Instagram Tips for Chefs to Improve their Instagram Following
Want to establish a cult following for your culinary biz without spending a dime? Instagram is the vehicle to make it happen. Here are a few Instagram tips for Chefs to increase their following.
Social media has proven to be a powerful marketing tool for brands and businesses in almost every industry. The culinary realm is no exception. In this Instagram-obsessed era, expanding your culinary brand’s online presence and visibility is more important than ever. While paid advertisements and word-of-mouth are great, forgetting to optimize your social media to elevate your brand would be doing your profession (and bank account) a major disservice.
As a chef in the modern world, cameras are as essential to your craft as a spoon and chef knife. While consumers have always loved eating and photographers have always appreciated the beauty of food, Instagram has changed food culture forever. Thanks to Instagram, amateur-friendly editing apps, viral content, and the birth of IG influencers, it’s easier than ever for anyone to be a food critic with magazine-quality photos and captions.
There is no doubt that the digital foodie-craze is here to stay and chefs would be smart to learn from it and cater to it when running their business. Knowing how to harness the power of Instagram can cultivate a larger following, bring in more customers, and elevate your brand in ways that simply weren’t possible just a few years ago — all for free and at the touch of your fingertips.
Here are some ways for chefs to stay Instagram-able while working in the kitchen and bring more customers to your table:
1. Switch to a Creator Profile
Using a personal account for your business means you’re missing out on valuable features that could optimize your exposure. Switch your account to a creator profile via your settings to unlock exclusive features like insights and ads. These features aren’t available on a basic personal account and give you the tools necessary to maximize your reach on Instagram. For instance, you’ll be able to analyze your audience’s behavior and optimize your content to boost the demand.
2. Use Hashtags
Speaking of optimization, killer content is just the start. Hashtags can be a driving force in getting your posts in front of more eyeballs so use them. There are over 178m pics tagged #food on Instagram and over 56m tagged #foodporn. Like these, there are thousands of culinary-related hashtags relevant to your chef-stagram. Take time to do a little research and find the ones that make sense for you to help you reach even more people. Some common hashtags include: #chefslife #chefsofinstagram #theartofplating #artofplating #foodart #chefstable
3. Take Better Photos
This is probably the most important of our Instagram tips for Chefs. Instagram is all about aesthetics and visual storytelling. Lucky for you, you don’t have to double as a professional photographer to get swoon-worthy food pics on Instagram. The right lighting, editing app, and filter can go a long way. Watch a few tutorials and try experimenting with different kinds of posts till you find what works. You’ll know you got your visuals right when you start noticing a boost in your engagement rates. Pro tip: think of a theme or format for your Instagram grid (your profile) and stick to it. For instance, maybe your thing can be that all your photos are taken from overhead with every other photo being a chef-related quote. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative!
4. Interact with your Audience and Other Creators
Don’t just post it and forget it. To stay Instagram-able, you have to take time to engage with your followers. Not all influencers and content creators put focus on doing this, so putting effort into engaging with your audience can set you apart from other creators in your niche. Use poll features for recipe suggestions and content feedback, to ask questions about ingredients, or to reply to comments and tagged posts. Don’t neglect other creators either — tag your favorite brands, interact with influencers, and build relationships. You never know when your favorite brand might hook you up with free merch (like your favorite chef’s knife or apron) in exchange for some love on your account and vice-versa.
5. Stay Active
Consistency and frequency are key in being successful on Instagram. Make a content creation schedule and stick to it. By doing this and posting regularly, you can use teasers to engage with your audience by keeping them waiting for your “Friday Night Dinner Recipes” or “Craft Cocktail-of-the-Day”. When accounts get too passive, they lose momentum and people move on. Stay active and stay consistent to keep their attention.
As a chef, mastering Instagram is simply part of the game today. While it might take a little trial and error at first, you’ll find that you can be Instagram-able without having to master digital marketing and photography. Most importantly, remember that while it is a tool for your business, it doesn’t hurt to have a little fun with it. Just like you experiment with recipes, don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to Instagram. Who knows? You just might be the next viral sensation.