Growing Your Instagram

When I first wanted to start a food blog, I knew it would take hard work and dedication. While working in digital marketing, I managed blogs and the social platforms of several clients. I realized the amount of work and tedious attention to detail necessary to make a blog successful but it wasn’t until I got into it myself that I realized it was A LOT OF WORK. More about that here.

Once I was finally ready to take the plunge and go head first into this whole food blog biz, I handled it like I handle everything in life – I goggled the hell out of it! So here are some helpful resources that helped me get me started. Hope this help you too!

Other resources:

  • How to Start a Food Blog
  • Food Photography Tools
  • Food Blogger Resources

There’s no magic formula to Instagram (or any social media platform for that matter) and, because of algorithms and such, not everyone that follows you sees your posts on a daily basis. It’s great to consistently post on Instagram however you need to do a bit of legwork to be able to grow your following exponentially and make connections with brands and others.

  • First things first, make sure you are providing value with your posts. Make sure when someone goes into your feed, they get something out of it. Whether it’s cooking tips or fitness inspo, people want to follow accounts that give them something in return. They want to connect with you, be educated, feel empowered, and they want to get to know you so don’t be afraid of a little vulnerability (I’m still working on this!). Every post should help solve a problem for them and that’s really what providing value is all about.

It goes down in the DMs!

  • I know it’s scary but there’s nothing better than reaching out and having a conversation with someone. I know sometimes it’s not easy but it’s worth a shot!
    • If you’re trying to work with a brand, send them a DM and ask who you can speak to about working with them. Sometimes they’ll reply immediately!
    • If you provide a service, let’s say you’re a web designer, look through different accounts and check the link in their bio. If they have a website that needs updating or no website link at all, offer your services. Maybe they were looking for a designer and you happen to appear. It can happen!
    • If you’re trying to grow a local audience, send direct messages to profiles in the immediate area (location geotags work!) with a quick message saying something like “Hey! We see you’re in the neighborhood. We’d love for you to stop by ____ and try out ___! We’re located at ____. If you’re interested, let me know. Hope to see you soon!”

Engage!

  • Engage with other bloggers via Instagram Stories. Reply when something is funny or genuinely compliment them on their recent post.
  • Look through hashtags (and location geotags, if you have a local focus) and like/comment on their posts. If you’re a local business, maybe offer something complimentary the next time they visit. Everyone loves free stuff and you may even gain a follower out of it! Btw, you can post up to 30 hashtags on every Instagram post. Take advantage of that!

Host Giveaways + Invest in Influencers

  • Host a giveaway on Instagram. Have users follow you and tag their friends on the post to enter. Make sure the giveaway is relevant to your business. If you’re a local yoga studio, give away a free class. If you’re a blogger, give away your favorite kitchen tool or cookbook. It’s a great way to gain exposure and grow your Instagram too!
  • Lastly, if you’re a local business, I highly recommend investing in influencers. Find other users that are in your niche with a decent amount of followers on Instagram and have them become almost like brand ambassadors for your business, where they post consistently and spread the word in conjunction with your efforts. This will help get the attention of their followers and bring even more awareness to your business.

Again, I’m no expert here and there’s no such thing as overnight success. Social media will continue to evolve as time goes on so in the meantime, I hope these tips will help get you started as you continue to grow your business. :)