Tips for Instagram Food Posts

Instagram: it’s changed the way we view our food. Literally. Remember the days when we ate beautifully garnished plates of Fettuccine Alfredo or artfully arranged Petit Fours on a bed of roses and our followers never got to share in the pleasure of the perfect presentation? Horrifying! But not anymore.

Fifty percent of millennials share photos of their food on social media, and Instagram boasts over 190 million posts tagged as #food. The rise of food-gramming stands as a testament to a community focused on all things yummy: from healthy living, to artisanal cocktails, to gluttonous brunch shots. Some of us post food to break up the monotony of selfies and our kids, or to add interest and drama to our business posts. Others have food-centric businesses where polished pictures are a must.

Whatever the case, we’ve compiled the top 4 musts to help you up your Insta-food game faster than you can say sashimi!


Use the right hashtags

Instagram has become the place to find food pics. The app has even been cited for spawning the now omnipresent word foodporn.

The basic rules of hashtagging still apply with food posts:

  • Never use more than ten hashtags, with three to five being the ideal.
  • Tagging your location can lead to 79% higher engagement.
  • Using both niche and generic hashtags provides optimal exposure.

But make sure the tags you’re using are relevant to your post.  No one appreciates the bait and switch.

The top tags we’ve found are:

#foodporn #yummy #instafood #delicious #foodie #foodgasm

And with the rise of clean eating, healthy, and local hashtags:

#eatclean #homemade #organic #glutenfree and #healthyfood round out the list.

How often to post food pics

Audiences want to see it all: super healthy quinoa breakfasts with links to recipes, the guilty pleasure of a greasy bacon cheeseburger, and that perfect Waldorf salad. When it comes to which picture you choose to post, it appears users prefer the visual pleasure of pizza, sushi, chicken, salad and pasta. Just don’t get obsessed with posting your food: engagement goes down as back-to-back posts increase.

If you’re in the food biz – restaurant, nutritionist, lifestyle blogger, etc. – posting food pics an average of twice a day is desired and expected. Personal accounts: keep it to every few days.

One of our fave foodie Instagramers is Elise Museles of Kale and Chocolate. Enjoy her gorgeous shots – each with inspiration and recipes for living more deliciously.

Set up the right shots

The most important element in photography is light. You can have a flawless Beef Bourguignon alongside a bottle of 1953 Chateau Petrus, and if the lighting isn’t optimal, your followers will not give it a second glance. Natural lighting is best: set up your delicious dish near a window with the sun spilling in, but make sure it’s not directly in the light or it will blow out the details.

When composing a shot, get creative: a hand holding a cookie with a bite out of it against a plain white wall makes feeds feel crisp and clean. If you have time, go all out with props, linens, or fancy plates. Adding a succulent or potted plant next to your food increases the style quotient. And images with faces receive 35% more likes – so don’t forget to snap shots of smiling faces enjoying that meal of the day!

Attract more food lovers to your Instagram account with Ghost Tweeting’s Instagrowth program. It’s only $9 to try it out. Our clients are amazed with the targeted followers this program brings to their page.


Last but not least, nothing changes the feel of a photo quicker and easier than a filter. Try Brannan to increase contrast and sharpening while adding a metallic tint. Rise and Amaro are both great for shots taken in dimly lit restaurants as they both instantly brighten images. X Pro II, Hefe and Lo-Fi all have the ability to add drama, but don’t use any of these if your picture is already full of warm color and depth. To add a vintage feel to your photo, Earlybird gets the food worm.

Oh, and to get more food lovers to your Instagram account, use the Instagrowth program from Ghost Tweeting. Increase your visibility, get more followers, and drive engagement on those gorgeous phot