Forget Likes, Saves Will Grow Your Instagram
Say goodbye to Instagram likes and say hello to saves: It’s the latest engagement metric that brands have been obsessed with. And there’s a good reason for it.
Did you know that Instagram has started testing the removal of public likes count in certain markets? It has been affecting the overall engagement negatively. I’ve shared some insights before.
This is why brands are moving to measure the private “saves” as a metric to determine the success in engagement.
Instagram saves are also a key signal for how the Instagram algorithm works. The more saves you get on a post, the more people it will be shown to in the algorithm. What it means is — people find your content worth revisiting again and again. Which, to Instagram, means that your content is worth displaying to a broader audience.
That’s why, in order to grow your Instagram account, you should start focusing on getting more saves for your posts. I’ll share with you a couple of tips to get it done.
What Are Instagram Saves?
An Instagram save isn’t a new feature. It’s already been there for at least a couple of years. It’s a handy feature to “bookmark” the posts that you like and save them in different collections (categories) so that you can revisit them again in the future.
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That little “bookmark” sign under the post (as shown on the left) is how you can save your favorite posts and revisit them, again and again, in the collections that you create (as shown on the right).
Collections are a great way to organize your favorite Instagram posts in a library-like setting. Most importantly, you won’t need to crack your head to remember where you’ve seen it to find the post again.
However, thanks to ever-changing Instagram algorithms, the more saves your posts receive, the more people it will be shown to. It can even possibly appear on the Instagram Explore page. We know that this can translate into more followers and the growth of your account.
Your Instagram saves will be shown to you on your Instagram Analytics page.
The Analytics will also tell you how many people shared your post by forwarding it to a friend (the paper plane icon), how many likes (the heart icon) it received, and how many comments it got (the thought cloud icon).
I think that a “save” of a post is much more valuable than a “like.” Think about it. People tend to double-tap automatically; they seldom consume the content in captions or pay more attention to the post.
I would rank “save” as the best recognition for a great and engaging post. My engagement funnel would be like this:
I like a lot of content on Instagram. It’s temporal and disappears from my feed without any easy way of finding it again.
If something catches my eye, I comment under the post. Compliment the idea or share my opinion.
If I really like something and find the caption informative, I will share it with my friends and suggest us doing it (for example, a picnic by the lake or a trip to Bangkok).
However, if I love what I see, I will read the caption, and I will save the post. Why? Because I find it relevant to me, and I’m afraid to lose it. I want to come back to it and review it again and again.
Don’t you just do the same?
That’s why saves are the new super important metric to measure. It’s like a super-like!
How Do You Get People to Save Your Posts?
Write richer captions
The captions are very important for Instagram. There are many microbloggers who use the platform to document their lives and experiences and guide their audiences.
Did you know that Instagram gives you 2,200 characters for the caption? Long gone are the days when having a heart emoji or a laughing face was enough to engage with your audience.
Today, people value sharing. Have a caption that reads like a short blog post. Engage with your audience on a personal level and provide benefits to them.
Take, for example, @cleanfoodcrush, where the author shares the whole recipe and the cooking instructions to the dishes in the pictures. The account has over 1 million followers.
Or @thefitnesschef_ who also has over 500,000 followers. He writes informative, rich captions that support the pictures.
Microblogging on Instagram has become a very big thing, and it clearly works. Why? Because it provides answers to people who have questions. It’s no longer necessary to Google something to find the answers; we can find them on Instagram.
Come up with evergreen content
I’ve written about the importance of having evergreen content, however, it’s also a very important component to gaining more saves (and subsequently more followers) on Instagram.
People would naturally tend to save something that’s “always true” for later. I noticed that infographics work wonders when it comes to saves.
In fact, one of my favorite fitness accounts is @apfau, who has over 1 million followers. I’ve saved multiple tips, later to realize that they are from the same account, which I ended up following. Adam shares fitness and nutritional advice using videos and infographics that are always true and relevant.
Include a CTA in your captions
Having a clear CTA (call-to-action) in your post can be a powerful thing. Sometimes people may forget to save, and reminding them that such an option exists can gain you extra saves.
Brief reminders, such as “Don’t forget to save this post to view it again” or “If you want to follow these tips, don’t forget to save the post,” can be very powerful. However, don’t sound too desperate.
People won’t save posts that contain information that they already know. Think about it. You wouldn’t revisit what you’ve already seen, done, or tried. You would save something that has a new twist and would benefit you to experience or try something new.
For example, I tend to save a lot of posts for different food-related ideas: Sunday brunch, home-cooking ideas, coffee shops, etc. However, for my coffee shop collection, I wouldn’t save pictures (or posts) from Starbucks — simply because it’s nothing unique. I know where to find Starbucks. I know what to order there.
On the other hand, I would definitely save a post from a coffee shop that has a unique brew or a great selection of fair-trade coffees. Something that I cannot encounter every day and would love to experience. Something that I would most likely Google before discovering.
That’s why you should avoid basic posts. Try to offer unique experiences or tips to your audience.
There you have it.
Instagram saves are the new hot marketing metric that more and more marketers choose to use to track the value of the posts. Vanity metrics, such as likes, will become less and less important in the future (especially if Instagram takes them away for good).
Saves are a great way to measure how valuable your content is to your audience. If somebody likes your content enough to save it for viewing in the future, that’s a huge indication of quality. It means you’re delivering what your audience actually wants to see.