PRODUCE GOOD CONTENT AND STICK TO YOUR THEME
The best way to get people to follow you and your work is by producing good content. The pictures you post on Instagram should be well shot and relevant. If your’s is a food- blog, make sure you stick to pictures of food. The people who follow you for your food pictures don’t want to see your random selfies or pictures of your garden or even pictures of your cute pets.
Give people what they’re following you for- good food pictures! Along with good pictures, use interesting and engaging captions. You can make them personal and witty. You can use them to initiate a discussion revolving around food or your blog. I often use my captions to initiate a discussion with my followers and to take their opinions. If I’m posting pictures of my pancakes, I’ll ask my followers how they like to eat their pancakes. In the caption for your ice-cream picture, ask your followers what their favourite flavour is. Make it fun, interesting and something the audience can respond to.
No one wants to follow a dead feed. Blogging takes a lot of time and most of us are usually low on patience by the time we get to the social media sharing part but you got to do, what you got to do!
Don’t be lazy and make sure you have an active feed that is updated regularly, preferably daily!
Everyone likes regular updates. Also, there is no denying to the fact that the more you post, the more visible you are. The more visible you are, the more you engage the community. This, however by no means, mean that you start spamming. I feel posting more than two pictures in a day is a bad idea and might annoy your followers. You want to give them regular content but not spam their feed with your food, no matter how yummy it looks!
Not replying to comments on your pictures is not only rude but also disengaging. It is always a good idea to respond to all the comments and direct messages you get. It makes the followers feel acknowledged, which is a pretty decent incentive to stay engaged. It helps you build a community of loyal followers around your work, which is very important. If you are pro-active and respond to the feedback people leave for you, I’m sure they’ll be interested in leaving comments the next time too.
The wonderful community on Instagram has always been very appreciative of the fact that I’ve made it a point to respond to all the comments. They acknowledge the effort you put into interacting and engaging with them . Make them a part of your journey and let them know that you value them and their feedback.
BE SOCIAL AND USE HASHTAGS
One often ignores the social aspect of Instagram. It is not just about posting your content, it is also about engaging with the community. Try and connect with other food bloggers across the world. Look at what they have to offer. Connect and interact with them. It not only helps in your creative growth but also helps you get more audience for what you are posting.
Often people avoid using hashtags because they look ‘tacky’ and ‘un-cool’. The concept of hashtags is actually a magical feature on Instagram. They instantly facilitate your connection with thousands of other instagramers that are interested in what you are sharing. The moment you use #cake on your cake picture, there are more than a million potential viewers for your picture. As long as the hashtags are relevant and you don’t go over-board with them, they are only going to help you widen your reach. But yes, please don’t use #fashion on your cake picture. That is definitely ‘tacky’ and ‘un-cool’. Tag food communities like thefeedfeed and food52 to further expand your reach to a large community of food lovers.
TALK ABOUT YOUR BLOG
If you haven’t done it already, make sure you have your blog’s link in you Instagram bio. Since a lot of people following you, might not know about your blog, talk about it in your Instagram captions.Every time you post a recipe on your blog, pick your favourite picture from that recipe and post it on Instagram. Don’t forget to announce in the caption that the recipe is live on your blog.Now the most important part- do NOT put the link to the recipe in your caption. That is useless. People can’t click on it or even copy it. Always put the recipe link in your bio, where the people can click it and reach the post directly. Posting some old ‘from the blog archives’ pictures with the direct link to the recipe in your Instagram bio is also a good idea to attract traffic.