It wasn't terribly long ago when credible food photographers and chefs really only wanted to be found in magazines like Bon Appétit and Food & Wine. But thanks to the explosion of mobile photography over the past few years, more and more culinary pros are showing off their best pics every day on Instagram—right alongside amateur foodies—to thousands of fans.
Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners' social media shop Attention pulled data from 8 million posts to find out how food marketers stack up on Instagram for Adweek's Food Issue this week. And now we've asked the firm to suss out the app’s top 10 foodie personalities.
The agency first zeroed in on Instagram accounts with a national reach (meaning that niche bloggers and chefs only popular in small communities or in specific cities were not included).
The team then analyzed the engagement and sentiment of individual posts to find out which accounts people connected with the most. While accounts with big Instagram followings look good on the surface, they don't always have the best engagement. For instance, an account named @eats boasts 325,000 followers, but the comments on pictures don't show people talking to each other. Instead, the account primarily shows off stylized food pics.
The data also looks at how much of a role Instagram plays in the overall marketing for bloggers and chefs. Unsurprisingly, many of the names have bigger followings on Twitter, but Attention's findings are designed to home in on Instagram's foodie community.
Each of these Instagrammers has amassed a group of loyal followers, often parlaying that success into cookbooks, TV shows and brand partnerships.
For brands looking to up their social game when it comes to engagement, the app's top food accounts show the importance of shooting simple photos from interesting angles.