Some time ago food blogging was quite simple. You would launch a blog and start talking about the food you cook. You took pictures and growing a following was pretty straightforward. Nowadays, things changed. There are literally millions of food bloggers out there. This is the competition you are faced with so social media becomes paramount for success.
The problem with many food bloggers is they do not know much about how to use social media to maximize the exposure they get. Thankfully, most of the things you have to do are simple and you do not have to worry too much.
The main advice that I have to give for food bloggers that want to expand their social media reach is presented below. Feel free to add your own tips in the comment section if you want to.
Mainly Focus On 3 Social Media Networks
Many food bloggers that are at the start of their journey build social media accounts on as many networks as they can. This is incredibly time consuming and it is really hard to properly manage all of them. Dealing with only 3 is always a better idea.
The reason why I say 3 social networks is that the most successful food bloggers out there often use just 3 networks:
With Facebook becoming less and less useful, you can move towards YouTube, in the event you can create video, of course. In fact, the sooner you start with YouTube, the better since video content is much more effective, although hard for the beginner.
Besides the 3 social networks you choose, you can go for extra accounts like Tumblr, Pinterest and even use Reddit and anything else you would be comfortable with. However, focusing on just 3 main social networks helps you to build a community and basically be much more effective.
It Is Called Social For A Reason
Just as what I mentioned when I talked about social media tips for personal trainers, it is really important to interact with people following you. The food bloggers that only use their pages to share links and do not interact with fans will never become popular. When you want people to keep coming back you need to show off much more than your food. Your personality is also important.
In the event you cannot interact with your followers because you do not have time, you want to reduce the number of social media channels you use. It is better to be really active on one than not at all on three.
Visual Content First
Storytelling is big and the actual food content you have on the blog is important but on social media it is the visual content that is going to attract you. Using websites like Canva or Design Wizard is normally recommended.
Sharing videos and images with a good description is going to help in a niche that is highly visual. If your visual content is not appealing, social media will not work as great as it could.
Take it one step further and invest into a really good camera. You basically want to have people want to eat the screen when they see the content you offer. If your images are mouthwatering it is a certainty people will be tempted to follow and keep coming back.
Sharing content from others on your social accounts is really valuable due to various different reasons. If you talk to any digital marketing specialist you will be told that you should share more content from others than from you. One of the reasons for that is that you end up having really good content shared every single day. When you blog it is very hard to have just really good content. Sharing from others makes this so much easier so your social profiles are going to be really attractive.
If you share someone else’s content you want to credit that person and add the mention. Those people are going to notice and can interact, making the entire profile much more enjoyable for followers.
The general recommendation is to share 80% content from others and 20% content from your blog. This is a good rule of thumb but do experiment. It all depends on how good your content is and how often you can create it. Sometimes sharing a little more from you is a good idea.
Further Reading: 21 Places for Finding Social Media Content to Fill Your Schedule
Schedule Content In Advance
When you have a social media presence that you care about you want to be active. Since you do not know what happens tomorrow, having content scheduled is something that you do want to do. This is true for social media and even for your blog posts, if possible.
As you schedule content in advance you just need to visit pages, check response and interact. Reach tends to decline if you do not often use your social media profiles, especially when referring to Facebook.
I personally love using HootSuite for scheduling but you might want something else. Sprout has 8 recommendations to consider right here.
Focus On Results, Not Numbers!
Way too many beginner food bloggers want the very big numbers. This is not a good approach since you can have just 300 followers and be more influential than someone with 3,000. Way too many just think about numbers when quality should be the main focus.
What you are interested in is being influential. Examples of things that you want to achieve through food blogging and your social media experience include:
- Having followers that follow your advice.
- Having your recipes appreciated and used by followers.
- Having followers that do go to try the restaurants you recommend.
- Having people ask questions about what they can improve.
All of these are much more important than how many followers you have. Think about Gordon Ramsay. Everyone knows him because of all he does and how he interacts with followers. Developing a unique style and making people aware of it should be on the back of your mind at all times in social media.
Try New Things
The really successful food bloggers always adapt on social media as they understand the fact that people change. They also need to change. As a food blogger that grows your fan base you automatically get new people with different tastes. There is a pretty good possibility that what helped you reach the level you are at is no longer effective for growth or your engagement is lower than it used to be.
Never be afraid to experiment. In fact, take it one step further and ask for feedback when you do something new. For instance, if you film a new cooking video, use social media to ask people to give you their opinion. This gives you your own personal social media “recipe” that works for you. Eventually, that recipe will change.
Although hashtags do not work that great on Facebook, they are really effective on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. You want to use them since they expose your content to a wider audience. The problem for many beginner food bloggers is they do not know what hashtags to use. Check out this article on Sprout Social to help you get a better understanding of hashtags.
As some extra tips about using hashtags as a food blogger, remember the following extras:
- Use hashtags at the end of your posts since you want people to read the text, not focus on what hashtags you use.
- Use general hashtags like #recipes #foodblog #food #dessert.
- Use less popular hashtags that have a lower coverage like #vegetarianbreakfast #strawberrydessert.
- Learn how many hashtags to add on the network you use. There are differences between social media channels and a number of tags may work better for you than others.
- Start your own hashtag that is easy to remember and that you can brand.
Take Time To Write An Engaging Post Description
It is not enough to post a link or an image and then just one line if you want to be highly engaging on social media. On Twitter you can use 200 characters and the rest can be used for hashtags. On Instagram you can write a lot more. The idea is that people are attracted by stories and what you say. Do not just mention the name of the recipe you share. Tell people what made you choose that recipe, cook it, what memories the recipe “wake up” in your mind and so on.
When your post description is thought out and you really focus on it, people are going to notice. Do not just take one sentence from your article and use it as a description. You already have that automatically done by most social networks as they catch the description of your page and use it to describe links. Write unique content for your post shares just like you write them for food blog posts, only much shorter and more to the point!
Extra Reading: 9 Tips To Help You Become The Ultimate Food Blogger
If you want to grow as a food blogger you will need to deal with the competition and you will want to keep working on growing engagement. Content generation should be a priority for you for both your blog and social media. Take the time you need to learn as much as possible about your current and potential audience. Then, try to offer exactly what people are looking for. It is difficult but you will get it in time with perseverance.