By Evelyn Kim

As many restaurant business shift towards and delivery model, social media presence has become increasingly important. Food-A-Go-Go sat down local social media advisor and foodie Melissa Chang to talk about her approach to food-based content on social media.


Melissa Chang is a social media advisor to private and commercial clients around Hawaii. As a hobby, she also runs a social media channel by the handle @Melissa808 where she shares her culinary adventures with about 16.5K followers. She is a regular contributor to Frolic and Hawaii IRL.

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What are some adjustments you have had to make for your Instagram food channel since Coronavirus pandemic started? 

Most of the time, I would visit places in a large group of people so that we could order a variety of items all at once and taste them together.  Since social distancing has eliminated that option, to get multiple items from one menu has been a longer process.

Do you have any food styling tips for shooting take out dishes? 

I use a light box, and don’t do much photo editing. I also try to re-plate my food, especially if it is from high end places. I don’t think it would be appropriate to shoot exquisite food in Styrofoam, so I try my best to highlight the items in an organic way.

What are your thoughts on being able to help restaurants during this time? 

I think it’s a good time for restauranteurs to reach out to food bloggers to come and try the food. A lot of old school hole-in-the-walls are coming out and becoming more visible in social media in the last month. Starting engagements with social media influencers will help them establish digital presence and spread information about their product.

What does it take and cost for the rest to get started? 

First, open an account. If you can afford it, you can hire someone to manage the account. You can also reach out to food writers and influencers to stimulate it.

Full time food influencers depend on restaurants and merchants to exist in order to provide the raw content for them to share or mediate.  With the dining industry changing so much what do you foresee for the people in your field?  Selection of independent restaurants will probably decrease after COVID, and dining capacity will also be limited.  It will limit your access and choice of content, any thoughts? 

Most people who do it here see it as a hobby and not a profession. For those who are doing it full time, they can pursue paid partnerships with restaurants or grocery chains.

How are you using your platform to help the food industry during this time? 

I try to eat at a variety of restaurants all the time, regardless of convenience so that I can spread information.