How Michelle started and grew her food Instagram page to having over 1,700 followers
Photos taken from Michelle’s Instagram
My good friend Michelle and I share many things in common, we both studied abroad together on Babson’s BRIC program, we love finding great deals, and we love food. We both enjoy eating savory dim sum, lobster rolls, and poke bowls on a night out and always make sure to snap a picture before the meal begins- and Michelle definitely has a knack for food photography as you can see above! Over the COVID-19 pandemic’s quarantine period, Michelle decided to turn her food photo skills and passion for new restaurant finds into starting a food focused Instagram account, where she showcases her latest eats. Try to control the drooling as Michelle takes us through how she has achieved such tasty success.
Michelle, tell us a little bit about you.
I just graduated from Babson and am working remote at an e-commerce analytics start up. I recently started a food blog with the handle @bostonfoodie_mish to share and find restaurants in the Boston area!
Why start and food instagram and why now?
I was sitting at home one night until around 3 AM just following food accounts and scrolling through Yelp! looking at new restaurants I wanted to try and it suddenly hit me that I could make one of these accounts myself. I really liked the idea of having my food account separate from my personal account because, instead of spamming my friends with food pictures, I could share them with the foodie community who are really interested in learning about new restaurants and dishes.
What was the most surprising thing you learned about running a food instagram?
I think I was surprised by how engaged and supportive the food community was. If someone likes your page, they will go back and like or comment on a lot of your photos and put in the effort to send you a message about how much they like it. It’s always nice to have an Instagram community where people are building each other up and sharing pictures of something they really love!
What is some advice you would give to someone who is interested in starting a food insta of their own?
I think the number one thing that has helped me has been engaging with other foodies, especially ones that had a lot of followers or had pages that I wanted to use to guide me. Almost like networking and just saying “Hey, I’m new to this, what is some advice you have” because the people who are actually in it and running a successful food Instagram will really know what is necessary to get there. Of course general social media growth applies, but they can give you specific advice to the food industry. Although a lot of people didn’t reply, some big accounts did and they really helped me grow by giving me tips on my photos, hashtags, and how to gain more followers overall. Sometimes they would even repost my content and give me a wider audience!
What is the biggest challenge in running your page?
The biggest challenge is definitely keeping up with the time commitment associated with having a food blog. Taking time everyday to engage with others and take quality pictures at restaurants can sometimes get tricky with a busy work day, but I think the best way to overcome that is taking it day by day and remembering that this is something I’m doing for fun. If I don’t respond to a comment it’s not the end of the world and everyone understands.
What is the craziest thing that has happened to your food instagram since you started it?
One thing that was kind of crazy was when I got an email inviting me to some foodie event in Boston Common. It was right after a month of having a food Instagram and I wasn’t sure if it was a foodie event. I have my email in my Instagram account but no one had emailed me for foodie reasons so I was really confused. However, I couldn’t find any information about this event on the internet so it seemed like it was a closed event. I emailed back asking if there was a charge for the event. They responded back saying that it was free and that I could bring a friend. I ended up showing up with my boyfriend and it was a foodie event with all this free food and well-known foodies with a lot of followers. I had a little imposter syndrome around all these people with fancy cameras and tens of thousands of followers but it was such a fun experience and I got to try some amazing food from Earl of Sandwich and delicious ice cream from The Tipping Cow Creamery!
What are some food instagrams that inspire you that you follow:
Do you have any goals or milestones for this fun project?
I definitely have some goals as far as growing followers and featuring restaurants that may be less conventional. I really want to stay authentic and not just post things that I know will get a lot of likes, so posting a diverse set of foods has been super important to me and I hope to add even more types of cuisine.
What are some of your favorite places to eat and take instagram worthy photos of your food?
I would say my favorite place is definitely Gourmet Dumpling House in Chinatown because soup dumplings are AMAZING. As far as cute pics go, Boston Burger Company and Taiyaki NYC have some really aesthetic looking desserts, so I definitely know I can always hit up one of those for unreal pictures!
What are you waiting for? Go follow Michelle!