By Freya Ensbey.
Food influencers of today are no longer reserved to speak
from the glossy pages of magazines of large publishing stables one could find
on the supermarket shelves, or from the television screens of well-known
The rise of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and
Twitter, along with the easily accessible realm of online blogging has taken
the home cook enthusiast and recipe creators from their very own kitchen and
onto the screens of hand held devices across the country, influencing those
seeking at a simple click of a #hashtag.
Australian start-up company TRIBE, created by television and radio
personality Jules Lund, has embraced this entwined tech culture, creating a
space designed to pair together brands with influencing Australians with a bit
of social media clout, for the financial benefit of all parties involved,
including the consumer, in the transaction.
TRIBE achieves this by beginning with the brand, which will
post a campaign brief which influencers can then react to and send in content,
such as a picture of themselves using the product to be posted on Instagram,
Twitter or Facebook. If the brand finds the relationship a good match, they
will sponsor the influencer to post it straight to their designated social
media channel, creating an authentic advertisement to their organic following.
We speak with TRIBE Founder Jules Lund
Q: How are food and alcohol brands using creators to their
A: We often taste with our eyes, well before our mouths and
the visual focus of Instagram allows food and alcohol brands to easily leverage
off this platform and cater to our visual appetites. With platforms like TRIBE,
brands can now easily access everyday people and social media influencers to
capture the food style and imagery for them. Who better to promote the latest
restaurant opening or premium whiskey label, then the very consumers of those
Q: In what ways are these creators changing the way
Australians (specifically) view food?
A: Food and drink have always been highly visual and
creative passions, however we used to only see this in restaurants and cocktail
bars. Through social media, everyday people with a knack or creative food
talent can easily showcase their passion to the world, demonstrating their own
recipes, or simply celebrating their own food style.
Q: Do you see any arising issues from brands solely using
influencers that may have no professional background or understanding in the
field they are admired for? In what ways are those influences that use TRIBE
trying to overcome some of this stigma?
A: Social media influence relies on authenticity and an
influencer’s value is primarily connected to their audience and the maintenance
of an authentic visual dialogue with them. In situations where an influencer is
overstating their credentials in any field, they risk breaching their audience
trust and losing their value as an influencer. Influencers can often be highly
qualified, or can simply be everyday people with passions, so it’s also
important for audiences to assess their judgement as they might from a
professional or peer.
Meet some of the TRIBE
Influencer: Sonali Ghosh @sugaretal Blog: www.sugaretal.com
Sonali is a former investment banker from India. She took
the gamble to quit her job, move to Australia and followed her passion for food
photography. Sonali is a self-taught recipe writer and photographer who creates
recipes and images for publications and brands around the world. She keeps her
voracious sweet tooth at bay by consuming 2 tablespoons of cake batter every
day (from organic, free range eggs of course). Sonali’s favourite things
include colours, chocolate, cheese and of course her camera.
Almond Milk Panna Cotta with Pomegranates
Influencer: Melissa Tee @tsymelissa Blog: www.myfoodfever.com
Being born in Malaysia, Melissa is now a Sydney local who
loves all things baking, deciding one day to begin adding this to her social
media platforms, gaining popular attention from her now 16, 000+ followers, who
couldn’t get enough of her creations.
"I love eating, baking, cooking, cafe-hopping and started
photographing everything that I eat and bake about two years ago. Food is my
daily inspiration and I can’t live without it. I am a sweet tooth and love all
Matcha Cake Stack with Matcha Cream
Influencer: Ryan Gelbart @gelbyskitchen
Ryan is a professionally trained actor and business owner
now based in NYC. His Instagram account Gelbys Kitchen has thousands of
followers, however cooking didn't always come naturally! As a teenager, hours
of Huey's cooking adventures and many disastrous dishes later something
clicked! Keep it simple stupid. Ryan said, "Some people enjoy yoga, I
relax and zone out when I cook!"
Check it out TRIBE in the App
Store under TRIBE INFLUENCER