If you’re like me, you’ve recently taken steps to diversify your Instagram feed. There are so many talented Black creators out there, and it’s long since time that I gained a greater appreciation for them! Seeking out new accounts to follow has been a wonderful reminder of how nice it feels to add fresh perspectives to my worldview. And at the same time, it’s been an important reminder of how easy it is for us all to stay in our social media echo chambers.
After all, the Instagram algorithm is designed to keep serving us more of what it thinks we want—i.e. more of what we already like, comment on, share, and save. It’s not conducive to diversity! Thankfully there are ways to increase the likelihood that new accounts you start following actually show up in your feed. Here are 5 things you can do to diversify your feed and make sure it stays that way!
1. Engage Immediately
When you first follow a new account, the algorithm will put its posts in your feed for a day or two. If you like + comment on those posts, the algorithm will continue to serve up posts from that account. If you don’t, then it’ll stop.
So like and comment on those posts in the first days after following! Better yet, as soon as you follow, comment on a recent post to say hi! (This has the added benefit of making the creator feel seen and appreciated!)
2. Turn On Notifications
This is the best way to ensure that you see new posts from any account you’re following and want to enjoy regularly! Because the algorithm is designed to serve you what it thinks you want, you don’t have to keep notifications on indefinitely—just long enough to remind you to consistently engage with the creator + teach the algorithm that yes, you do indeed want to see their posts in your feed!
3. Save! Share! Enjoy!
Creators love when you put their ideas to work in your own life—it’s why we do what we do! So save those recipes, design ideas, fashion tips, and product recs in your Instagram archives. Then ACTUALLY try them, and share on your stories tagging the creator! This will teach the algorithm that you enjoy the account, and you’ll make the creator feel awesome!
4. Add Posts to Your Stories
If you see something you love, something that resonates with you, something that makes you think…then share it to your own stories and tag the creator. It’s a quick tap of a button that trains the algorithm to serve you more from that account, plus helps amplify diverse voices and makes creators feel valued.
5. Slide Into Those DM’s
Interacting with a creator via DM counts as engagement with their account and increases the odds that the algorithm will serve up more of their posts in your feed. So message away! Just remember that many creators struggle to keep up with replies to DM’s. Speaking for myself, I do my best to reply to all messages, but some slip through the cracks. If you don’t hear back, it’s not personal, and your patience is appreciated!