241: Social Trends – Facebook and Instagram in 2020 with Abby Bayatpour

An image of Instagram on a phone and the title of the 241st episode on the Food Blogger Pro Podcast, 'Social Trends.'

Welcome to episode 241 of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast! This week on the podcast, Alexa interviews Social Media Manager, Abby Bayatpour, about how food bloggers can be promoting their content on Facebook and Instagram this year.

Last week on the podcast, Bjork talked through the ways you can create income without doing more work. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.

Today’s new episode marks the start of a two-part series here on the podcast, and in this series, we’re focusing on social media in 2020 – i.e. what you, as a blogger, should be focusing on when it comes to promoting your content and your brand on social media this year.

We’re going to focus on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest during this series, and in today’s episode, our incredibly talented Social Media Manager, Abby, will be speaking about Facebook and Instagram trends for food bloggers.

If you’ve ever stared at a social media platform and thought, “What do I post today?”, we think this series will help you form your social strategy for the new year.

A quote from Abby Bayatpour’s appearance on the Food Blogger Pro podcast that says, 'You don't necessarily have to reinvent the wheel every time you post to Instagram.'

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What kinds of posts perform best on Facebook
  • How Facebook groups might fit into your social strategy
  • How videos are performing on Facebook in 2020
  • How to build consistent engagement on Instagram
  • How often you should post on Instagram
  • How to streamline your Instagram caption writing
  • What kinds of photos perform best on Instagram

Listen to the Food Blogger Pro Podcast below or check it out on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, or Spotify:


If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for interviews, be sure to email them to [email protected].

Transcript (click to expand):

Alexa Peduzzi: Hello, hello and welcome to the Food Blogger Pro podcast today, my friends. I’m Alexa and I am so excited that you’re here today because today’s new episode marks the start of a two part series here on the podcast. In this series we’re focusing on, drum roll please, social media in 2020. Namely, what you should, as a blogger, be focusing on when it comes to promoting your content and your brand on social media this year. We’re going to be focusing on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, the big three, if you will, during the series. In today’s episode, our incredibly talented social media manager, Abby, will be speaking about Facebook and Instagram trends for food bloggers.

Alexa Peduzzi: If you’ve ever stared at a social media platform and thought, “What do I post today?”, we think this series will help you form your social strategy for the new year. Without any further ado, Abby, welcome to the podcast.

Abby Bayatpour: Thank you. Happy to be here.

Alexa Peduzzi: We’re excited as well. And that’s because you do so much on the Pinch of Yum food blogger pro side of things, here on the teams. Today is a really exciting day because it’s actually part one of a two part series we’re going to have here on the podcast, and it’s all about social media in 2020. So today we’re going to focus on Facebook and Instagram, and then Kate All from Simple Pin Media is going to come and talk, unsurprisingly, about Pinterest in 2020. But like I said, today’s focus is Facebook and Instagram. So before we jump into the Abby, do you mind giving us a quick elevator pitch or chat about what you do here at Food Blogger Pro and Pinch of Yum?

Abby Bayatpour: Sure. I am social media manager for Food Blogger Pro and Pinch of Yum and WP Tasty. But basically anything you see on social media that falls underneath of that umbrella is usually me, so Facebook posts, any social media questions in the Food Blogger Pro forum, Pinterest for Pinch of Yum, Facebook for Food Blogger Pro, any of that stuff falls under me. So content creation, responding to comments, talking to anyone who’s asking questions or commenting on anything, I am handling all that.

Alexa Peduzzi: That’s awesome. One of the big things that I always like to mention is that, you’re doing the awesome Instagram Lives for us on Food Blogger Pro and that’s such a natural fit for you. You do those so well, and actually today we’re doing that. So if you’re unaware listener, we go live on Instagram every Monday at, what is it? 4:00 pm Eastern/3:00 pm Central. Is that right?

Abby Bayatpour: Yes. That’s right.

Alexa Peduzzi: Cool. And then, just to talk through your biggest blogging questions. So if you have any blogging questions that you want to get answered, you can submit those to us at any time on Instagram, and get those answered by Abby on Mondays, which is pretty cool. Let’s jump into Facebook. Are you ready for Facebook?

