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Episode #014: How Authentic Instagram Engagement Can Help Grow Your Food Blog With Sophia DeSantis

In episode 014, we talk with Sophia DeSantis about having an authentic voice to share with your audience on Instagram and how that you can help grow your blog.

We cover information about what Instagram offers to help you achieve your goals, create an authentic voice and learn how to interact with other users.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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Guest Details

Connect with Veggies Don’t Bite
Website | Instagram | Facebook

Bio Sophia is the food magician behind Veggies Don’t Bite. Her super power is using whole food ingredients to create plant-based recipes that will change the way your entire family views healthy food. With comfort food classics to veggie filled meals, plus the occasional sweet indulgence, she creates a place where all types of eaters unite. When Sofia is not creating magic in the kitchen, you can find her helping real life busy people organize their meals without tearing their hair out!


  • Instagram is a business and you run a business.

  • Instagram should be run by the actual blogger vs your VA.

  • Instagram’s platform is set up so that the more you engage people, the more your business and your brand will be rewarded. 

  • 2-4% is the norm for engagement on Instagram.

  • Growing engagement on Instagram is like a snowball. Step 1 starts with beginning to know your audience, because if you don’t know your audience, you can’t engage with them. 

  • Use a call to action on Instagram stories instead of “swipe up.” It can be more work but it’s more personable and builds a stronger audience connection. 

  • Post 2-3x a week

  • Don’t focus on numbers – likes, followers, etc. Instead focus on the people in your audience. 

  • IG stories are different than posts. If you have a lot of dots at the top of the screen, it gets overwhelming to your listeners. Keep it short and only put up 2-3.

  • Many people who follow Instagram stories flip through with the volume off. 62% of her audience said they do stories muted. So if you don’t use words and make it so they want to listen, you’ve made it about you, not them. 

  • Keep it simple and use what Instagram offers for the account because that is what they built-in for you. Instagram likes that behavior.

  • Use polls to get feedback on what to do with your account. Listen to your audience when they respond.

  • The algorithm connects people that have similar interests. So if you have a follower that is constantly connecting with you, Instagram is going to show that follower accounts that are similar to yours.

  • Instagram stories connects real life people with you.

  • People love watching people’s lives. 

  • Different social media platforms are good for different things. They serve different purposes. Pinterest is good for traffic. SEO/google search is for traffic. But Instagram is a different mind set. This isn’t a traffic building platform. What Instagram does is help build a relationship with your audience, create connections. But these numbers are different, not easily measured directly.

  • Sophia offers a free opt-in to her email list because that is something she owns and is hers. She wants to create products for her audience on Instagram.

Resources Mentioned

Freebie on Instagram!


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Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

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