Many marketers are panicking over Instagram's stated intention to reduce or do away with likes in the near future. But the truth is it won't be the end of the world if you can't use likes to monitor your brand's marketing progress.

There are a number of incredibly powerful ways you can safeguard your social media marketing might apart from Instagram likes. Now is the time to start to diversify and put them into play.

First of all, though, it's important to understand the true impact of likes on a brand's marketing strategy overall. Most likely, you've been overestimating the power of your total number of likes all along. Likes can be a boost to your brand's vanity, and it's great to see lots of people endorsing your products or what your company stands for.

Take a good, hard look at the number breakdown of the likes you get, though. Even if your brand is huge and your posts are racking up hundreds of thousands of likes apiece, your actual purchasing base is bound to be much, much larger.

The same goes for a smaller brand, in that even 100 likes just represents a small portion of that consumers who buy what you're selling. When you look at the numbers in this light, you can easily see that while likes are a positive affirmation that you're doing a great job, they only make up a portion of approval for your brand. Your sales power and popularity will never live or die by likes, no matter what.

Now, this is not to say you should stop promoting and pushing to gain positive feedback on social media. Instead, as previously stated, you want to diversify your approach, to spread out your marketing might across new, diverse, and potentially more fruitful platforms that will truly garner interest in and approval for what you have to offer. Here are five key points to incorporate as you expand your brand's messaging:

Focus more on TikTok.

According to data from Mediakix, TikTok has over 1.5 billion users currently. It's a vibrant format that will bring younger consumers into your brand's target range.

So, study up on the content the specific TikTok demographic you're chasing wants and give them your version of it. Keep in mind too that yes, many of TikTok's most enthusiastic users are teenagers, but they have parents, so this can give you the opportunity to come up with some high-impact, multigenerational messaging.

Shore up your Stories.

Make your Instagram stories even more compelling and engaging. Instagram reports that over 500 million users engage with Stories each day. When you have access to that many potential consumes, it's more important to worry about your larger impression than the number of likes you rack up.

Push harder on user-generated content.

The most recent Sprout Social Index also reports that marketers believe user-generated content will be one of 2020's top trends, so bypass the need for likes by directly involving your demo in content production. That way, you'll effortlessly know what they want to see. Ask them directly for contributions and set up specific sections of your website and platforms where they can post.

Like while the liking is good.

Make sure your team does lots of social listening and likes as many of your audience's posts related to your brand as possible right now. This can build loyalty down the line in a powerful way.

And in the short term? It gets the word out that you pay attention to and appreciate your consumer base, which can win you new fans effortlessly. Then, when these fresh consumers post about your brand, like their posts as well…and so on.

Yet, don't overreact.

Knowing how many likes your brand content gets is beneficial, yes. But building a strong overall message that earns you respect is really the key to sales and a stellar reputation. Don't get lost in the weeds — keep the big picture in mind, and your brand will always shine!