Whether you just launched a new product, opened a restaurant, or are trying to get your name out there more, Instagram is the tool to help you grow your business. But, what if you don’t know what to post, when to post, or how to get that drool-worthy shot? That’s where influencers come in. They are pros, and will be the key to your success on attracting a wider audience.

First, forget the professional photo. This makes the product look untouchable. Be sure you understand your target audience and what they want to see. Typically, Instagram foodies go wild for close-up, in-your-face food photos that show the realness of the the meal or product. Once you find your niche and the follows start to trickle in, your reach will expand as your photos are exposed to a wider demographic.

But, you can’t just stop at the photo - you need a caption to go along with it. Influencers are great at coming up with a wide variety of captions, be it simply stating what is in the picture or using a pun to get a laugh along with a “like.” And, don’t forget to hashtag. Using the right hashtags on a post can lead to higher engagement - one of the things you are hoping for to help in growing your food business.

Next, you need to know when the right time to post is. Influencers know when their target audience is on Instagram and are most likely to see their photos. Apps like Iconosquare and Union Metrics make it easy for influencers to track how their posts perform as well as when their target audience is most engaged. With these insights, they can post during peak times to achieve the greatest engagement and number of views.

Finally, influencers know how to get the drool-worthy, need this now shot. They are careful to make sure photos are taken in natural lighting, with additional lighting added as needed. Influencers know how important the perfect photo is and they do a lot to get it! They stand on top of chairs, hovering over food on the table for the best birds eye view. They lift their fork full of mac ‘n cheese to get the cheese-pull action shot. They walk around the block to use street art as the backdrop for their subject to incorporate bright color. Through trial and error, influencers have learned the best way to take the kind of photo that shows off the product and makes followers engage.

Want to grow your food business using Instagram? Influencers are the way to do it. They have the skills and knowledge of the platform, along with the followers, data, and experience to help you do so. And, Foodie Tribe can help.

Image credit: The Naughty Fork, Foodie Tribe Influencer

Dara Schlossmann is Community Manager at Foodie Tribe. In her free time you will find her taking advantage of the sunny Florida weather, traveling, or in the kitchen cooking up a new recipe.