4 things to do (and 1 NOT to do) to build your engagement as a food blogger in 2020
In the past 3.5 years that I’ve been on Instagram, and the 2.5 that I’ve spent aggressively growing it, Instagram has drastically changed. Many of the strategies used in the past, like follow/unfollow, have become increasingly difficult to do, with the platform cracking down on bots, as well as the number of actions you can do every hour. Nobody has completely cracked the Instagram algorithm, and it seems to be changing all the time.
So how do people grow their account and get more likes and follows right now? It seems pretty elusive, but here are some quick and easy tricks to get your account seen by more people!
- Want more people to engage on your post? Engage on theirs! This seems like a really simple idea in theory, but many people look at Instagram as something that you can just set and forget. Accounts, especially larger ones, remember people who consistently like and comment on their posts, especially when it’s more than just a “Nice pic!” I’ve noticed that when I write 4+ words on their post, especially a question, people are more likely to check out my recent posts as well.
- In that same vein, don’t forget to reply to comments on your posts! An easy way to double your comment count? Respond to every single comment that you have on your posts. Even better? Respond to all the comments after you have a new post up. The people who commented will then see that you have a new post up, and they’ll be more likely to engage!
- Check out relevant hashtags to your blog and click “recent.” Then, from the recents page, give a like and a thoughtful comment to the most recent photos. This is the most effective with hashtags that have at least 1 million hits (which means you have a large variety of accounts to choose from). For example, my go-to hashtag for this is #foodblogger.
- Check out blogs with similar follower counts to you, and see who follows them. Easiest way to figure out the types of people who would be interested in following you? Find lookalike blogs (hint: check out blogs that are famous in the hashtags you use) and then click their “followers” list. From there, engage on those accounts – a like, a comment, or a follow could result in the same (or even more) for you. A trick for this also is to go to repost pages like @bestfoodfeed and find followers with similar locations to you and engage on those pages.
And one thing to NOT to do: Don’t make following and engaging feel like a transaction. I cannot tell you the amount of times I get messages in my inbox saying “follow for follow?” or comments that say “You should check out my account!” Writing these types of things automatically sends the message of “I am desperate and I am only in this to build my following.” The only way to really build an authentic following is to engage authentically. That means no caveats, no favor asking (unless you know the account well), and no shameless self-promotion on other people’s accounts.