The instructions from award-winning cooking site Food 52 were simple enough: Tag your in-the-round photos #f52grams, and we’ll regram our faves.
I deliberate. I shop. I make. I photograph. I upload photos. I consult my sister, the social media guru at 16, on which picture will merit the desired regram. I enhance it with the twenty odd filters Instagram offers. I craft a clever comment. I hashtag #f52grams. I post. I wait. Nothing happens. I am slightly annoyed.
Is regram even a word? (Spell check doesn’t think so!) And hashtag – who came up with that one?
Social media has enabled a lot of amazing things, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes (okay I admit more often than not) I wonder what the possible purpose could be of this incessant sharing that has become part and parcel of so many of our lives. Sharing photos, comments, feelings, opinions, what you ate for breakfast, and how much you lifted this morning at the gym…how is this a good use of our time?
The real question is why am I so caught up on the fact that Food 52 did not regram the picture of my Almond Tart?
Aside from the time and effort expended for the sole purpose of getting a regram (which would have meant Food 52’s more than one million followers could have seen my photo and hopefully some of them would then have made a move to check out the blog), social media sometimes seems so futile. A couple hours went into my Instagram post and 23 people liked it. Was it worth it?
I think about that a lot at my job where I spend a decent amount of time each week building our company brand and enhancing the personal brands of our top performers across various social platforms. How many times do we need to promote a webinar on Facebook before we get registrants this way? How many LinkedIn updates do we need to provide before we’ll get a viable lead?
I went for an interview at the Los Angeles Times a couple years ago and one of the questions they asked me was: “How many followers do you have on Twitter?” While my 13 followers may or may not have been the reason I didn’t get the job, that question made me realize how valuable a presence on social media could be. I should have embraced it then, but even in the wake of that interview, I was resistant.
The newspaper has a robust following of 1.8 million followers on Twitter; it has also shared more than 130k tweets.
It seems to see real results on social media, you need to be consistent in posting content. Some of the most successful Instagrammers (spell check doesn’t like that one either) are sharing 10 pictures a day. My current employer (in the professional services space) realized this about 18 months ago and I am beginning to see that I need to be more active on these social media channels if I want to see more subscribers to the blog.
Looks like to get that @food52 regram, I’ll have to post another 100 – make that 1000 – pictures…better get on it!
This recipe was adapted from The Silver Palate.
Almond Tart à l’Orange
10 to 12 portions
3/4 unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
5 tablespoons butter, cold
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water, or as needed
1. Mix flour and sugar together. Working quickly, cut in cold butter with 2 knives or a pastry blender until mixture resembles oatmeal. Add vanilla and 2 teaspoons of the water and toss with a fork until dough just holds together. Add more water, a few drops at a time, if necessary. Do not overwork.
2. Press dough evenly into a 8-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 400°F.
4. Line the chilled dough with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans. Bake in the lower part of the oven for 8 minutes. Remove foil and beans and bake for 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons orange marmalade
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Stir sugar and orange marmalade together in a bowl, mixing well. Add remaining ingredients, blending thoroughly. Pour into partially baked shell.
2. Set on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until filling top is golden brown. Cool and serve.
Note: If your dough doesn’t come all the way up the sides of the tart pan, be sure to removed the sides of the pan before the filling cools completely. The sugar-marmalade mixture hardens to something akin to candy. If you let the tart cool in the pan, you get a nice workout and dents in the bottom of your pan trying to free the tart itself.