Abby Bayatpour: I am so ready for Facebook.

Alexa Peduzzi: Awesome. Well then, first and foremost, what trends do you see on Facebook in 2020 that food bloggers should be aware of?

Abby Bayatpour: For Facebook, it’s definitely changed a lot over the last few years. I know probably four to five years ago, a lot of the focus for Facebook was driving traffic back to your website. So a lot of posting, sometimes people were posting once an hour, six to 12 times a day just to get that interest on their posts. Sharing posts from other pages, yeah it’s a lot. But, a lot of people were getting a fair amount of traffic from posting that much because people were seeing their posts a lot, in their feed, and they were engaging with them. And then, they were driving back to their blog posts.

Abby Bayatpour: So now, Facebook has really shifted away from pages in general, but just away from content that directs anyone away from Facebook. Really, the overall idea with Facebook is Facebook wants people to stay on Facebook. In the next year or so, I would say anything that’s keeping people on Facebook is a good way to go. It seems counterintuitive because ultimately you do want blog traffic to increase, that’s really everyone’s goal, overall. But I have started thinking about Facebook as a silo that is supporting your blog.

Abby Bayatpour: So it’s a part of your brand, but it may be not necessarily driving 50% of your traffic back to your blog. It’s just getting people interested in your brand and your blog in the first place. So one of the trends is going more towards that content that’s made it to Facebook, so using the poll feature, maybe asking questions that don’t necessarily direct to any of your blog posts. We do this on Food Blogger Pro and Pinch of Yum, once a week we’re asking the question of the week or asking peoples’ opinions on anything.

Abby Bayatpour: I know, on the Pinch of Yum page, one of our most popular posts always are, on Wednesdays we ask just some food question. So around Thanksgiving it was, do you like pumpkin pie or pecan pie? Or sometimes it’s, do you use an Instant Pot or do you meal plan? So things that, people really love giving their opinion and it creates a lot of great engagement on a Facebook post, without you having to do a ton of extra work. You’re just coming up with stuff that people probably have a strong opinion about anyway or it can even guide your future content.

Abby Bayatpour: So for example, we did one when we started doing these question posts on the Pinch of Yum page, where Lindsay was toying with doing a meal prep series on the blog, which she did end up doing. But she said, “Why don’t we ask our Facebook page if they meal prep or what they struggle with?” And we got a ton of responses from people and it helped guide that blog content in the future because she knew what our followers on Facebook were looking for.

Abby Bayatpour: So overall, it can be a really great way to just keep people on your page and engage with you, and like I said, maybe even guide that future content. So that’s a really great thing to think about moving into 2020, is that content that’s native to Facebook, that can keep people there but also be helpful to them at the same time.

Alexa Peduzzi: Totally, and I love that. So these posts, correct me if I’m wrong, they look like just text? Or just photos? Or a mixture of both? I know you said no links, but what have you found to be most beneficial for both Facebook pages that you manage?

Abby Bayatpour: So they can be a combination of both. On Pinch of Yum, we create, it’s actually something that you can create on your personal page, where you can go into your status, so act like you’re typing in status, and there is an option to bring up a bunch of colors. You can change the background color and when you type it in, it becomes a graphic sort of thing. So, that’s the way we do it.

Abby Bayatpour: We don’t do this, but you can go into something like Cam Bot and create a graphic that has text on it. And then on Food Blogger Pro, one of our questions of the week, during the week, is a photo accompanied by a question and a caption. So there are a lot of different ways you can do it, and for us, it can go either way. But those graphic ones that you create in your personal profile performs the best, just because it’s something that jumps out as you’re scrolling through the feed. It’s not another photo, it’s like, “Oh, this is a photo, but it has a question under it and it’s a graphic and you don’t see it that often.” So, it’s something that stops people in their feed, which is ultimately what you really want on a good Facebook content.

