Food Instagram accounts fill up most people’s feed and I mean let’s be honest, it’s the only type of account that we are ok with not getting the #followback from. From the viewers’ perspective, food accounts are the bomb and seem pretty easy.
Almost a year ago I took the ambitious plunge into the trend and created @bigbellybites, an account that features my vegetarian eats. It was time to stop posting all my #foodporn to @hmayblum and let my food shine on its own. I thought I was going to be a hit for sure. I had an amazing bio, “queen of eating everything that should make you fat,” with killer emojis following. Things were going really well— I was gaining followers and receiving great feedback.
As time went on and I wasn’t an account with 120k after about a month, I thought it was a lost cause. For a solid amount of time @bigbellybites was just another failed attempt of a food account that sat in the Instagram portal for all to see my failure. After assimilating into college and becoming a very active member of Spoon University, I felt the need to resurrect my own account while helping run Emory University’s page.
As I started back up my page, I quickly remembered why I quit and why running a food Instagram is so hard:
Struggle #1: It’s hard to be different
Yes, most of us foodies do go to practically all the same places to capture whatever basic food is trending, BUT if you’re going to post only your own food pictures on your account, something has to be different about your picture. Using only your own pictures means that you need to give followers a reason to follow you, because they will not gain more followers by being featured on your page.
Struggle #2: Getting viewers engaged
Coming up with a creative, original caption is actually harder than taking the actual photo. Followers don’t only look for a good photo, but they also look for a clever caption. Of course I’ve tried the “tag a friend who ___” captions to try and get more followers. What did I learn, you ask? These types of captions don’t work unless you’re in the big leagues and unfortunately 3,000 followers doesn’t qualify these days.
Struggle #3: Followers
It is most definitely not easy to gain all those followers. I mean what am I supposed to do, follow everyone linked through Facebook? NOPE. You know those few certain people you just don’t want to rekindle with or have them judge you for trying, yeah I have a ton of those. So yes, you can say the struggle to gain followers is REAL. But hey, i guess 3,900 followers is better than none.
Struggle #4: Getting noticed
Yes, when I started up my account I inboxed all of my favorite food accounts in hopes that they would post my pictures and their thousands of followers would flow in. A few accounts actually did repost my pictures, but I most definitely did not wake up the next morning with 5,000 new followers. I still do try and get reposted by those big accounts, or even a follow from them to feel like I #madeit.
Struggle #5: Our social media obsession
In today’s day and age, social media is everything. We thrive off of likes and follows. While @bigbellybites is back up and running, the struggle of becoming big is still real. Of course I’ve learned the prime times to post— #SpoonHack: 9 a.m. and 6p.m.— for those of you who are in the dark about that, you’re welcome. Besides posting at the prime time, you also need the PERFECT hashtags to gain more followers. What even are the “perfect” hashtags? That’s obviously not my thing, so maybe that’s why I’m not gaining all the thousands of followers and likes. Either way, like everyone else, I still obsess over the perfect picture, time to post, amount of followers, and number of likes.
There is one thing I learned from creating, giving up, and starting back up @bigbellybites; I like what I do. I enjoy taking pictures of my food and sharing it with whomever wishes to view it. I’ve decided that the followers and likes are just a bonus. I mean, of course I wouldn’t complain if I got them…. so check me out ;).