Predict consumer behavior on Instagram through your own habits

Mar 20, 2019

For the past seven years at Fohr, we have worked to not only build a company, but maybe more importantly to build an industry. In industry building, we have often come up against a question that we just don't have the answer to, nor the data to unquestionably “know" and in those moments we always repeat a James Joyce quote, "in the particular is contained the universal".  As we look to understand consumer behavior on social, we look at our own behavior to understand how the larger consumer base might act. Let me give a few examples of how that plays out for me;

  1. I have been on Instagram since the day it launched but I have never swiped up or clicked on a link to buy something immediately within the platform, but most of all my purchase decisions are heavily influenced from what I see on the platform. So while brands wouldn't be able to track my purchase back to Instagram as a direct, transparent path to ROI, it is responsible for that purchase.

  2. I like or comment on less than five posts a day on Instagram but spend a lot of time on the platform consuming content, and this is the reason we have walked away from engagement as the main performance indicator of a post, because I know I personally see and remember so many more posts a day than I engage with via Likes and Comments.

  3. I need a really good reason to swipe up on an InstaStory and almost never do if it’s clear the link is just going to drive me to a product page. We try to make sure our campaigns include messaging from influencers giving their audience a real reason to swipe up.

  4. When dealing with campaign briefs, we always ask ourselves if the strategy would convince us to consider, or purchase the product. If it’s a fragrance campaign we ask, when was the last time I bought a new fragrance and what got me to switch, can we replicate those things?

Are these four examples universal truths? Likely not, but when faced with questions in which the answers are held in unacquirable data, we find it useful to look at the behavior of our peers, and our own behavior, and ask ourselves how we act and go from there.

— Fohr CEO James Nord


This was originally sent as an email on March 14, 2019. On March 19, Instagram introduced its “checkout” shopping feature.

To learn more on how brands can better navigate the influencer space, sign up to Fohr CEO James Nord’s weekly email here.

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