Instagram is changing the way we eat as a society. Instead of going to Yelp, Google, or Zagat first to find the most popular places to eat, people are now turning to Instagram. Food Instagram accounts have become the ultimate restaurant guide, gaining hundreds of thousands of loyal foodie followers from around the globe.
Being in the city of DC, the biggest problem for two foodies is finding the hottest places to dine. When we were accepted to George Washington in DC, the first thing we did was obviously cry tears of joy and then follow all of the popular DC food Instagrams to scope out the food scene and to start to navigate the city.
You could say it was love at first sight: two foodies who lived on the same floor in the same dorm with the same passion, an endless appetite, and hunger to find the best restaurants in DC. Naturally, District Foodies (@district_foodies) was born.
We started posting, and word spread. That’s when we learned the keys to food Instagram success.
1. Follow your passion
For us, it began with the stuffed french toast from the famous DC farm-to-table restaurant, Founding Farmers. If you haven’t been, 3 words: red velvet pancakes. (And if you haven’t already noticed, these foodies have special places in our hearts for brunch). We created the account on a whim, thinking that it would be a cool way to keep our friends both at home and in college up-to-date with our foodie finds.
2. Hashtags and tags
By tagging popular hashtags and having your own unique hashtag for your account (for example #districtfoodies), you can engage with your followers and get more people to like and comment on your photos. We always make sure to tag our favorite DC restaurants, bloggers and fellow foodstagrams for a chance to be featured on their Instagram pages, which attracts more followers and builds a strong base of loyal supporters.
3. Carbs and sweets – lots of them
Desserts, fried foods, anything with bread — basically anything you would feel super guilty eating but would love every second of eating it anyway. These sinful meals really do get more likes and attract more followers, and besides, who can resist liking a picture of a Black Tap milkshake or a big slice of decadent chocolate cake?
4. Quality over quantity
The lesson here is that followers want high-quality pictures, not an abundance of them. We make sure to post at least once or twice a day at our prime photo times (around 12 in the afternoon and 7 at night), and we plan these posts over a week in advance. We also make sure to post a variety of different food pictures in addition to colorful food pictures, which makes our Instagram look aesthetically appealing and helps attract more followers to our account.
5. Punny captions are the key to a follower’s heart
At this point, we’re the queens of food puns. Give us any kind of food, and we’ll be able to match it with a food pun. Not only do these puns appeal to both old and new followers, but these puns also are sure to put smiles on followers’ faces.
6. Don’t be afraid to follow people
Don’t be afraid to put your food Instagram out there. Follow all of your friends, family, sorority sisters, and other food accounts. Remember: all publicity is good publicity.
7. Filters are not your worst enemy
You don’t have to keep your food pictures au naturel. Sometimes the pictures look better if you change the brightness and contrast or add a light filter.
8. Find your inspiration
Our ultimate inspiration behind the creation of District Foodies is one of the most famous food Instagram accounts based in New York City, New Fork City (@new_fork_city). Their account, like ours, is run by everyday college girls who love all things food and #eatfortheinsta.
9. Build a food network
Unintentionally and 18 weeks later, District Foodies has grown to almost 7 thousand followers, and is still growing. Our daily posts attract the countless foodies in the DMV, and we average about 100 new followers each day. Our DMs and emails are filled with pictures and people asking for recommendations on places to eat, which we never thought would happen to our account.
Not only are we helping foodies find their new favorite dishes and eateries, but they are helping us find new places to check out and add to our list. District Foodies has become much more than just a food Instagram, it has become a food network. As always, keep #eatingfortheinsta and tag us, DM us, or use the hashtag #districtfoodies to be featured.