Nowadays, every time you hop on Instagram, there seems to be another basic b posting her avocado toast, acai bowl and green smoothie. Food trends are only growing and every Millennial and Gen Z-er is sinking their teeth into the latest ‘it’ food. Hey, I’m loving it, but whether you’re part of a brand or just a hopeful influencer, it may seem overwhelming and far too crowded for you to really make a splash and gain a social media following of your own.
Don’t be discouraged – you can do it! Making waves as a foodie takes a lot of leg work, but just like you crafted the perfect avocado toast, you can master the gram. I’m sharing five tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way to help get you going.
- Engagement: Surely a word you’ve heard over and over if you’ve been doing your research, but this really is key. If you want to receive good engagement you have to give it, too, especially in the beginning. This means ‘liking’, commenting and even entering giveaways – anything to get your name out there. Most of the biggest food bloggers I know answer and ‘like’ fans’ comments in real time, and there’s nothing people enjoy more than feeling like their IG idol notices them.
- Stories: These are e v e r y t h i n g. Look at Stories as a way for your followers to gain a glimpse into your day-to-day life. Think about why you watch other influencers’ stories. What are they sharing that keeps you coming back? Copy cats need not apply, but look at their Stories as a whole. Do they have a theme? Do they always talk about their life and share personal stories/advice? Do they share full-day-of-eats (FDOEs)? Look at the kind of content others are sharing and how you can take that recipe and make it your own.
- Chase brands you love: This is some of the best advice I’ve heard from other influencers. Just because big brands you love might leave the occasional comment on your post or slide into your DMs that doesn’t mean you’re on their radar… yet. I chased Square Organics for months wanting to join their ambassador program. The first time I reached out, they politely turned me down. Definitely discouraging, but instead of turning against them in protest I worked even harder to grab their attention and prove to them I was a great fit for their team by liking and commenting on their content and continuing to share their products on my page. It paid off, because eventually, I got that beautiful acceptance letter inviting me to join their team. Point is, these brands are big for a reason – everyone loves them! So if you really want to work with them, you have to prove yourself and work hard at it.
- Be authentic: You can tell when people are being fake in real life…and you can tell over a screen, too. People actually love to hear real-life things. Not every acai bowl turns out to be a beautiful color. That toast you dropped on the ground trying to snap the perfect photo? Share it. People love to see that behind-the-scenes stuff. Admitting you aren’t perfect and neither is your food is a great way to build a following that feels truly connected to you.
- Don’t give up: There have been several times I’ve wanted to throw in the towel after watching my follower count plummet despite putting in hours of hard work or feeling ‘stuck’ at a follower count. Maintaining and growing a channel isn’t easy. Especially as you battle the ever-changing algorithm. But, remember why you started the channel – you’re sharing something you’re passionate about – and know that you can do it.
Sierra St. Pierre
I’m Sierra, an AC at Hollywood Agency. My personal interest as a fit and foodie influencer drove me to the social side of business. I enjoy working on a mix of consumer and tech clients, and applying my social expertise wherever possible.