#SWAAYthenarrative

Likes Are Officially Meaningless, So What’s Next?

Culture

As a marketer and instagram user, I've become less of a fan of the like button. On instagram, the only thing that matters to marketers is your engagement rate. Without likes, how will you know who posts engaging content and who doesn't? How will we determine who the right influencers are if you can't easily tell how engaged their audience is?


There are other engagement metrics that matter just as much (if not more) in determining a user's influence. As a personal user of instagram I believe the like button has become a metric that people, especially users under 30, are using to validate themselves.

There are other forms of engagement that often are overlooked and in many cases can be a more accurate measure of success for a post. What are these metrics? Reach, profile visits, saves, link clicks or swipe ups, and comments. Let's take a look at each and determine why they are essential in calculating an engagement rate.

Reach - this is the amount of people who saw your post pop up in their feed. With Instagram's new algorithm updates, posts typically see approximately a 10% organic reach. When your reach exceeds that number, that is a true victory!

Profile Visits - An Instagram user spots your post on their feed, stops, and clicks through to view your full profile. You have literally stopped a person in their tracks and sparked their interest… huge win!

Share - A share is one of the best forms of engagement because you inspired someone to share your content with their friends. Your audience is now doing the work to get your content seen.

Saves - Someone liked your post so much, they save it. This is the ultimate engagement if you ask me.

Comment - This type of engagement is arguably better than a like… It means that someone had a thought or reaction to share with you. Your content sparked a conversation. This type of engagement will likely replace the like button as the metric to look at to measure true engagement since it will now be the only publicly visible action.

Link Clicks - This means that your excellent content persuaded someone to go to a landing page, which is a huge win for any marketer.

We are currently living in an Instagram-obsessed world and I am becoming increasingly aware of just how dangerous it can be. Why? Because people are using this metric as validation for themselves or their experiences. In other words, they "do it for the gram."

Art exhibits are being designed to inspire instagrammable moments that go viral. Experiential marketing campaigns are monetizing on our desire to capture exciting experiences and create pop-up after pop-up with flourishing selfie walls and insta-worthy activities. While I am not opposed to a beautiful photo and am forever searching for more inspiration, I fail to see the purpose of the like button in these initiatives.

At the end of the day, liking a piece of content on Instagram just means I glanced at it while scrolling through my feed and will most likely never revisit it. If I come across content that really speaks to me, I would rather save it or even comment to join the conversation!

How to Learn Much More From the Books You Read

It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.

Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.

Read with a Purpose

Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.

Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.

Pre-Read

When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.

Highlight

Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.

Speed Read

You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.

Quality Reading

Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.

Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.

Summarize

If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.

Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.