Food blogging may look easy to those just browsing through Pinterest, but any true food blogger will tell you it’s hard work. You spend days perfecting recipes and coming up with new ones, and then there’s the hours of making sure your finished recipes look good enough to be photographed and whipping up a post to accompany your recipes and pictures.
But even after all your spills, cleanups, photo retakes and rewriting that first line of your blog post 10 times, you can still fall short of making all your hard work worth it. Because no one is seeing your recipes or visiting your food blog. Sigh.
When you review your blog traffic numbers, social media should be in your top two or three sources—and if it’s not, it needs to be. Driving more traffic from social media is the key ingredient to making sure your time and effort are well spent, and that your food is actually being seen and appreciated.
If you want to increase your social media traffic, you need to have a good social strategy, be consistent and follow these 5 tips.
1. Find your audience.
There are dozens of social media platforms out there—but that doesn’t mean you have to or should be on all of them. If you’re targeting moms then you better get on Pinterest and Facebook. If you’re teaching college freshmen cheap, easy meals to make then you better get on Instagram and Snapchat. Find which social networks your readers are spending their time on and focus your efforts on those platforms first.
Helpful tools: The Pew Research Center breaks down demographically how people spend their time online. You can also simply search online for studies and information on where your target audience is living in the social realm.
2. Share your posts more than once.
I know what you’re thinking, and no I’m not endorsing spamming. Nobody likes someone who reposts their same content multiple times in one day. But, depending on the social network, it’s totally acceptable to share your post again the next day, week or month, so long as you follow some resharing ground rules, i.e. do it to provide value for your audience, don’t cross your own spam line, create a smart sharing schedule and never use the exact same messaging when you share a post more than once.
Helpful tools: Social media management and scheduling tools, like Hootsuite, are great for scheduling posts to automatically send out via different social media platforms. You can also plan and post content for Facebook and Twitter using Post Planner.
3. Add social media sharing widgets.
Extend your social reach by allowing people who visit your food blog to share your favorite recipe posts on their social platforms so their followers see your recipes, and then will be intrigued to visit your site and start the social sharing cycle all over again. Adding social widgets on each post’s page will not only lead to higher social traffic to your food blog, but higher search engine rankings as well.
4. Use high-quality visuals for more engagement.
Social media was designed to be a visual platform—and no one knows better the importance of using good visuals than food bloggers. Here are a few stats to help back up what you already know is important:
- Content that incorporates relevant images receives 94% more views than content that doesn’t incorporate relevant images.
- Tweets with photos get approximately 313% more engagement.
- Facebook posts that include images get 2.3 times more engagement than their non-image counterparts.
Helpful tools: The SHOTBOX is the perfect picture-taking tool for bloggers who aren’t professional photographers. This photography lightbox provides the best lighting so your dishes look even more delightful than they taste, is portable and has holes in the top to allow for top-down photography.
5. Do roundup posts.
Roundup posts can really boost your social media traffic, especially on Pinterest. Readers love these posts because they get all kinds of ideas that are conveniently located in one place, and the bloggers you use in your roundup posts will (or should) share your post with their online communities and followers. One food blogger was able to triple her traffic using a few different tactics, including creating and socially sharing roundup posts, and later found that some of her top posts in 2015 were her roundup posts. Make sure to include awesome images with your posts, collages are great for Pinterest, to really grab social skimmers’ attention.
Increasing your social media traffic will take some trial and error by implementing a combination of tricks, so remember to regularly monitor your social media stats to discover what works or doesn’t work for your food blog.