About Cari Garcia
Cari shares, “Back then, it was just Twitter. I had a Twitter. I didn’t have anything else, and then the social media landscape started progressing. I started integrating more platforms like Instagram, a Facebook page, and over the years, primarily my Instagram grew.”
Eventually, Cari created Pinterest, YouTube and TikTok accounts to promote her blog. As her blog grew, she noticed that many posts about local restaurants became obsolete whenever a restaurant shut down. In response, Cari began sharing more recipes, particularly ones that celebrate her Latina background.
Sharing recipes had a noticeable impact on her social media following.
She adds, “So now, if you go to my social media, I still feature local restaurants because that’s where the bulk of my following came from over the years, but now I’ve integrated a lot of my own recipes as well, so it’s a mix of homemade food as well as local restaurants.”
This topic combination grew her Instagram following substantially. Like many others, she also noticed a significant uptick in her TikTok’s following and engagement at the beginning of the pandemic.
Before TikTok, Cari explained that she never used to create video content. However, after seeing the popularity of video content, she started creating video content for Instagram and YouTube Shorts.
Crafting Unique Food Content
If you watch Cari’s social media posts, you’ll notice that she uses audio from comedians or other individuals as background sound for her cooking videos. She shares that this is because she is a bit self-conscious about her voice and accent.
“I feel more comfortable finding funny audio that I can relate to and using those to help tell a story. They’ve worked well for me.”
She adds that she’s had several of her videos using funny audio clips go viral on TikTok. Her most viewed TikToks have close to six million views. One of her most viral TikTok videos features a recipe for a homemade McGriddle.
For Instagram, she uses shorter audio clips to appeal to her target audience over there. This strategy has worked out for her, as she shares that she’s had one Instagram post receive 15 million views.
Her most viral Instagram post features a milkshake being made with a berry over the top. The milkshake itself is eye-catching, but the humor delivered with the funny audio is what makes this post a winner.
Cari explains that the audio for the milkshake post joked about how she can afford her lifestyle, a question she is frequently asked. The audio perfectly matches the over-the-top, luxurious milkshake, creating a winning combination.
Cari’s Marketing Strategies
When asked about her marketing strategy, Cari shares the following.
“I wouldn’t call it so much a marketing strategy. It’s just a matter of being consistent. Each platform has its own way of doing things and its way of operating, so kind of learning the landscape for each social media outlet is very important and also understanding who the target audience is.”
For example, the TikTok target audience is primarily Gen Z, while Instagram has more millennial users and Facebook has a greater Gen X audience.
Another critical aspect of her marketing strategy is having a specific niche.
“My followers know they’re not going to come to me for hairstyles and beauty hacks. They know they’re coming to me for recipes and where to eat.”
She recommends crafting what your page looks like so that it’s obvious to your audience what your page offers. Often, pages can be too broad with their offerings, which may confuse your audience or make it difficult for you to grow.
Cari has been in the business for 12 years and has worked with many brands over the years.
Her favorite brand partnerships allow her to take the brand’s product and craft a recipe with it.
“To take their product and make it my own and kind of reinvent it in a way that I feel my followers can really appreciate are always the most satisfying projects.”
Brand partnerships are a significant income stream for many creators and allow some creators to go full-time. Cari is one of these creators.
Cari shares that her content creation journey started as a hobby. Previously, she worked in healthcare as a social worker, typically in a hospital setting.
“The biggest highlight for me has been being able to quit my job this year and go full-time with my blog and social media, so that’s definitely been a win for me, being able to make this my full-time job and being able to make more money than I did as a healthcare worker.”
What’s Missing in the Creator Marketplace?
Cari would love to see better and more targeted analytics from social media platforms in the coming years. She’d love to know more about her followers, such as where they’re specifically from. For example, an analytic that tells her not just the country her followers are from but if they are also from South Florida like herself.
In addition, Cari shares that she wants better security from social media platforms.
“I would love [better security] because, at the end of the day, we are working on these platforms, and these accounts that we have are not ours. If something happens, our accounts can be disabled at any given moment, especially with the way that every day we see a new hacking trend happening.”
She adds that she had her Instagram account disabled in 2018, which was a scary experience for her, and she was locked out for three weeks.
At the time, she had pending brand campaigns and was told by brands that if she didn’t get her account back, the campaigns would be null and void. This scared her because she was depending on the money for the holidays.
“It was something that I had nothing to do with, and I was pretty much at the mercy of the Instagram gods to see if maybe they would decide to bring my account back.”
As a result of this experience, she would love to see additional security added to social media platforms.
An Exciting Milestone
Cari is close to hitting 200,000 followers on her Instagram account, a huge milestone she is excitedly looking forward to soon.
In celebration of this milestone, she is planning a series of nationwide giveaways.