As of January 2016, #food has been used over 160 million times on Instagram. The #foodporn isn’t far behind with over 76 million uses. You might argue that the growth of Instagram has been heavily influenced by the food hashtags.
Instagram is synonymous with pictures of food and has even had a potential effect on the demand for unique dining experiences with an increase in demand from 40% to 51% between 2006 and 2013.
Food posts on Instagram have extended far beyond posting pictures of what you had for dinner that day between friends, and there are now Insta’ Influencers who have made a career from it. People like Joe Wicks began his career on Instagram and he now has a bestselling book called ‘Lean in 15’ and his own TV show. His Instagram following has grown to over 1 million.
Other Instagram stars such as Sarah Phillips have done similar but with a slightly different approach. She used her influence to create her own website called CraftyBaking.com, and she has turned her food images on Instagram in to an e-commerce business that prints the photos onto phone cases and tote bags.
Samantha Lee has a slightly different tact again and collaborates with a lot of big brands through her Instagram. She has become a high respected food artist and stylist.
The success these people have achieved is incredible and people really engage with the content they post on the platform.
What’s interesting is that it’s individuals who seem to be using Instagram most effectively and businesses seem to be struggling to realize its full potential. When one person can have such an influence on there, what’s stopping business achieving the same success? Some might argue that people engage with individuals on these platforms more, but businesses would be foolhardy to ignore how influential Instagram can be in helping a business grow.
Instagram lets businesses reach a wider audience and all businesses should attempt to build a following on there. Using the relevant hashtags can help you reach people that aren’t even in your location. It is particularly effective for visual businesses and regular high quality posts to Instagram will help build your brand.
Check out this infographic from Lakeshore Convention Centre which outlines how influential Instagram has become as well as offering advice to businesses on how to best use it to grow their business.