Social media platforms constantly roll out new algorithm changes that leave us all scrambling to catch up. One of the ‘hacks’ that has come out of Instagram changes are Instagram Pods – are they a strategy you need to implement on your Instagram account? Keep reading to find out.
What is an Instagram pod?
An Instagram pod, also known as a ‘comment-pod’ or ‘engagement-pod’, is used to ‘beat-the-algorithm’ on Instagram and increase engagement on your account.
How do they work?
Basically, people join a private chat group on a social media platform (can be Instagram or another one) and share within that group when they have posted a photo on their account.
The idea is that members of the group chat will go to that specific photo and like or comment to increase the account holders engagement.
There are, of course, rules of engagement within these pods that have to be followed prior to a member sharing their own content. The rules generally revolve around some of the following:
- Commenting on X amount of photos before yours
- Comments being engaging (at least 4 words to ‘cheat’ the system)
- Liking X amount of photos before yours
- Following ‘insert-admin-name-here’ Instagram account
Even with the rules, it all sounds pretty enticing right? I mean, free engagement just because you’re part of a select group of people – it would be foolish not to join one or more.
So maybe I’m a fool, but let me tell you why.
What Instagram pods actually do for you
Instagram pods will increase engagement but only on the photos you share in your pod.
As there is not usually a rule about following the other members of the pod, it is unlikely you will see an increase in follower numbers OR an increase in engagement on content you don’t share in the pod.
So what’s the point?[left]If all you are looking for is an increase in numbers of your account engagement, then Instagram pods will most likely help you sleep at night.[/left] [right]But if you are an entrepreneur or own a small business, the likelihood of gaining genuine followers and building an authentic community is low.[/right]
I’ve said this in a previous post but I’ll mention it again.
The numbers don’t matter if your audience doesn’t care.
At the end of the day, if you want to successfully grow an online business, you need to build an engaged community filled with your ideal target market.
Will Instagram pods help you build an engaged community?
The short answer: no.
Especially if you join any old Instagram pod filled with people only interested in growing their own engagement numbers.
However, depending on your business, it is possible for you to find (or even start) an Instagram pod with like-minded creatives or your very own target market.
For example, I work in digital marketing and social media, so some Instagram pods could be beneficial. Why? People using Instagram pods know that growth and engagement is important but may need some advice on other types of social media strategies available.
So is that a yes?
It’s a possibility. But your results will depend entirely on the type of Instagram pod you join and the type of people within that pod.
Why does it matter who is in the Instagram pod?
Because friend, ever since Instagram dropped their chronological order (RIP) for Instagram feeds, they’ve been sharing content they think you will like.
How do they know what you like?
By basing their assumptions on your interactions with other accounts.
So it’s safe to assume that your content will be seen by those who engage with it frequently. It’s also safe to assume that this rule applies to everyone else.
If you’re sharing content in an Instagram pod that doesn’t consist of your ideal audience or your own followers (who should be within your target market), is there really a point? Because if they don’t find your content relevant, all that engagement you are having with them is a waste of time.
How do you grow your Instagram account?
It’s all a matter of strategy and implementation. And before your eyes glaze over, let me make it a little less boring.
You need to consistently create super sweet socials by implementing an awesome Instagram marketing strategy.
I won’t get into the nitty gritty strategy details today, but stay tuned for future posts outlining the effectiveness of different social media strategies.
For now, I’ll leave you with a few tried and true ideas to make sure you’re on track.
- Sweet as bio
- Relevant link in bio (check out linktr.ee)
- Consistent posting
- Hashtag strategy
- Genuine engagement
What are your thoughts on ‘cheating-the-system’? Have you found Instagram pods beneficial?