Instagram poses me, and most likely you, a big problem.
How big? Instagram will see 2 billion food photos in 2016. How on Earth can mine get noticed?
If you love sharing photos of your food – and especially if you’re a blogger like me – you look to social networks to grow your following. Instagram is the default choice, but should it be?
I joined Instagram last September and have 268 followers. I started posting on YouFood only a month ago, and I now have over 1,200 YouFood followers. The attention I’ve gotten is rewarding, motivating and fun.
I’ve figured out four reasons why it’s so much easier to build a following on YouFood. Here they are:
First, YouFood is entirely about food.
This is a big difference. When people open the app, they’re immediately in the right frame of mind to discover, share and enjoy food; whilst on Instagram or Pinterest, there is so much other content competing for everyone’s attention.
Furthermore, your experience is deeply personalised to your food tastes and health goals. If you’re paleo or vegan or want to lose weight, for example, the app immediately shows you only photos and recipes that match your preferences. Everyone is seeing what they want to see.
It’s still new and growing, so the best time to join is now.
YouFood isn’t overcrowded with big companies promoting their products or famous food bloggers posting perfect professional photos. Refreshingly, it’s full of normal, everyday people who are dedicated to eating well and sharing their wonderful recipes with each other.
Furthermore, the established networks don’t offer any natural spotlighting opportunities. Starting a new account on Instagram can feel quite alienating as you immediately feel entirely lost amongst masses of better, more established people who post perfect photos that you don’t feel like you could ever compete with.
YouFood offers a level playing field for everybody, no matter what your experience. The Home tab features a “Daily Awesomeness” that surfaces the best posts from the previous day. I was spotlighted on my second day when I had just a few followers.
I was thrilled to get so much interaction so quickly. It was surprisingly easy. There’s no need to worry about your photo not being perfect and you don’t have to post millions of hashtags for people to be able to find you. Several fellow YouFooders have even made my recipes too, which has been very rewarding.
The people on YouFood are incredibly supportive; it’s a real food-loving community.
For this reason, YouFood is much less intimidating than other social networks. There is much more real human engagement with photos, and I also haven’t experienced any spam-like comments that always pop up on other platforms.
Many people have a negative view of social media because it gives an overly optimistic impression of people’s lives and makes everybody feel the need to compare themselves to each other. YouFood is refreshingly different in this respect.
The YouFood community is full of genuine people posting genuine photos of genuine food and engaging with one another in a wonderfully human way. You don’t need to be perfect and neither do the photos you share – it is about as close to the real world as a virtual network can get.
And, finally, YouFood lets you link freely to your blog!
What I have personally benefited from most is that YouFood allows you to directly link your posts to your blog. After I started posting on the app, I immediately noticed the difference in the number of views I was getting on my blog.
For all these reasons, YouFood is the ideal platform for starting and growing an audience. The earliest people to build followings on a certain network usually get outsized gains as that network grows, so now is the time to start posting on YouFood.
As YouFood continues to grow, I very much hope that its compassionate and supportive spirit won’t change. The best way we can make this happen is by encouraging more passionate and inspiring people to join our wonderful community!
Rhian’s blog and recipes have been featured in several national UK publications. Follow her on YouFood @rhiansrecipes for new recipes every week, and check out her blog at http://rhiansrecipes.com. Thanks for sharing your story, Rhian!