Alexa Peduzzi: Right. For social media, I always find that it’s really helpful to remember or to just think back of, “What’s my goal with posting this photo or this link or this caption?” Whatever I’m trying to do, it’s always helpful to just think backwards a little bit and be like, “What am I actually trying to do?” And with Facebook, it’s been really helpful for at least the Food Blogger Pro page and the Pinch of Yum pages, to keep people on Facebook and to have conversations and to engage with our followers right there on Facebook. So, that’s a really awesome takeaway. Are there any other takeaways we should be aware of in 2020?

Abby Bayatpour: Yeah. So Facebook Groups is something that I know, even in the last year or two, people have been focusing on versus building up their page. So a lot of bloggers are finding that Facebook Groups is a great way to bring together their community without a ton, again, a ton of extra work, so being really intentional with where you’re directing a lot of your work and your hours that you’re working on your blog. So a Group can be a really great way to bring people together and get an idea of what people are talking about, without trying to harness your whole Facebook page.

Abby Bayatpour: For example, some of the ones that I’ve seen that are really, really great are Sally’s Baking Addiction has on, Monique from Ambitious Kitchen, Gina from Skinny Taste, they all have really great, thriving Facebook Group communities that people get in there and they’re able to talk about recipe ideas or, “I have an Instant Pot. What are your favorite recipes?” Or anything that’s around that.

Abby Bayatpour: I know Sally’s is obviously baking focused and people ask questions around baking or for challenges of the month, and it’s just a great way to get people together to talk about the things they’re all interested in. They’re obviously going to be really big groups and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have a big group to have that going on, but even just starting out small and addressing whatever your niche is.

Abby Bayatpour: So let’s say you do healthy meal prep ideas, you can name your group something along those lines or something that has to do with your blog name. And then, create a few prompts. Maybe once or twice a week you go in and ask, “What’s your favorite meal prep containers?” Or “What recipe do you struggle with for meal prep?” And invite people from your blog or your Instagram or make sure you’re cross promoting, just bringing people together into one space to have that conversation and it’ll get to a point where, hopefully, it’s self-sustaining and you can be there to help people out. But it’s a good community that you’re offering to your readers that are already interested in whatever you’re blogging about.

Alexa Peduzzi: Totally. So I’m actually a fan of Sally’s Baking Addiction’s group and it’s actually one of the only reasons I go on Facebook. It’s just such a supportive group and Sally is in there, commenting on peoples’ pictures and she actually ties that group into her baking challenge series on her blog and people can submit their photos to entered into that challenge every month, through that group. So it’s really, it’s tied in well to her brand and to her blog. So Abby, do you actually have any suggestions or advice for people who want to start their own Facebook Groups and how they can get the word out about this Facebook Group?

Abby Bayatpour: Yeah, I think just starting is a big place. I know it feels like it’s another thing to do, but it’s already tied to your Facebook. So just starting, make sure that you’re cross promoting, make sure that your email list knows and your Facebook page knows and maybe you’re tacking on something to the end of every blog post saying, “Do you have questions about this? Come to our Facebook Group and we’d love to talk about X, Y, Z.” I think starting is the first place.

Abby Bayatpour: And then the second thing, and this is relating back to what you said about Sally’s Group, is being engaged and giving people a good touch point. So I think one of the big things about social media, especially on Instagram where there’s a lot of noise, because it’s really easy to not be heard or not to be able to hear what people are saying or get a poll on what people want or questions they’re asking in a group, is a really great way to ask those direct questions and get that direct feedback.

Abby Bayatpour: So just make sure you log in once every day for five minutes, scroll through, see if anything’s going on, maybe post a question or do a more personal post. This was what I was testing this weekend. What recipe do you think this is? That kind of thing. Just taking a few minutes to do something with that group. And then, maybe it’s not for everyone. Maybe you decide it’s not for you and you move on from it, but it could be a really great way to grow a thriving community that has a really close relationship with you and ends up trusting you and really valuing your content overall.

Alexa Peduzzi: It’s just a great way to build your super fans up. If you guys have been listening to the podcast for an extended period of time, you’ll know that Bjork has talked about building up your super fans and finding your super fans and that’s just a really great way to have a close touch with them. I really love that idea. Any other trends we should be aware of for Facebook?

