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Posted by Carolyn Bernardo on April 26, 2018
You’re scrolling through your Instagram feed of BingU memes, friends and family when you come across a popular account. These people have established themselves through this platform and work to get the perfect lighting, photo, caption, hashtag and more. Have you ever wondered how they become Insta-famous? Lucky for us, Binghamton has some Insta-Influencers of our very own, who gave us a quick peek inside the life of an influencer.
When Alyssa Bossio '15 started her Instagram account seven years ago, most people didn't even know the app existed. Even though she saw immense success fairly quickly, her interest in the page was often dismissed as frivolous, that was until she met her boyfriend and business partner, Meir Schonbrun, who helped her realize she had the tools to create her own company. Alyssa now has over 1.7 million followers. Her photos feature perfectly filtered landmarks, eye-catching travel destinations, and with her signature blonde waves and stylish outfits, she makes being Insta-famous look completely effortless.
Her thoughts on social: “It’s hard to break in with how much content is already out there. Be really creative; it’s all about producing good content that people value. Don’t just copy others, create your own lane. Figure out exactly what you want to be known for and what you want to do long-term.”
Why you should follow her: Her photos and the work that goes into them is not only stunning but seriously impressive, and the positive captions that go with her photos will inspire you.
When Lindsay '15 and Emma '15 started their account they looked at it as a great hobby to share their favorite foods and shopping sprees. Once they began getting businesses involved, their social following exploded -- now they have a total of 36.1K followers.
Their thoughts on social: "We started @TheDailySpree as a hobby, showcasing our favorite foodie finds and shopaholic adventures. After working closely with various businesses and brands, we see firsthand how a strong social media presence is essential in order to thrive in this digital age."
Why you should follow them: Because who wouldn’t want a great deal and free giveaways every week?
Nancy Kwan '16 showcases her travels across the world through her Instagram account. Her presence on Instagram has helped her connect with other travelers and share inspiring photos with her growing fandom.
Her thoughts on social: “For me, social media has been my bridge to connect with other like-minded spirits whilst traveling. I love browsing for inspiration on the best photo spots, or even recommendations for the closest gym to get a quick workout in.”
Why you should follow her? Her photos really make you appreciate living on this beautiful Earth, and might make you want to book a trip and travel the world!
Nathan Sweet is still a student at Binghamton and already well on his way to a successful photography career. When he started his account it was a way to connect with friends, but soon became a way to network, which led him to exciting opportunities where he could showcase his talent.
His thoughts on social: “Social media has connected me with some of my now-closest friends, and has allowed me to network in a way I never thought was possible. It has brought countless opportunities, and even allowed me to attend and photograph New York Fashion Week!”
Why you should follow him: This talented photographer captures beautiful people in beautiful places. Need we say more?
When Ellie Bernstein ’17 first started her account, she looked at it as a fun way to share photos of what she was eating. Then companies she was tagging in her posts began reaching out to her to ask if they could send her products to promote. Now Ellie does campaigns for some of her favorite brands.
Her thoughts on social: “It gave me really great experience collaborating with social media agencies before graduating… Because of my Instagram experience, I was offered an internship to coordinate social at a local agency. When I graduated I accepted my current job: doing digital branded content in the TV industry. It's crazy to say, but I really did get to where I am today because I started an Instagram account.”
Why you should follow her? Her positive energy and happy captions will make any Monday a little more cheerful, and the food photos she takes look absolutely scrumptious.
Jiamin Li '17 uses Instagram to showcase her artwork, which is done completely through sketching with a fountain pen. She’s grown her following by amazing her fans with her talent and sharing her awesome vision with one pen and her tiny sketchbook.
Her thoughts on social: “I use Instagram to share my artwork. With apps like Instagram, I can share my work with more people and get more acknowledgement, which makes me more confident in what I am doing.”
Why you should follow her? Her illustrations are downright amazing and might inspire you to doodle a little more!
Kari Kowalski ’16 rose to fame after starring on the MTV reality show Are You The One? Since then, she’s grown her following by showcasing her passion for travel and fashion.
Her thoughts on social: “The best part of growing a following isn’t the likes or the comments, but instead receiving messages from people telling me that I inspire them. That truly makes my day.”
Why you should follow her: Her travel photos are stunning, and she’s working on something exciting for her fans. If you’re looking to live vicariously through an Insta-queen, Kari is your girl!
