Creating Engaging Food Stories through micro blogging is a tricky path. Micro blogging on Instagram is done through the medium of captions & the stories. Now a caption by definition is a brief explanation accompanying an illustration. Brief! So unlike over here in the web land where we like a meaty worded text you have to think small!
Does thinking small mean I can’t achieve big?
Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact a quick snappy message sticks longer than a long drawn out message, we only have a short attention span right?
Those ‘Insta-Cook’s’ use the platform Instagram to share the recipes along with the food post’s. Some may use the space for restaurant reviews and other forms of marketing. I have always liked the idea that the food brings you to the table and the caption starts the talking.
The more comments you can achieve then Instagram is always going to help your post do well. We will touch a little on the Instagram Algorithm later. I don’t want to focus too much on the mathematics behind the machine except to say Higher Engagement Higher Reach.
So with all this in mind I wanted to take a deep look into how creating a killer food story combined with a great layout so we can all improve our reach, engagement and look with our posts.
What are we going to cover.
Lets drive down into what we need to look at to improve our Instagram captions and ultimately get a higher engagement.
- What is micro blogging & why Instagram?
- How to combine Instagram & micro-blogging.
- The layout behind a good post.
- What are Hashtags.
- Where to find Hashtags.
- Following up with Engagement.
- Using Instagram Stories.
- Using Multi Channels to get seen more.
- Instagram and that algorithm.
What Is Micro Blogging:
To get an understanding of what we are trying to achieve let’s first look at what do we mean when we say a micro blog? Essentially Micro-blogging is using a social media site to share quick updates and important content with your audience.(We are focusing on Instagram here, many other platforms available…..) Twitter is a prime example but for us we want to celebrate the image and add value to the text. Let’s look into using Instagram to Microblog.
Creating Engaging Food Stories with Instagram
Instagram is all around pictures. We are in the business of taking food photography so a picture sharing place is going to always work well here. There are many other apps out there but most of my success has come from the gram.
We know our food picture is looking rock on so here we can use Instagram to our advantage. By grabbing the attention of the audience using a picture and a great caption we can get the Engagement Flowing. From here we can also use the Instagram stories feature which is going to drive engagement through the roof.
To use Instagram & use it well you need to have fantastic content we all know that right… How many times have we sat and listened to some webinar harp on for half and hour only to tell us the secret to greatness is to have amazing content? That will always be obvious. Get the picture right.
Combining Instagram & Microblogging
To combine the two we essentially need to come up with a story that matches the food. For example a recipe, or we could focus on the stories behind the food. Find the story and your reason to post. For me life is one big story and it really is how you tell it that matters. If we can tell a short story around the food, create an engaging question and of course always wish our amazing followers well then the engagement will always follow. We do need to do a few things to help Instagram get our message across which will move onto in hash-tagging later on.
The layout behind a good post
To create a great post always starts with a great layout. If your message is easy and clear to read you can bet far more people will take the time to read through. If you have a big chunky block of text a reader is far less likely to take in the information. One of the best ways to create a clear reading set is to break the text down into small readable chunks and have those separated clearly by using a full stop. Here are a few examples.
Spaced Out Instagram Post
In this post here you can see that we have started with a hello and a little introduction into whats happening in my life bringing a touch of personality to the post. From the hello as the post moves on we have a space created though a full stop. again bringing the information down in to bite sized reads.
From there we move on to the story behind the food. It’s a simple 2 sentence paragraph tying to bring a touch of humour to the post. From there it is another space break and then we finish wishing everyone well and sending out hopes for a great weekend by sharing what is happening with mine.
we then finish on the hashtags, we have a whole section covering hash tags a little later on so all we want to say here i just to add some space between the writing and the hashtags. In the example above I only had one dot for spacing which is less than I would normally use. Usually i would have 3 dots down to create even more space.
So if we take a look at this post here you will notice that there is no space between any of the text. Noticed how it’s all just one big block. While we still have the story we have no welcome and no ending. Here we are not giving the readers any reason to engage and if you notice the likes and comments are far lower than on the well laid out post.
So to summarise, think of your post as a story, have a start (introduction) a middle (the story) the end (an engaging question and wishing the readers well) then spaces and your chosen hash tags.
Creating Engaging Food Stories Using Hash Tags
Every post you create can be accompanied by the caption and a few hashtags (up to 30), and these hashtags help in the process of content discovery.
Using relevant, targeted hashtags on your posts and stories is still one of the best ways to get discovered by new audiences on Instagram. This can translate into more engagement & more followers. A post with at least one Instagram hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag. So it really is worth creating a hashtag strategy if you want to grow you account!