Abby Bayatpour: Sure. So video is always a big thing for Facebook. I know, like I said, the last few years video blew up on Facebook and that was what everyone was doing and really wanting to focus in on. I think it’s still a really big important part of social media and Facebook especially. But the importance behind it, a lot of people are not necessarily making a ton of videos for Facebook. They are shifting away to maybe get some of that other content or do more videos for their website or for Instagram. I think it’s still a really big part of it, so video will continue to be a big part of Facebook but just maybe focusing away from sharing them all the time.

Abby Bayatpour: So doing one video a week versus two or three. Or still doing videos but utilizing them for sponsored opportunities or being able to use them within a blog post instead of doing it on Facebook. So again, video will always, I think, continue to be part of the landscape on all of social media, but not having to necessarily turn out as many or do such a focus on them, on Facebook, is where we’re seeing a lot of that shift. Because again, Facebook wants you to stay on Facebook, so even if you are doing a video, maybe thinking about putting a recipe in the caption instead so people are saving that post or staying on Facebook to look at it. And shifting away from that mentality of traffic driving over everything else.

Alexa Peduzzi: Because Facebook wants to keep users on Facebook, do you find that longer videos are more successful on Facebook? Or are the shorter, under one minute videos still king there?

Abby Bayatpour: This was really interesting because Facebook themselves recommends longer videos.

Alexa Peduzzi: Interesting.

Abby Bayatpour: They, I think, recommend over a minute or two. But from what I’ve seen on Pinch of Yum is a lot of people don’t really stick around to even watch a full 30 to 60 second video. They see the first 10 to 20 seconds, I get the idea, I want to skip to the recipe or read the recipe, and then that’s that. So it can be a mix of both and it’s very interesting in terms of maybe it’s what your audience wants. So some people, they just want to see that overhead, the kind where it’s just straightforward cooking recipe and that’s it. And then other people do want to watch a longer, maybe two or three minute video, where it shows you or someone explaining the recipe and going through the steps and being more detailed. So I think that’s a good place to play around and it can go either way. So there’s no definitive answer, which is frustrating.

Alexa Peduzzi: Always. It’s that perfect and also terrible answer, it depends.

Abby Bayatpour: Yes.

Alexa Peduzzi: But for you who are listening right now, if you want to learn more about how you could be using video as part of your strategy in 2020, we’ve heard from a lot of Food Blogger Pro members that video is on the forefront of their minds this year and is a big goal for them to tackle this year. We actually have a couple of podcast episodes, fairly recent, but you can check out one about engagement on blog posts. Emily is talking about all of that on FoodBloggerPro.com/237.

Alexa Peduzzi: And then, we had Brita Britnell from Food With Feeling, not too long ago. FoodBloggerPro.com/232, and she talks about a lot of strategy when making recipe videos, but I thought a really interesting one was using existing video content to create roundup videos. So some longer form videos that could perform potentially even better on social media or on Facebook specifically. So just some options for you guys to look through, but why don’t we move to Instagram now, Abby. So are there any trends that food bloggers should be aware of on Instagram this year?

Abby Bayatpour: Absolutely. So Instagram is an interesting space, so it’s always changing. I think there’s been a lot of frustration with Instagram over the last couple of years because the curated fee that gets frustrating, you’re not necessarily seeing all of your posts or seeing them in order. So content creators are going to have to think about how they are engaging with people and maybe how they’re making sure they’re still appearing in that feed.

Abby Bayatpour: So one of the biggest things is more engagement, so engagement over, not necessarily over followers, but prioritizing engagement. So followers are something we all want more of and they’re always top of mind and something that everyone’s wanting to grow their Instagram accounts. But I think engagement is another thing that will continue to be priority because you want to still show up in that feed, you want to engage with your audience.

Abby Bayatpour: So doing things like, how you can connect with your followers on your feed, so ask a question, share something about your life, maybe what TV show you’re watching or what you are working on for recipes. Just something like that, that will draw in your followers and get them more interested on a personal level. So food photos are awesome and great and everyone loves them, obviously on Instagram. But putting something behind it, so maybe talking about the process of the recipe or giving a tip about the recipe. There are some people I’ve seen on Instagram who, once a week, they have a tip in their Instagram photo.

