Food Marketing | Chefs Hungry for Instagram
[I originally wrote this post for the Antler Agency blog.]
While some people may have an Instagram addiction, this app is no longer just used for bringing out your inner photog. Instagram has evolved into a strategic social media marketing tool. A type of people who have recently utilized this Instagram trend are chefs.
Chefs are not posting their usual content and recipes but rather giving followers an inside look into their chef lifestyle. Instagram has become a tool for chefs to create conversation within a niche community. In many ways it is being used as an extension of their personal brand.
Here are three prominent chefs that are using Instagram:
Matthew Jennings is a Providence, RI based chef that creates a farm-to-table dining experience at his restaurants. Part of his personal brand involves using local ingredients, and he uses Instragram to highlight that about himself.
“Amongst us chefs, sometimes the fun of posting a picture on Instagram is for straight up bragging rights,” says Jennings in an interview on the Instagram blog. Pictures he posts such as the two below (of Rhode Island raised NY strip steak and plated beef tartare in roasted marrowbone) are able to show his “bragging rights” of the quality meat he gets from local cows.
Jennings says pictures like this spark conversation amongst foodies, who want to know what he is cooking, and his chef friends, who want to know about where he’s getting his meats. By showing things like his cooking process, Instagram is a way for him to “infect” other people with his passion for food.
Richard Blais is now has celebrity chef status after making it to the final two in Top Chef: Chicago, then winning Top Chef: All Stars. He’s now in progress of being filmed for Bravo’s new show Life After Top Chef.
Blais uses Instagram to share his life behind scenes with his foodie followers. He expresses his knowledge and other interests in food by sharing pictures of products and cooking tools he likes. He recently posted a picture of this Le Creuset pot he likes to use.
Blais also gives an inside look outside the kitchen on Instagram by posting pictures of his wife and children, giving followers the opportunity to peak behind the scenes of his home life.
Household name Jamie Oliver uses Instagram to fuel efforts for his Food Revolution Campaign, which tackles the issue of childhood obesity and changing food options in schools. Not only is he using Instagram as a platform to get the word out about his cause, but he also uses it to create conversation about the issue. He gets his fans and followers engaged so they can be informed.
Oliver received the Healthy Cup Award from the Harvard School of Public Health for his efforts in ending childhood obesity. That day before he received the award, he posted the below photo where he directly asked for followers to comment and let him know their thoughts.
Through uses like this Jamie Oliver is able to be an influencer while at the same time allowing his followers to be influencers as well. Of course he couldn’t go through the day without also posting a picture of him with the award!
Overall, chefs who use Instagram are able to create more of a community than chefs who are just posting pictures through Twitter, Lockerz, Who Say, etc. Instagram is a great visual marketing tool for chefs because they are able to create a conversation by bringing together people ranging from peers in their industry to fans, food lovers, and food enthusiasts. With Instagram chefs have the ability to share their knowledge and passion with people who have similar interest.
Do you follow any chefs on Instagram? Who is your favorite, and why?