Ali '06 and her sister started Fatty Sundays to reinvent and modernize everyone's favorite sweet+salty treat -- chocolate-covered pretzels -- and their Instagram definitely delivers! They use their account to showcase the fun flavors they offer, and how their company is continuing to evolve and succeed!
Her thoughts on social: "Fatty Sundays makes gourmet, fun, flavored chocolate-covered pretzels in Brooklyn, N.Y. We've been able to share our colorful pretzel world on Instagram, and I think people have really enjoyed seeing us on this journey from the start, from our very first photo. Building a business is certainly a rollercoaster, and we're documenting it every day!”
Why you should follow this brand: These treats are beautifully photographed. Oh, and they look absolutely delicious!
Poorva '16 has established herself as a social star by taking dazzling shots of her everyday experiences. She uses her account to showcase her effortless and artistic vision.
Her thoughts on social: “They say social media is toxic, but I beg to differ -- it has changed my perspective on travel and living immensely, and only in beautiful, inspiring ways. I've discovered that I now look at even the simplest of cities, activities and chores with a soul, heart and eye of an artist. I put together my travels not based on an aggressive need to exhaust a giant bucket list, but on experiencing even the smallest of journeys, in the most unique, joyful ways.”
Why you should follow her: Her travels will give you serious wanderlust, and her stunning photos range from beautiful cityscapes to delicious food to her inspiring style.
Rachel '17 and Nikki '17 started their account in 2014 out of a shared love for delicious food and taking photos. Since then, they’ve grown their following to 355,000 fans. Their account is a colorful way to share the mouthwatering food of NYC and repost creative photos that are sent to them by fans.
Their thoughts on social: "We started this account in 2014 because of a shared love of great food and as something fun to do. Fast forward four years later, we have over 355,000 followers and have really turned this account into a flourishing business. We've had incredible opportunities, including dining in some of New York City's greatest restaurants, attending Broadway shows, traveling and staying in exquisite hotels, and establishing a large network of restaurateurs and food businesses across the country."
Why you should follow them: They make taking photos of your food a serious business and they’ll inspire you to make a list of foods you have to try next time you’re in the Big Apple!
Abby is a Binghamton senior who started her Instagram account out of an equal passion for fitness and healthy living. Her account documents her journey as she grows stronger and improves herself mentally and emotionally.
Her thoughts on social: “I love the energy and the happy endorphins I get after a good workout. I love sharing my fitness journey to everyone, because I know there are so many men and women who are in the same place as me."
Why you should follow her: Abby’s account spreads positive vibes and will get you motivated to get back to the gym!
When Bryan '17 started his account he was looking for a way to combine both his engineering and technical background with his passion for cooking, and @SundayNightBites was born!
His thoughts on social: “Friends and family had always been interested in my recipes, so I started Sunday Night Bites to share my love for cooking with the widest possible audience.”
Why you should follow him: Addicted to Buzzfeed's Tasty videos? Then you'll love these!
Jackie and Sami are Binghamton seniors and way ahead of the game running their own business. RopeYOUin sells custom handmade jewlery, and their social presence features all of their customers rocking these jewels.
Their thoughts on social: "Marketing through social media really helped our business grow. We wouldn’t be where we are today without it!”
Why you should follow them: Their handmade jewelry is super unique, and if you tag them in a photo wearing their gems, they'll feature you!
In creating this blog, we reached out to many Binghamton alumni who are social influencers. These are the alumni and students that provided us with a quote and photo to use for the blog. If you know of other influencers that should be included in our next social influencers feature, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And be sure to follow us on our accounts, University and Alumni.
Carolyn Bernardo is the advancement communications manager at Binghamton University. As a Binghamton native, she is passionate about the area and about the University.
There's always something new and interesting going on at Binghamton University, and this blog is our way of sharing in that excitement with you. Stay up to date on the latest happenings, learn something new, have a laugh (or two), and join us as we celebrate this energetic and outstanding community! This is your story, Binghamton.
Nicole Sirju-Johnson MPA ‘99, PhD ‘11: Campus Diversity, associate chief diversity officer
Adam Fox ‘92: Section Chief of Trauma at Rutgers NJ Medical School
Staci Romeo ‘03, MBA ‘05: Executive Director of HealthlinkNY
Maggie Chan Jones ‘96: Founder and CEO of Tenshey, Inc.
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