A food blog about food blogging.

Now is the Time to Promote Your Food Blog on Instagram

If you’re not using Instagram to promote yourself or your food blog, there’s no better time than right now. In fact, Instagram now leads other larger social media networks in terms of user engagement (that is, the degree to which followers of a page “like” or otherwise interact with a post), according to the Wall Street Journal. But this high level of free contact with fans of your site may not last.

A new report by the market research firm Forrester Research, titled “Use Instagram Now,” found consumers are currently much more inclined to like, share, and comment on brands’ posts on Instagram than they are on Facebook or Twitter. How much likelier? Posts by brands and food blogs generate an average of 58 times more engagement per follower on Instagram than they do on Facebook, and 120 times more than on Twitter, the report said.

Forrester attributes these insanely high interaction rates to three main factors. The first is simply the lower numbers of users on Instagram, compared to other networks. Less content means that posts from your site or product won’t get lost in the shuffle quite as easily. Second, Instagram tends to show you all the posts from your network, without trying to “filter” results to show you the things they think you want to see. This means that ALL of your fans are likelier to see ALL of your posts. And finally, Instagram’s users tend to skew younger…and younger people are more likely to engage with your brand on social media.

It’s not all good news, however. The report warns that Instagram’s numbers will inevitably drop, meaning that the time for blogs, brands, and products to get active on Instagram is NOW. As more and more advertisers discover the network, Instagram will have no choice but to begin to filter content according to a “relevancy” algorithm, the way Facebook does now. Now that Instagram is owned by Facebook, it’s not inconceivable that the network will experiment with post “reach,” similar to the way the network has crippled fan pages.

As always, bloggers and brands should remain nimble, be careful not invest too heavily in one social strategy, and be ready to switch to new services as they emerge.

“Instagram delivers best-in-class social engagement rates for brands today, but it won’t last,” the report concluded. “Marketers must use Instagram now, before it changes the rules – and they must be ready to move on to another social site when Instagram’s phenomenal engagement rates disappear.”

To see how we use Instagram to promote our food blog, please add @FromAwayMaine to your Instagram feed.

About Malcolm Bedell

Malcolm is one-half of the blogging team at From Away, an Alexa-ranked top 100k most trafficked website about cooking, eating, and food culture in Maine. A social media marketing strategist by day, his food writing and photography has been featured in Bon Appetit, LA Weekly, Serious Eats, and the Huffington Post.

Comments

  1. Now that I know Facebook is involved, you can be sure I WON’T spend my time in Instagram. I have a Facebook page with more than 4000 followers and Facebook showed one of my posts to just 129. My “high” posts are shown to just 600 people. I am so disgusted with the choke-hold access to my readers I no longer promote the facebook page and encourage conversations move to the forums of my website.

    I also tried facebook advertising – that was a joke. $10 and I it was only shown to 100 people – not spending anymore money there, either. New posts and discussions post there automatically and just visit to talk to my friends on my personal account, now.

    You can bet I’m not going to be spending any time on Instagram, build a following and direct my readers there just so Facebook can just take it away.

    Yes, I’m disgruntled.

    • It’s true: Facebook has throttled organic reach (more on this in a later post). But that doesn’t mean you should preemptively dismiss Instagram. Part of marketing your blog successfully on social media is being nimble, and being ready to move on whatever the next big opportunity is. Just because Instagram results may get watered down in the future, doesn’t mean you can’t get good results from them right now. Step lively. Don’t get emotionally invested. Keep dancing. :)

  2. This is interesting. I am going to try instagram for sure.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. I LOVE Instagram–it’s my favorite social media platform by far, at least from when I’m wearing my “user” hat. However, it’s very hard to track visits from Instagram to a blog or site, since only profile links are clickable. I’ve thought about using trackable TinyURLs or something like that, but haven’t tried it–any thoughts?

    Also, I think I have a different perspective on Facebook than most, because I’m not really upset about what they’re doing (although I probably will be upset if they mess with Instagram). I see it this way: Facebook has never been one of my top sources of traffic (except for the one day that a very popular blog shared one of my posts), so I’ve never come to count on it. If Facebook shows my post to only 100 or 200 people, I’m still fine with it; my theory is that many of those people would not have seen that content at all if they hadn’t seen it on FB. I still appreciate the platform, for what it’s worth, because it makes it easy for my readers to interact with my page in multiple ways (private message, timeline post, “like”, comment, tagging my page in a post, sharing, etc.).

  4. This is very useful information. I have been thinking about this for a while, that I saw so many food bloggers built up huge followers in Instagram, but it’s time consuming for me to add another social media account, after Twitter, G+, Facebook and Pinterest. But now I decided to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I’ve just started my blog and after getting feedback from a couple of other bloggers, I’m going to to focus my efforts on Instagram and Pinterest, without using Facebook. I’m not sure if this a good tactic or not yet, but I prefer the look, feel and community on Instagram and don’t want to be updating too many sites. Time will tell. Thanks for the post.

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