Making Effective Use of Food Influencers

Everywhere you look on social media platforms, particularly Instagram, you will find a plethora of posts about food: positive and negative restaurant reviews, new products to try, and especially photos of food, glorious food.  Everyone is posting photos of their home-cooked and restaurant meals, and food brands are taking notice.


Food is something of an anomaly among influencers, in that while their followers know that many such posts are sponsored, they don’t seem to care.  Their payoff might be a new restaurant to try, an unfamiliar ingredient that intrigues them, or a recipe that sounds appealing.  Any of these can prove to be an inspiration that sparks a food adventure.

With that in mind, followers are often willing to trust influencers they subscribe to more than they might trust traditional ads.  If, for example, an influencer’s restaurant suggestion has paid off in the past with a great meal, then the follower is more likely to trust the next suggestion, even if they know it is sponsored.

Subscribers often feel a personal connection to influencers they follow.  They may share an affinity for a particular kind of food, whether it is a regional or international cuisine, vegan or macrobiotic food, food allergies, or just an interest in what is new and hot.  More and more, these influencers are shaping the food decisions of their followers.


Interestingly, the food industry is finding more success with micro-influencers than with influencers who have followings in the hundreds of thousands.  That’s because the personal connection factor. Followers of micro-influencers regard them as real people, with tastes similar to their own, whose recommendations they can trust.

Typically, these micro-influencers enjoy a much higher engagement rate, even with their smaller followings.  Their engagement rate is between two and ten percent, much higher than the average engagement rate across influencers in all categories on Instagram.

The engagement factor and the personal connection followers feel to micro-influencers makes the followers trust them and their recommendations.  They are much more likely to follow their advice than they are with the macro-influencers who have enormous followings.  Those influencers may achieve an admirable celebrity status, but they lose the personal connection.  They cease to be real people in the eyes of the followers.


Using such platforms as, food brands are connection with the micro-influencers and creating impactful social media marketing.  To be successful, influencers need to remember the following:


  • Create posts that are original, visually appealing, and technically proficient.  These days, with everyone posting food photos, influencers need to make the food as appealing as possible – nicely framed and stages, well lit, and original.

  • Choose the right influencer for your particular brand.  Remember that subscribers follow an influencer because of shared tastes and interests.  Make sure your brand is aligned with those tastes.

  • Make your posts original and informative.  A great photo is not enough.  Any information presented must be informative and new.