Characters on Instagram: Personal branding for community building

Instagram broke out onto the social media scene in 2010 and has become a cross-network picture sharing phenomenon. It currently has 100 million monthly users and 7.3 daily users uploading up to 4 billion photos.


Imagine 100 likes of your landscape picture

Instagram is arguably the social network with the most potential to share personality and therefore a breakout tool in personal branding.  It’s mobile-only which means that your entire account is in your pocket and you never need any extra files.  It’s also visually pleasing so unless you’re really bad at Instagramming, your page probably looks kind of awesome no matter who you are or which photography school you didn’t attend.  You can locate yourself, tag, and @message brands and hip places when you visited that one time or make it seem like you spend your days sipping cappuccino.

As you can imagine, the characters of the world have taken up their duty in personal branding and all of us regular people with 5-10 like’s a picture can look to them for life inspiration. Here are some outstanding personal brands (that is not a company) which exemplify personality meeting social media. Enjoy!

1. Wade20130511-114954.jpg

Oh Wade. The Daniel Grayson/Chuck Bass wannabe of the world.  We love your pictures, and envision a day when more men dressed as nice as you.  It would be perfection.  But more significant than Wade’s bow ties and Gatsby parties, is his ability to grow an audience of male users.  We think it starts with his talent of pulling together an outfit, a skill that many men struggle with (and eventually abandon for a t-shirt). He injects a bit of party and social documentation but doesn’t cross over into the entitled jerk persona of some prep users.  Good Job Wade.





3. Sarah Abraham20130511-114959.jpg

Photography, fashion, and lifestyle pictures captured originally.  If you like clothing, it should only take you one hashtag search to realize there are plenty of fashion blog accounts on Instagram.  Abraham has however caught the eye of 21k users undoubtedly by combining style with food, and landscape with country-chic.  She has created an account whereby we are taken to the Catskill mountains (possibly) to eat homemade jam and wear opaque tights and we love it.





4. Cats & Nails20130511-115122.jpg

You can’t get more unique than Cats & Nails, an Instagram feed about felines and fingers.  Before you scoff, think for a second if not yourself at least three people who would hit follow right away.  It’s really got it all. Insta—Good Nails—Good Cats—GOOD.






20130511-115115.jpg5. Cara Delevingne

We don’t know whether to hit the follow button on Cara, but she certainly has branded herself while translating her quirky and unique character to this App.  We wouldn’t even think she meant to— she’s probably literally putting up whatever she feels like.  Either way  it’s definitely making her stand out in the modeling world and even carving her personality  into mainstream pop culture.








6. College Prepster

Carly seems to have the life and jewelry box some of us wish we had.  She’s mastered the fun adult prep from New York City with independence and flare.  Even without the desire to own the modest pump from J.Crew, her life is like the one Jennifer Garner played in 13 Going On 30 so we’ll tune in for the fantasy.






720130511-125653.jpg. Ryotukoro

It’s literally an Instagram of two black cats. Quirky and artistic, it stands out and follows the cat-picture trend at the exact same time.  Follow it.









8. Goril Furu

Full disclosure, Goril is a friend of ours, but her photos are the reason we own a travel-fund piggy bank.  A photographer, journalist, and filmmaker, she captures the beauty of Norway in landscape pictures that are always stunning .  She is also noteable because she has  utilized Insta as a marketing tool to bring followers back to her personal instacanvas and website.  Where some photographers shun Instagram and it’s easy to use filters, the smart ones can use it to reach the masses.






We love instagram and personal branding almost equally.  The pair creates a real potential to get to know users from all over the world.  It’s quite positive for empathy and imagination.  Make your feed in such a way, and you could expand your imagination from Norway, New York City, Australia or Japan.


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