Abby Bayatpour: So it’s maybe baking tip around something, whatever it may be. It’s a tip in the caption, so it’s providing that value not only in the photo, but in the caption. And then people are going to be more likely to engage because they maybe have questions about it or they’re saving it for later or they are seeing you with a subject matter expert for that certain niche or thing. So engagement’s definitely always going to be really important. And also I’ll add that engagement’s a two way street.

Abby Bayatpour: I talked about this on the forum before and in some of our courses, but making sure you’re engaging back with people. Not only people that are commenting on your posts, but going out and commenting on other peoples’ posts and maybe going into a hashtag that is relevant to your blog niche and commenting on some accounts that you don’t necessarily follow yet. I think that’s an important way to keep that engagement going because you’re going to find new people that could be, like you said, one of your super fans or build your community that way and just being able to find new people and getting out of your bubble or your feed on Instagram, in general, and continue to build that engagement overall.

Alexa Peduzzi: That is such great advice. You can actually follow hashtags on Instagram now, which I find really helpful. Obviously, I follow my branded hashtag, so hashtag Fooduzzi, that’s the name of my blog. But you can also follow other hashtags that are relevant to your niche. And that, like you said Abby, might be a good way to build up that engagement, just to make it a two way street, like you said. How about engagement on Instagram Stories? Do you have any tips for that?

Abby Bayatpour: That’s a good one. So Instagram Stories are always the wild west because a lot of different things work for a lot of different people. For Food Blogger Pro and for Pinch of Yum, we follow more of a scheduled format, so on this day we do this thing. So like you said, on Mondays we do InstagramLive, on Wednesdays you do your update, and then for Pinch of Yum, usually when there’s a new recipe, usually people do stories behind it or we’ll repost photos from people who have made certain recipes. It really just depends on what you’re looking for and what you want to follow for Instagram Stories.

Abby Bayatpour: So for me, it’s Heart of a Baker. I have a couple of things that I do on a schedule basis and I know you have Taste Test Tuesday and things that people look forward to and are used to expecting. Then other times, I just post whatever’s going on. So again, it’s that frustrating answer of, it all depends. So I would recommend, on Instagram Stories, doing a combination of two.

Abby Bayatpour: So maybe one day a week you’re going to post your three favorite accounts or three things that you loved this week. And then the rest of the week, it’s just whatever’s going on. So the thing that people really like about Instagram Stories and I think appreciate, is it gives them that behind the curtain look into, maybe your blog or your life or what’s going on and that’s what’s going to build trust and a personal relationship with your followers. So if you’re posting on the fly like, “This is what I made for dinner.” Or, “This is what I’m doing today.” Or, “Here’s the podcast I listened to today.” People can connect with you on a personal level that maybe they might not get within your feed.

Abby Bayatpour: You don’t have to do them every day, but maybe two or three times a week, what’s one day you can do the scheduled thing, and then another day you just share what’s going on or what’s happening in your life and it gives people a chance to get to know you and to connect with you more and see why you have your blog or what you’re passionate about or anything like that. I think that personal connection is going to be really important and can also tie back to your feed.

Abby Bayatpour: So like you said, you can do Stories and then maybe do a personal post on your feed, and tie that back to the Story. So maybe your feed post is, your three facts about me for anyone who’s new around here, and then on your Stories, elaborate on those. So there’s a way to tie all of that back and keep that engagement up, in your Stories and on your feed.

Alexa Peduzzi: Right. It sounds like, pulling back on what we were talking about on Facebook, that you’re treating Instagram as more of a, engagement is king within Instagram. So you’re not necessarily trying to get your followers to your blog or whatever, you’re trying to build engagement just within Instagram. I think that’s a really interesting and important takeaway from this conversation. But along those same lines, do you have any thoughts about how often we’re supposed to be posting to our feeds as food bloggers this year?

