The versatility of Instagram – photos, videos, live streams, stories and private messaging being the most used features – is a big part of what makes it so popular. This, in turn, makes users who put out creative and quality content on the wide variety of Instagram’s features popular as well. Most users aspire to have their content reach a large audience, but with there being so much, it can be tough to stand out.
For three Colorado State University students, this sense of Instagram fame is a reality. Savannah Orth, a CSU junior psychology major, and sophomore couple Greta Duvenhage and David Rice connect with a large audience with their almost daily posts.
“It’s really easy to connect with your followers if you put the time into it,” Duvenhage said, a health and exercise science major at CSU.
“When it first started, it was out of nowhere. I think a random redhead account found my photos, and from there – that’s what started it.” — Savannah Orth, a CSU junior psychology major
The three are relatively new to Instagram notoriety. The large majority of Orth’s 55,000 followers came a couple months ago, and a big portion of Greta and David’s collective 46,000 followers came in the summer.
“We’ve both gained over ten thousand in the last 5 or 6 months,” Rice said, a CSU business major.
And their numbers are still growing. Rice estimates gaining about 20 to 30 new followers a day and the pair credits a brand they have worked with in the past, Pura Vida bracelets, as the catalyst for their account’s growth.
The increasing number of followers she was gaining took Orth by surprise and is still somewhat confused as to how it all happened. Orth credits random shoutouts from accounts featuring other ginger Instagram users as the source for most of her followers.
“When it first started, it was out of nowhere,” Orth said. “I think a random redhead account found my photos, and from there – that’s what started it.”
If great responsibility comes with great power, then more purposeful posting comes with more followers. The newfound ‘fame’ has changed some of Orth, Duvenhage and Rice’s posting habits.
In addition to finding that posts from California garner more attention, as opposed to content shot locally in Colorado, Duvenhage and Rice opt for more “business casual” content.
“We live college lives, we’ve gone to parties and we don’t really try and showcase it all,” said Rice.
“I definitely changed the content I put out a little, so it’s more selfies than I’d normally do,” Orth said. She also is careful to post less personal details and her location, leaving out anything personal and posting more broadly.
Both parties use their newfound ‘famous’ status to promote positivity in every post.
“When a few hundred people are seeing what you post, that has a lot of power to it, and it’s really cool if you can spread positivity,” Rice said.
Orth echoes this sentiment. She likes using her influence to spread happy messages and positivity, which help her too.
Although they collectively reach over 100 thousand people, all three see themselves as just regular college students.
“In class, we’re just regular people,” Duvenhage said, expressing how odd of a though it is that she will be recognized on campus.
Duvenhage and Rice hope their online following will be able to help them with their careers after graduation. Rice aspires to be the head marketer of a successful startup company and Duvenhage wants to either travel to less fortunate countries and use her HES major to improve quality of life or be a physical trainer. Orth would love to travel as well, experiencing different cultures before settling down to be a therapist or relationship counselor.
Savannah, Greta and David do not see themselves as more special than any other college student. They still have to trudge to class in the snow, cram during finals week and deal with the annoyance of professors who do not use Canvas.
Of course, most of these irritating facts of life do not make it to anyone’s Instagram page, and Orth advises people to not compare their lives to others’ social media.
“With social media being such a big thing, keep in mind people will only post their best self,” Orth said.
You can find Orth on Instagram @savvy_rose, Greta @ggduvenhage and Rice @davidbenrice.