Harnessing Instagram for e-Commerce

Since Instagram began using algorithms to sort posts in user feeds, many marketers have noticed that their natural influence and engagement has waned.

But this is not necessarily your case. In fact, you can now reach more fans without the need for the new Instagram algorithm.

Here’s a short side note: understanding how the Instagram algorithm works can help you figure out how to increase your natural influence in the world of algorithm fonts.


So how do you increase your natural influence on Instagram? Here are 10 powerful ways to do it:

  1. Find your best time to post

Although Instagram now uses an algorithmic timeline, the best time to post is still relevant because it is best to upload when most viewers are online.

If you are using an Instagram business profile, you can view your Instagram information to understand what day of the week and what time of day your followers are most active.

Once you’ve determined your ideal post time, you can then schedule an Instagram post time in advance to help ensure you’re consistently posting high-quality content at the right time.


  1. Experimenting with videos

Several studies have found that photos tend to generate more overall engagement (ie likes and comments) than videos on Instagram. At first glance, photos seem to be more suitable for participation than videos, and it may be so!

If we observe carefully, we may come to different conclusions. News Whip studied the Instagram accounts of 31 news publishers and made an interesting discovery. Although photos get more likes (and overall engagement) than videos on average, videos generate more comments than photos. In fact, on average, videos receive more than twice as many comments as photos.

Not sure if the Instagram algorithm has the same evaluation of likes and comments, or if there is one more. But because comments require users to work harder than likes, the algorithm can put more emphasis on comments than likes and rank posts with more comments than posts with more likes.

Last year, Instagram found that video viewing time on Instagram increased by more than 40% in six months. At this rate of growth, it would be great to test a video to see if it will increase your engagement and natural reach on Instagram.

To make your work easier, you can now use Buffer to organize videos on your Instagram business profile.


  1. Holding contests or asking questions to encourage participation

Asking questions or asking for action is one of the fun ways to encourage your followers to participate in your Instagram posts. We found that holding a lottery is an effective way to attract fans.


Some of the call operations we tested are:

  • Win by sharing your favorite emoji party combination in the comments below?
  • To enter, just mark a friend below who you will “vote” as your favorite marketer, and you will all enter to win!
  • To enter, please mark a friend below who you know participates in sports on social media!


Although giveaway contests usually generate more comments than regular posts, we will try to give you a few months between contests to make things interesting and exciting.

What we often do is ask questions on our Instagram posts. The few posts that we comment the most on (excluding contest posts) are posts with questions like this, this, and this.


  1. Preserve User Generated Content


Preserving user-generated content can encourage these users to participate and share it. Since the Instagram algorithm considers the relationship between users when ranking content in user feeds, establishing relationships with users through Instagram can also help your content rank higher in their feeds.

In addition to organic coverage, Crowdtap found that user-generated content is more memorable and 50% credible than traditional media and other non-user-generated content. This makes user-generated content a valuable testing strategy.

If you want to repost user-generated content to your Instagram profile, we want you to try Buffer for Android or Buffer for iOS mobile apps, which will help speed up the process.


  1. Use of Instagram Stories

According to Buffer’s 2016 State of Social Media report, they found that although 63% of surveyed marketers use Instagram, only 16% have created Instagram stories. Before it gets crowded, there is a great opportunity to stand out!

Instagram snapshots are at the top of the dynamic ranking in the Instagram application. This allows you to grasp the dynamics of your followers and attract their attention more. If your followers check your Stories regularly, it can even help your Instagram posts rank higher on their feeds.

It is worth noting that Stories are also classified by algorithm; it can be an algorithm very similar to the feed algorithm. Take the time to create great stories that help them rank better and focus more quality than quantity!




  1. Live broadcast on Instagram

A similar “trick” is live broadcast on Instagram. When using real-time video, it will appear at the top of the story feed, assuming no one else is broadcasting at the same time. The “LIVE” logo also makes your profile picture more prominent in the Instagram application. The

Social Media Examiner found that the more content they post on Facebook, the higher the exposure of their non-live content. Michael Stelzner said that one of the reasons may be that his brand appears in front of his fans more frequently, so fans can go to his page to view more of his content, even if the fans do not watch the live video.


This effect may also occur on Instagram. Seeing your logo at the top of the post can encourage your followers to view your Instagram profile.

Based on the 2016 State of Social Media report, we concluded that live video has not yet been adopted on a large scale, and only 27% of marketers surveyed have created live video content. Although the percentage may be higher today, I think live video is still unpopular. So this is another perfect way to stand out and provide great content!


  1. Using Instagram Ads

This sounds counterintuitive, but Instagram ads can be an effective way to increase natural coverage.

If you have an Instagram business profile, you can promote your existing posts from the Instagram app.


  1. Fewer posts

When explaining social media algorithms, Michael Stelzner encouraged marketers to reconsider their posting strategies.

I think this is about the allocation of your resources and time. Instead of publishing 20 posts per week, use the same resources and time for one or two posts and make them great to focus on quality rather than spamming your audience with multiple posts in a short period of time.

Quality content that is relevant to your followers is more likely to get a positive response from your followers. In turn, this can help your posts rank higher in your fan feed.


  1. Created specifically for Instagram

One way to create high-quality content is to create content specifically for Instagram. Instagram is a very visual platform. Compared to text, pay more attention to photos or videos. Therefore, a post that performs well on Instagram may be different from a post that performs well on Twitter or Facebook.

For smaller social media teams or individual social media administrators, it can be challenging to always create unique content for each platform. Cross-publishing and repurposing content from other platforms is great too. If you do this, it is better to make a specific headline for each social media platform, because your followers may follow you for different reasons for each platform.

Now with custom posts, you can write custom headlines for each social network. We hope this feature encourages you to be (even) more creative in your social media posts and helps you increase engagement.


  1. Become a huge Instagram user


The last point may be a bit vague, but it sums up many of the above points well. The social media algorithm is designed to encourage real, positive behaviors on the platform, such as sharing, expressing appreciation, and quick responses. They also generally try to prevent abuse or hacking.

My intuition is that being a good Instagram user will help you expand your natural influence over time. These include:

– Post high-quality content relevant to your followers (whether informative, enlightening, or entertaining)

– Quickly answer questions about your posts

– Thank people for commenting on your posts

– Explore other people’s profiles, participate in their posts and build relationships with them

The main goal of Instagram (and most social media platforms) is to make users happy and allow them to enjoy the experience. As a brand on Instagram (and on social media), I think we can do a lot to create great experiences for our fans, which in turn will benefit ourselves.