Abby Bayatpour: Yes. So posting, overall I’ll just say consistency is key, so whether you do it two times a week, 14 times a week, whatever it may be, being consistent is very important because when you are getting into a sporadic schedule and you’re not posting as consistently as you’d like to be, then you’re lessening your chances of showing up in a feed. So let’s say you post seven days in a row and then don’t post for three weeks…

Alexa Peduzzi: I’m guilty of that.

Abby Bayatpour: I’m totally guilty of doing that on my blog. Because it’s hard, it’s another thing to do.

Alexa Peduzzi: Right, for sure.

Abby Bayatpour: I totally get it. You’re lessening your chance of people seeing that content when that happens, because that first post that you do after taking three weeks off, people haven’t been engaging with your account, it might not show up in their feeds or they might not engage with it right away. You’re giving yourself a smaller window of success, just because you haven’t been showing up there necessarily. But if you’re doing three days a week consistently, month over month over month, people know, Monday, Wednesday, Friday you’re posting a photo. It shows up in their feed, there’s Alexa again, I’m going to double tap on it and leave a comment about how awesome it looks, then it just is more likely to show up in their feed.

Abby Bayatpour: So again, consistency is key. I would say probably two to three times a week is a good place to start, even if you don’t have a ton of blog content yet, you can just share a couple of things. Maybe something that is not completely Instagram curated, so a process shot or a personal photo or something like that. That’s a good place to start if you don’t have a ton of content, and then just recycle content too.

Abby Bayatpour: So if you have a lot of blog posts, make sure you’re bringing those popular posts back up and you are maybe just using a different photo from your blog post. You don’t necessarily have to reinvent the wheel every time you post to Instagram, but consistency is super key just so you can keep top of mind for people, top of the feed, you’re there for them to interact with. I think just being there, that’s the other thing.

Alexa Peduzzi: For sure. Pinch of Yum, I know the Instagram account for Pinch of Yum, you guys recycle content all the time. You don’t just post when you have a new recipe to share, which I think is important. Like you said, it’s a way to stay on top of peoples’ minds, it’s a way to stay active within your account, and it’s just a way to be consistent. So I think that’s really great advice. So along those same lines, how about captions? Can we talk about captions for a second? Because when I go to post on Instagram, nothing is more frustrating than me sitting in front of that editor and being like, “What do I write here?” So do you have any advice for us regarding Instagram captions?

Abby Bayatpour: Yes. The struggle is so real. It’s one of those things where, you think of the perfect caption when you’re not typing it out or when you don’t need to be creating a caption.

Alexa Peduzzi: A million percent, yes.

Abby Bayatpour: Yes. I think a really good thing is creating a framework for yourself. So if you are posting, let’s say three days a week. Monday you’re doing a cooking tip and your caption, maybe Wednesdays you are doing a recipe in the caption, and then on Fridays you’re just doing a fun, whatever you’re doing this weekend caption. And giving yourself some boundaries can actually make it a lot easier to write out those captions, and you’re just allowing yourself to work within that small boundary rather than, I can write anything about anything for this recipe and where do I even start.

Abby Bayatpour: So giving yourself boundaries, so like I said, whether that be a framework of what you post each day or whether it be creating a list of prompts for yourself that you can pull from at anytime. So then you start out with, “Do you like chocolate or vanilla? Here is a chocolate cake that is all of these amazing things.” Or whatever it might be, creating some prompts for yourself is a really great way to narrow in on what you want to start the caption with. So like I said, long captions overall are going to be something you want people to engage with, so we talked about engagement, thinking about how you can engage with people is a really, really great way.

Abby Bayatpour: So a cooking tip. Can you give a quick tip about how to prep for a recipe or how to make the perfect pasta or whatever it might be? Something that’s maybe already in your blog post. Like I said, don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Maybe there’s a great a tip that’s in your blog post that you can pull out and use in your Instagram caption, and then people would maybe be a lot more interested in clicking over to that recipe and getting more tips and more information.

