Have you ever looked at those accounts and think how in the f@$* did you get 20K followers so fast? Or maybe you spent a ton of time looking for and crafting the perfect post, only to gain a few likes….Hmm what can you do now?
Your hard work should not go unnoticed.
There is a technique that many users use to gain engagement and followers and help their posts go viral. It is Instagram Pods my friend…
This is a widely used process that works great if done effectively and with the right “Pod.”
In June of 2016 you may remember Instagram laid out their new algorithm which actually displays more popular posts above others much like Facebook. Previously Instagram displayed their posts in a chronological order. This is why engagement is now more important than ever when it comes to Instagram. In March 2017 they posted the following: “To improve your experience, your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most.”
There is no telling exactly when Instagram Pods came into play, but it is most likely a result of the new non-chronological algorithm. You may have heard the saying “Beat the algorithm and join an Insta Pod!”
In order to get on that popular Explore page your posts need to have organic engagement. The posts that are shown on each users Explore Page are unique to the content that Instagram feels this person would most likely want to see based on past engagement and accounts they are currently following.
What are Instagram Pods?
It is essentially a team of people working together to grow their Instagram accounts organically. When referring to organically we mean that they are growing their account with real people, real likes and real followers. This team may consist of around 10 or more people who are in the same niche and can relate to each others content. They follow, comment and like each others posts to give everyone in the group more engagement on their account. Communication between members is typically run through private message and when someone has a new post they will send it in a private message to all pod members.
In a collaborative effort everyone works together to like and comment on all new posts and maybe even repost content. If everyone engages it is a great opportunity for even more engagement because their is a “follower effect” on social media which results in more comments once there are already a thread of conversations around a post. Typically when you are part of an Instagram pod there are specific rules to follow such as
- Follow everyone else within the Insta pod. This is kind of a given that you would follow all members of your pod so that you can stay fresh with their content.
- Meet daily/weekly requirements – Each group may have a weekly requirement that means everyone in the group much comment on at least 10 or 20 other posts to . This is only fair as its give and take and everyone should be pulling their weight. However before making the commitment to join if it is a group that requires more engagement than you were hoping for consider it hard before joining, or you might get turfed once you cannot keep up with the engagement requirements.
- Words per comment – one or two worded comments such as “awesome” typically do not do much for a post to keep the conversation going. This is why open ended comments that either leave a question or provide a helpful tip are more likely to get people talking and are the reason that these tight knit groups have the success that they do.
Do Instagram Pods Provide Results?
It is important to note that in addition to your Insta Pod you need to be generating new and fresh content regularly to keep your followers engaged. If you don’t have new content then you can’t get new engagement and you can’t gain new followers. Posting at least daily but no more than 3 times a day is ideal.
How Can You Join An Instagram Pod?
There are basically three ways to be part of an Instapod – 1. Get invited 2. Ask to join 3. Create your own.
The most common place to collaborate with other Instagrammers is in Facebook group specially for InstaPods.
You may also notice certain accounts liking each others posts a lot. If you are looking to join you can get started by sending out some friendly DMs or emails to similar sized accounts in your niche.
Start by searching for relevant hashtags to your target market. Introduce yourself and ask if they want to collaborate. Team up to support one another and help each other grow. Exchange strategies or do a share for share are just a few options of what you can do.
How To Know If An Instagram Pod Is Right For You?
Just like any online group it is important that you are with a group that is the right fit. Just because you have been approved to join something doesn’t mean it is necessarily right for you. When joining an Instagram pod it is important that you choose a group that is bringing in quality traffic for you that ultimately converts to sales and long term followers. An audience of 40K is great for your ego but if they aren’t going to buy from you then its all for show..
Before joining forces with other Instagrammers ask the following questions:
- Are they posting consistently?
- Are they attracting a like minded audience? Would their audience also want to buy from you?
- Do you know anything about the industry they are posting in and is it relatable to you? You will likely need to engage with their brands and provide value so you have to know how to engage with their brand.
Working with companies that “mesh”
If you are a local business or managing an account for them, then you obviously want to work with other local businesses. For example a Realtor may join forces with an interior designer, a local plumbing company and a mortgage broker. These are all businesses who are attracting homeowners or potential homeowners in the location that you are targeting. An e-commerce business who specializing in selling custom T-shirt graphics may join forces with a web design company and a social media marketing company to
How to set up an Instagram Pod
Setting up your own pod is a great way to be in control of your “Instagram community.” Why not jump the gun and invite those that you feel would be a great fit?
Having said that, you will need to choose your group members wisely and realistically. Since we already touched on choosing the right audience for your Instagram pod, it is also important to choose a realistic audience If you are under 1000 followers and you are only messaging accounts with 50K+ followers you might be a little out of your league. Why not try to hit some other accounts in the same boats as you. Those that you feel would mesh with you, are active online and are still growing their accounts.
Here are the steps you will want to take when setting up your own Instagram Pod:
1.Choose 5-8 like-minded Instagrammers
Choose Instagrammers who:
- Post consistently
- Post creatively
- Post about the same topics as you
- Share a similar follow count as you
Pro Tip: Check out the Facebook group “The Gram Gang.” Once you’re accepted, you can find many Instagrammers looking to join a Pod.
2. Message each member privately
Send a direct message to each possible Instagram Pod member.
You may want to use this template
I’m looking for a a group of like minded entrepreneurs to help and support one another on Instagram. As you may know Instagram algorithm currently ranks those posts with higher engagement above others. A great way to beat this algorithm is to join an Instagram Pod that allows us to help each other by commenting and liking each others posts.
I believe that your business and the content that you produce would be a great fit for my Instagram Pod. Would you be interested in joining our group of creative entrepreneurs? Please let me know!
I look forward to hearing from you!
3. Create a Name and Place To Collaborate.
Create a name for your group and place to message each other when new posts are available.
4. Inform Everyone Of the Rules Of The Group
Once your rules are established you should let the entire group know by sending them a message:
Welcome [TITLE] Instagram Pod!
Thank you for joining this Pod ad I look forward to growing everyones accounts and building each others businesses up here on Instagram.
Here are the guidelines of this group:
- Once You have posted a new post please notify the group and everyone in the group will engage.
- Everyone must like and comment on each member’s post after they have notified the group. Please try to engage within 24 hours at the most.
- Comments must be more ______ words long to boost engagement.
- Comments should be genuine and unique to every post. No online liners please such as, “Wow very cool!
Please let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to seeing everyones content and working with you all!
5. Follow Up With Your Pod Members
Instagram really frowns upon InstaPods or anyone trying to beat their system that is not genuine so therefore it is not best to collaborate within Instagram. I would use a Facebook Group or a private email chain that you can exchange information, questions and rules etc. Keeping track of the accounts when they first started and everyones numbers months after the group has started is also a great way to showcase your wins!.
You now have a new group in process and you are on your way to getting great results.
What To Watch For When It Comes To Instagram Pods
-Sometimes after a while commenters start to get lazy and leave shorter comments or disingenuous ones
-If you can try to work with a few Instagram Pods then you won’t have the same 10 commenters on all your posts. Your followers will eventually begin to see what is happening.
-When there are excessive comments but only 50 likes it will look skewed.
So there you have it….
You don’t need to spend a ton of time on Instagram to get great results. When it comes to Instagram, more time on the platform does not necessarily mean greater results…it boils down to great strategies, because you are busy.
All in all collaborating online with likeminded entrepreneurs and building each other up is really what it is all about and we are so lucky that we have the entire world to communicate with on Instagram. By increasing exposure of your account and getting yourself out there you can eventually create engagement without using Instagram pods.