This article first appeared in Anthony’s Daily Post column on 24 July.

Instagram is rolling out a trial update that will hide the number of ‘likes’ a post has received.

The main motivation behind the move is on reducing pressure and helping to improve well-being among users who often stress about how well their content does.

It’s a change, which is being introduced in Australia initially, that I personally endorse, and one that many hope will become a permanent feature.

For brands, they will still be able to access stats such as likes and video views, but this is an opportunity for marketers to move away from vanity metrics and ensure their social media activity actually impacts their overall business objectives.

The first question to ask is: are your company goals in line with your marketing? Are your digital updates linked to, for example, positioning your organisation as the expert for a certain product or service, or supporting your recruitment aims?

Getting hundreds of likes for dog pictures and motivational quotes may look good, but is it helping you win a place on a lucrative framework?

Aim to build a community around the topics you want to be known for. This may lead to people unfollowing your accounts, but a smaller number of truly engaged fans will lead to more success.

To support building a community, research relevant hashtags and identify organisations that already have a good reputation with your target audience to collaborate on digital campaigns.

Consider different approaches for the various platforms. For example, Twitter could focus on your corporate messages and news updates, Facebook could focus on recruitment, and Instagram on promoting products.

Being consistent with your updates, including frequency, type of content, and tone of voice, will help your social media results reach new heights. On the flip side, users like to know what to expect when they scroll through their feeds, and irrelevant or unwanted content is one of the main reasons they disconnect from a brand.

Link in your other analytics to understand the entire customer journey and build a picture of what actions people take after seeing your posts.

For example, view your Google Analytics to see how much traffic goes to your website from your social media accounts, what pages they visit, and how long they stay on your site.

In addition, analyse your Search Console data to view increases in branded Google searches.