Abby Bayatpour: So thinking about how you can engage people and peak their interest and maybe get them to leave a comment, or ask them a question that they can leave a comment in. And then the other things in terms of length of captions, longer captions are where I think we’re definitely trending. So some people have a style where they are writing one sentence and they’re in and out. Others like to write a couple of paragraphs or two to three sentences. For Pinch of Yum, typically the sweet spot is two to three sentences and that is just enough to start with a question or get peoples’ interest peaked in the very beginning. So like I said, asking a question, maybe doing a this or that thing, talk about the recipe, so this is the sauciest, creamiest, awesome-est words.

Abby Bayatpour: The most awesome pasta ever and then, maybe a tip about it or, this is where you can find it, or here’s the recipe. Just like I said, again a framework of maybe laying out how you’re going to write those captions and finding that sweet spot for you and your audience.

Alexa Peduzzi: I love that. If you guys are having trouble coming up with a framework, I’m just thinking back to the Instagram Playbook event, which then turned into a course on Food Blogger Pro, that we had, I think it was last year. In that event and course, Lindsay talked about how she structures the Pinch of Yum Instagram account. So we call that structure the Instagram Playbook, so there are a bunch of different decisions, obviously, when it comes to structuring how you run your Instagram account. But I remember her talking about captions and when you’re trying to come up with that framework on how to write your captions, it’s important to think back to your brand. So what do you want to be known as? Are you more funny and entertaining or are you more instructional? Do you use emojis and capital letters and a bunch of exclamation points, or are you more tame and subdued? There are a bunch of decisions that you can make about your brand that can then help you write those Instagram captions.

Abby Bayatpour: Absolutely. I think, like you said, the branding part is really big too. It’s important to play around with it because if you find that one sentence captions perform best for your audience, that’s awesome. In and out, you’re on with it. But maybe sometimes two or three sentences talking about the recipe or explaining more about it is better for your audience. Maybe they’re a little bit newer or they want more explanation. Just playing with it is going to give you a better opportunity to build a better framework, overall.

Alexa Peduzzi: So we’ve talked about how often we should post, we’ve talked about captions, now let’s move on to the type of content we should post. So what kind of pictures should we be posting to our feed?

Abby Bayatpour: So I think there is definitely a trend towards, I mentioned this earlier but, including more personal posts. So if this is not you’re thing or something you want to do, that is totally okay, there are no rules in social media, but I have noticed and think it’s coming that more people are going to be sharing more behind the scenes or personal photos or things to just give people an inside look at their life.

Abby Bayatpour: So maybe it’s once a week, you’re sharing one photo of yourself and talking about something you’ve been working on or something you struggled with or just an insight into who you are. Because as much as beautiful food photos are amazing and obviously Instagram is a great place for them, I think it’s important to build that trust overall. And what we’re trending towards, from what I could tell on Instagram, is people looking at a brand overall. So who’s behind the brand and what does that brand stand for.

Abby Bayatpour: So obviously for Pinch of Yum, it’s a lot of recipe posts, but people also know Lindsay, people know who Lindsay is through her blog posts or her showing up on Instagram Stories and her having a personal Instagram account as well. So it’s however you might want to do that, whether that be separating out your Instagram accounts, personal and professional or merging them together and doing a little bit of both, I think it’s good to think about how you can weave yourself and your personality into your brand or your blog. Because the more people get to know you and get to trust you and see that you’re passionate about whatever it is you’re blogging about, then they’re going to get excited about it. And they’re going to get excited about going over to your blog and reading your posts or interacting with your Instagram posts and they know that they’re excited to know what you’re watching or what you’re cooking or baking or whatever it might be.

Abby Bayatpour: So I think overall the trend is going more towards including more personal posts or personal information versus just a straight, strictly business, this is just recipe posts or only just talking about the recipes. I think anything behind the scenes seems to be really engaging and important, whether it’s just, not even into your personal life, but just behind the scenes of what made the recipe work or how you got to where you are or why it’s great. Just thinking in terms of, you can take your content and turn it on its head and give your readers a little bit of insight into those posts or your recipes.

