Do Instagram Pods Really Help? 5 Factors to Consider for Your Brand

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What are Instagram Pods? 

Instagram Pods, also known as “Comment Pods” or “Engagement Pods,” are small groups of 10-15 like-minded users, usually bloggers, influencers, and content creators working in niches and with similar audiences. Pod members collaborate and support each other to increase the popularity of their respective content. Therefore, they follow, like, and leave meaningful comments to each other’s content to help drive their publications into the users’ news. In short, the sole purpose of Instagram Pods is to help your content go viral and get more Instagram Followers without an app.

How do Instagram Pods work?

If the concept of Instagram Pods sounds compelling to you and you’ve decided to join one, then you’re in for a big challenge. Pods are exclusive and by invitation only. Although it’s fairly easy to find one, when you ask around your network or in the forums, Pod members aren’t as open to newcomers. The solution to this problem: start your own group. If you follow the rules and get your peers to interact with your content in a meaningful way (that means leaving comments containing more than four words or a flow of emojis), then you can increase the popularity of your posts. Add the users you want on your Pod a group message on Instagram. Try to keep the group small and relevant to your audience.

Have members post to the group message whenever they have new content. Members must be ready to jump in and increase the visibility of the post, thus “skipping” the algorithm. The more feedback you get on a message, the more likely it is to appear on the Explore page.

What is the Browse page? 

In 2016, Instagram removed the Popular page and replaced it with the Explore page. While not everyone was happy with the change, it was a logical step that better reflected the functions of the new algorithm. Like any other social networking platform, Instagram attempts to customize your content based on your search history. Depending on the type of posts you’ve liked or participated in the past, the algorithm will use the Browse page to suggest similar content that you’re more likely to enjoy. Therefore, if you want to expand your Instagram reach and connect with a wider audience, you should strive to enter the Explore page. Pods can help you in this effort, as their main goal is to increase your participation rate through the support of your fellow Pod members.

Are Instagram Pods effective? 

Let’s be honest for a second. It doesn’t matter what social network we’re talking about; their algorithms will always open debates about how effective and fair they are. Instagram makes no exception. In essence, Pods are a way to fool the system, but Instagram users have yet to work towards that efficiency. For one thing, the algorithm seems to defeat the purpose of Instagram Pods because it is so heavily influenced by users’ participation habits.

In other words, if you constantly interact with content in a particular account, that content will always appear at the top of your feed. Therefore, you don’t need to be informed by your group. Even if some posts are very popular in an account, if you rarely get involved with it, it won’t rank high in your feed. On the other hand, the comments you receive from your Pod members can increase your commitment. Here are some tips on how to get empathy.

When users see a good conversation flowing beneath your post, they’re more tempted to participate, especially if you’re part of it too. Therefore, the more comments a post has, the better the chances of getting to the Explore page. The key is to get your group members to react quickly, which tells Instagram that there may be something valuable there. It’s definitely helpful that the algorithm doesn’t distinguish between regular engagement and Pod engagement. Also, as with any group, you can make new connections and grow your network through Pods. Just find the right ones, where users feel part of an active community.

What are the implications of joining Instagram Pods? 

Joining an Instagram Pod is not without consequences and you should know them:

  • It can damage your brand image: Pods are the first thing that comes to mind when you notice an odd comment at an exaggerated “I like” rate. Keep in mind that users value authenticity in social networks, and cheating the system is not that. In the end, it’s up to you whether that says something good or bad about your brand and whether you’re willing to make a bet with some risk.
  • It takes a lot of work: as a member of the Pods, you must put some work into “I like” and comment on your fellow users’ content if you want them to return the service. In a group of 14 active members who post constantly, it can be a little difficult to keep up with them and take care of your account as well. Not to mention that it can be frustrating when members don’t respond quickly enough or worse, don’t respond at all.
  • Data sessions: If you have a large audience, you can take advantage of it to get branded offers. Keep in mind that brands consider their engagement rates to determine the performance of your publications. Artificial comments given by Pod members alter the data, as they come from people who are not necessarily interested in those products. On a side note, Pods can help you get more sponsored content offers.

In conclusion

Joining Instagram Pods has its ups and downs. But don’t take what others say for granted. They can be beneficial to your Instagram, so you should at least try them out. However, Pods or no Pods, one thing is for sure: Instagram is a primary channel for promoting your brand.