Senior attracts 81.8k followers on Harry Potter Instagram account

February 13, 2018 — by Stephen Ding

Two years ago, senior Stephanie Ren opened up her phone and tapped on the Instagram icon. She went straight to her profile and checked her follower count; it had risen by 10,000 in a week.

It was only the beginning for what was to come for her account.

As a middle schooler with lots of spare time, Ren was infatuated with the world of wizard Harry Potter, the world-renowned series by author J.K. Rowling. The idea of an intriguing world of wizardry and the complex cast of characters it contained drew her in.

One of her close friends introduced her to the online fandoms dedicated to Harry Potter and the various Harry Potter-related content. Ren was inspired to start an account of her own on Instagram in 2015.

Ren’s account, @potterscar, is one that revolves solely around Harry Potter. She maintains her account by posting one to two posts per day that include images from the books and movies, pictures of the cast members from the hit films and activities visitors of Harry Potter World at Universal Studios participate in, such as going on themed rides and drinking Potter’s favorite drink, butterbeer.

Since Ren opened her account as a sophomore, her following has grown by around 2,000 to 3,000 people a week during her peak of popularity and around 800 to 1,500 during less busy times.

“When I started, I thought it would be a cool outlet for creativity,” Ren said. “I only expected to obtain up to 10,000 followers max.”

Despite this, Ren gained a whopping 90,000 followers in a short span of three months.

“I would host games and giveaways,” Ren said. “And when my account grew, I got more exposure from places like the explore page and from being the ‘top posts’ on hashtags.”

She continued to maintain the account, making regular posts until the start of her junior year.

In the past couple of years as school work and her commitment to tennis have increased, she didn’t have time to actively run the account, which resulted in a loss of followers.

After finishing up her college applications and gaining admission to University of Washington in St Louis where she will play tennis, Ren returned to her Instagram roots. As a result of her her inactivity her junior and senior year, Ren lost around 7,000 followers, resulting in a now 81,800 follower count. In order to prevent any further loss of followers, Ren posted an apology stating the reasons for her absence.

Now that Ren is finished with her college apps, she now has more time to dedicate to her Instagram.

“I’m planning to become more active soon, but I still have to balance it with tennis, school and other activities,” Ren said.


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