Alexa Peduzzi: I love that. Well and, it’s interesting that you say that because if it fits your brand, yes, for sure, include those personal posts on your feed. But, for a brand like Pinch of Yum, they don’t share any personal posts at all and the captions aren’t super personal either. It’s more of a, “Hey, our followers come here for food and that’s what we’re going to give them.” But if your audience is there for the personal anecdotes and the stories and the personal motivation, then for sure, I think that’s a great idea. Do you have any suggestions on how to separate that for Instagram Stories? Are Instagram Stories a good place to share personal insights?

Abby Bayatpour: Yeah, for sure. So I think Stories is a great way to do it because it doesn’t take a lot of curation, it doesn’t take getting your photo taking by someone professional or finding a good photo of yourself that you want to post to Instagram or whatever it might be. So Stories is a good place to start or it’s just a good place to keep that personal touch going. So yeah, start off with Instagram Stories and go from there. Does your audience respond to it? Do they want to know more about your personal life or insight into your personal, or even just like I said, inter workings of recipes or whatever it might be? That’s a great place to start and then maybe try once a month doing a personal post, and then going from there.

Abby Bayatpour: But like you mentioned, Pinch of Yum is strictly recipes and food photos and that is what the audience is there for. So it could be just recipes, it could be more about yourself, it could be a mix of the both and like I said, some people do two Instagram accounts. It’s whatever works for you. But I do think just that personal touch helps and gets people to connect with you more and get to know you more. Stories is a great place to start, for sure.

Alexa Peduzzi: I love that. I think that’s a great place to wrap up this episode, so Abby, thank you so much. This was so helpful. It’s always interesting to talk about social, even just a couple times of the year because it changes so much. So it’s really cool to hear what you think some of the trends will be for Facebook and Instagram. So thank you for being on. How can people stay in touch with what you’re doing, both for Pinch of Yum, Food Blogger Pro, WP Tasty, but also personally?

Abby Bayatpour: Obviously, you can follow Food Blogger Pro pretty much anywhere, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all the good stuff. They have a Pinch of Yum on WP Tasty. But for me, I have my own baking blog called Heart of a Baker, and I’m Heart of a Baker everywhere, so Instagram’s usually where I hang out the most. So just @HeartofaBaker, I would love to have anyone follow and hang out and watch me, share favorite things or talk about whatever’s going on.

Alexa Peduzzi: For sure. So thank you so, so much. Always awesome to talk to you. And we’ll see you next time.

Abby Bayatpour: Thank you.

Alexa Peduzzi: And that’s a wrap, my friend. Thank you so much for tuning into the podcast this week. If social media is confusing for you, first of all, you are not alone because I am right there with you. But second, we have a ton of resources on Food Blogger Pro that you might find helpful. We’ve linked a few blog articles and podcast episodes, as well as some member only courses and Q&As in the show notes for this episode, so if you’re interested in checking those out, be sure to go to FoodBloggerPro.com/241. And that does it for us this week, be sure to tune in next week to learn about optimizing your Pinterest efforts for this year. We’ll see you then, but until then, make it a great week.

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  1. Thanks, this was a helpful podcast.

    One thing I didn’t hear addressed that I’d be curious to hear about is hashtags on Instagram. In particular, how many recommended these days.

    Also, I’ve seen some people recommend to put the hashtags in the first comment as opposed to the caption. Thoughts on that?

    1. Hey, David! Glad you found this episode helpful. 😊

      We actually have a post all about Instagram hashtags here: https://www.foodbloggerpro.com/blog/instagram-hashtags-for-food-blogs/ You can use up to 30, but we suggest experimenting to see what works best for you. I tend to use a lot (probably in the 20-25 range).

      As for placement, like you mentioned, you can put hashtags in the first comment to keep the caption nice and clean or place them in the caption itself. Again, totally up to you on that. For ease, I keep my comments in the caption – I just separate them a bit like this: https://www.instagram.com/p/B8t2EDXJEQ5/

      1. OK thanks Alexa! These recommendations seem similar to what I’ve heard generally for best practice. I did hear a couple mentions recently that a lesser number of hashtags for IG was now being recommend (e.g. 5 or so). But nothing the FBP team is aware of that would warrant shifting to less tags?