Perseverance pays off, starting at breakfast time

Social media refuseniks often cite ‘people posting pictures of their lunch’ as a reason to avoid the whole thing. However one recent content hit proves that thousands and thousands of people are absolutely riveted by other people’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The Instagram account SymmetryBreakfast has acquired 97,900 followers since it was set up in January. Under the tagline ‘for my boyfriend and me’, Hackney resident Michael Zee has posted almost 400 pictures of beautiful, mouthwatering and entirely symmetrical breakfasts.

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I find the posts really gorgeous to look at, but even for people who are bored to tears by food pictures, Mr Zee is a useful example of how to make good content. The first symmetrical breakfast he produced was a happy accident, he told The Guardian – he posted a photo of it online and attracted a few comments from friends. He decided to make the matching breakfasts a regular thing and set up the Instagram account at the start of this year. It had 200 followers at the end of a month but he hasn’t missed a day in a year, and the account now has the best part of 100,000 followers.

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Online popularity has even translated into real life and real money: there were queues at a SymmetryBreakfast pop-up café in London, he has plans to write a cookbook and a range of homewares is in the offing. Offers to collaborate have been made from huge brands such as Nespresso, but turned down.

So the lesson is not to start posting pictures of your toast (Mr Zee trained as a photographer and seems to have an amazing array of crockery at home as well as a talent for cooking), but that perseverance pays off: SymmetryBreakfast could have called it a day at 200 followers, letting the posts become more and more sporadic until the account fizzled out. By sticking with it and producing images of a consistently high quality, he has been able to keep followers interested and add many thousands more. As an amateur blogger, Mr Zee has also been able to translate his labour of love into something that can make money.

For corporations and brands, his success shows the importance of thinking like a publisher – maintaining and growing an audience by producing high-quality content your customers and readers want to look at on your website and social media streams. You also need the discipline of the newsroom to produce the content on time, be that every day or once a week, so there is always something fresh to look at.

Finally, to show FirstWord always practice what we preach, here’s one we made earlier:

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Our own foray into the world of food porn was accompanied on Twitter by a diatribe against the rarely mentioned scandal of too-short cooking times provided by oven chip manufacturers…

 

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