Where to find hashtags.
There is a number of ways to find the most engaging hash tags. You want to spend some time looking at your competitor accounts and also those at the top of their game in your chosen field. Studying a few of their hash tags can be a way of finding whats working well.
Instagram will help you with finding hash tags too, as you type a hash tag Instagram will show you whats coming up and how many times the hash tag is being used. Using this method will help you pick those killer hashtags and get your post engaging in no time at all.
Also there are hashtag apps that take the hard work out of finding the hashtags. However sometimes these might be a little too generic and not as niche as you would like. Using your own research and the apps as a guide is by far the best way to discover what works for you.
Following up with engagement
So your killer pic and well worded caption are out on the world of Instagram what do we do now? Well we could just post then go about our day and check in later see how it’s doing or we could now spend a bit of time helping it along. Straight from posting you want to make sure you go on a little bit of a like and comment spree through your timeline. This will encourage people to come see whats new with you.
The most important part really is keeping up with the engagement on your own posts. Absolutely one of the best way to improve that engagement here is to reply to every comment that hits your post. If you have 4 comments and comment back to all 4 well guess what you now have 8 comments.
Instagram will always boost posts that do well and if you have more comments Instagram is going to start showing this post to more and more people. This will help improve your reach and get more and more people seeing your Instagram.
What if the comments are just emojis? Well I would write a 4 word answer back to even those comments as that will help the engagement too! If i just got a happy face I Could write back ‘glad to see you smile.’ Doing this is a sure way to get more comments as people will notice that you will take the time to talk back to them.
Using Instagram Stories
Whenever a new post hits my feed it hits my stories too! You can add a new post to your story by clicking on the share button and sharing to your story. This is another way of making sure as many people as possible are going to see your post. Plus if you hashtag in your story well you might even gain some new followers.
Instagram stories are such a vital part of Instagram and using them well is a great way to have your account heard more by Creating Engaging Food Stories You can reach a lot more accounts each day. Try to utilise your stories as many times a day as possible. Without being too spammy of course remember always have a reason to post.
Using Multi Channels
To make sure all my posts can be seen by as many people as possible for each post that goes out it is automatically shared between Facebook and Twitter. This way I am casting my net out as far as possible and the bigger the net well the higher the engagement.
Sharing your post on Facebook is super easy as you can click on share to Facebook when you post. You can do this for Twitter too but I am going to give you a whole speech on why you DON’T SHARE TO TWITTER DIRECTLY THOUGH INSTAGRAM!
Sharing posts to Twitter.
Don’t click on share to Twitter, read this instead and see how it should be done!
If you have shared your Instagram posts to twitter you will have noticed that you have a lovely little link instead of your picture. This looks terrible and wont get you any engagement at all. We want our well taken pictures to shine all over the internet not just a little link.
To change this we can use an app. The best app I have used for sharing my pictures is the IFTTT app. This app is really well created and has a bucket load of options. The option we want is ‘Tweet your Instagram’s as native photos on Twitter.’ When you have this app it will automatically post the pictures and you will see them in all their glory.
Take a look at these 2 screenshots of a twitter posts and you will see the first that is shared through Instagram and twitter and the second picture is shared using IFTTT
Instagram & The Algorithm
Instagram has to decide which posts to show people and they do this by using a magical algorithm. This is one of their most closely guarded secrets, just like the colonel at KFC keeping those blend of herbs and spices quiet.
We do know a couple of points so we can start by breaking down what the algorithm favours. The Instagram algorithm will show you what you like – literally, what you Like. In other words, getting engagement is more critical than ever for your accounts content to show. The more likes, the more reach. The less likes, the lower the reach. There are a few insights Instagram uses that we know about:
- Timely Content – Make sure you are scheduling the posting of your content during the times of the day that coincide with your audience’s time on social media. The first few hours a post is live is crucial.
- Interest – Your content needs to be well-liked. Based on a user’s past behaviour, the Instagram algorithm will put posts that it thinks the user will like, such as an account whose posts they have liked in the past, higher into the top of their feed.
- Relationship – Instagram remembers if you tag a user in your caption, photos, or in comments. Given this engagement, Instagram will show content to users that have interacted with each other in this way.
To Conclude The Creating Engaging Food Stories
Creating Engaging Food Stories is super simple if you just follow the simple rules to laying out your posts. Think about that spacing and how easy it is to read. Find your perfect Hashtags and keep on top of your comments. Follow those rules and you will be on your way to Instagram Greatness.
👨🍳Homecooking | Baking | Recipe Sharing
🧔Dad to 3
📍 N.Wales UK 🇬🇧🏴
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