are soon to become a thing of the past and have already disappeared in countries such as Canada and Australia.
While ‘likes’ can still be tracked by the owner of the account, the question that should be asked is – are ‘likes’ a meaningful measure of engagement? I believe not.
In my opinion, ‘likes’ as a standalone measure are a metric of vanity. They should not be an assigned KPI or indicator for personal or business success. Why? Because users – consumers or Influencers – often ‘like’ these posts for reasons that have nothing to do with the content or the message. Motivations such as – increasing one’s audience following, peer perception or simply because a friend liked the post – do not prove meaningful engagement. Among other metrics, such as comments and shares, ‘likes’ can substantiate social content performance. But there is one metric that in my opinion is the most meaningful engagement measure of them all… SAVES.
‘Saves’ are a sign of true engagement because they show that consumers find your content to be valuable. Think about it… What did you do as a child when you wanted to remember all the great Christmas presents you wanted or as an adult when you were planning for your new flat? You circled the Argos brochure or folded the corners of the IKEA catalogue. I remember placing post-it notes on the pages of the Toys ‘R’ Us book for my parents to refer to for ideas for presents. These days as consumers, we find inspiration for our day-to-day lives as well as purchases via social media from the likes of brands, Influencers and each other. It may be that we want to refer to a delicious recipe, work out regime or travel inspiration we’ve found earlier on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest. How best to remember these than to ‘save’ or ‘pin’ them for a later date?
With ‘saves’ positively contributing to algorithmic performance, we know the social platforms themselves consider them a meaningful measure of engagement. Now is the time for brands to focus on this metric, and produce content that users consider valuable enough to save for later. These actions will have a direct impact on consumer consideration and intent, that will positively impact brand ROI.
So, remember: if they’re ‘saving’, you’re succeeding.