On September 18th, four local food Instagram famous foodies held a panel at Boston College on what it's like to run a successful food account. Gloria Chin (@princessgloriachinfeasts and @doublechinbos), Tiffany Lopinsky (@bostonfoodies), Brittany DiCapua (@bostonfoodjournal), and Jerrelle Guy (@chocolateforbasil) all shared their experiences and tips on what made them so successful. 

1. Be passionate about your account

Individuality is what makes an account unique. For Brittany DiCapua, family dinners were important growing up, and she recognized the importance of food bringing people together. She started @bostonfoodjournal simply because she wanted to share her meal with her family and friends, even when they weren't together, so they could see the new restaurants and dishes she was trying. Tiffany Lopinsky constantly followed the New York food instagram accounts and figured why not have one about Boston's local food. Neither even realized they could gain "sponsorships" or use their account to promote restaurants, they were simply trying to share their experiences. 

2. Give your account individuality 

Are punny captions your thing? Maybe photos that are styled all the same way? The trick to gaining followers is to differentiate your account from the hundreds of other food accounts out there. @Princessgloriachinfeasts makes every third photo she posts a picture of food in the air, so when you click on the grid view of her account there's a straight row of food in the air photos. Very aesthetically pleasing. 

3. Post the food you (and everyone) enjoy 

The biggest success posts are those of pasta, donuts, and any indulgent goodies. They all said people love the "goodie" photos. Throw in a healthy photo every now and then, because variety is always good, but if you're just starting out you can always grab your audience's attention with treats they can't resist looking at. 

4. Develop a "brand"

This goes along the lines of individuality. Make your account different than the others by making a logo or something that marks your content as your own. This is the best way to get people to connect with you because when they recognize a brand or certain styled caption, they're more inclined to want to see more of them. @Bostonfoodjournal's Brittany made her first logo in Microsoft Word when she was starting out ― easy and simple. 

5. Stay engaged with your followers and other accounts

rose, tea, cake, Camera, Party, food
Carolyne Su

If you want people to like your photos, you have to like theirs too. Follow accounts similar to yours, comment interesting things, and the same goes for restaurant accounts. This is also a great way to discover new restaurants and see what draws people's attention to accounts.  

6. Post just the right amount

Posting too much can be a turn off... no one likes to see a hundred photos of food, no matter how delicious it looks. But, post too little and you run the risk of disengaging with your followers and disappointing them in the lack of food in their feed. These ladies recommend posting about once a day, but once a week won't kill your account. Additionally, if you reach "sponsored" level, be careful of how much sponsored content you post. 

7. Rely on a marketing strategy

You don't have to be a pro to do this one. Be aware of what photos do well, or if it's the lighting in a picture or the type of food or a caption that changes how many likes a photo gets or if it causes a huge gain in followers, etc. It's a good gauge of how well your Instagrams are doing individually and lets you see what helps it. 

8. Good quality pictures

Half the battle in grabbing someone's attention is the photo. All four foodies agreed that the key to any good photo is lighting. @Chocolateforbasil said the most important part of her photos are capturing the texture of what she's made. Clear photos, good edits, and clean, crisp backgrounds are all of their go-to's. @Bostonfoodies is especially a fan of VSCO. 

9. Try new places

Everyone is reading Thrillist or Eater of the restaurant reviews in the papers, so cover places that aren't being publicized the same way (like foodtrucks or events). This is a great way to get connected with restaurants that are looking to be promoted. And, you can grab your audience's attention by introducing them to lesser known restaurants they haven't heard of or tried yet. Everyone likes to mix it up.

With these tricks, you might just be the next food Instagram famous account. Good luck!