With Instagrams latest algorithm update last year we look at how Instagram Pods are becoming a social media marketing strategy for some businesses.
What are Instagram Pods?
In nature, a pod is a family of dolphins who live together in harmony and support one another. This name fits so well with the purpose of these engagement boost groups that are changing the face of social media marketing. The members of your Instagram pod become your Instagram family and work to support you as you grow your account.
Instagram pods are a small community group who help one another on Instagram through likes and meaningful comments. The members of the Instagram pod will engage with the content of others in their pod as soon as the post goes live in order to communicate to Instagram that a particular piece of content is generating engagement.
This isn’t the first time these types of groups have been created on social media as Facebook has been known to be a social media site that also has boost groups too.
When Instagram turned on its latest algorithm update last year, it dealt a big blow to both Instagram stars and brands. The update changed what determines if you see something in your feed. Now posts that have more engagement, comments — especially by other people the user trusts — will naturally do well. This is why Instagram pods essentially hack Instagram and can have such a positive effect on all accounts.
What does Instagram think about Instagram Pods?
It’s unclear at this moment what Instagram thinks of these Instagram Pods or whether they are even allowed. Instagram doesn’t expressly forbid this kind of grassroots engagement farming but it also hacks their algorithm which they won’t like.
For others, it’s also about making sure you’re posting good content, not finding ways to just influence the numbers. Instagram is a great way for brands and businesses to increase awareness and create engagement but it is important to remember that it is about the quality of the content.
The number of followers has no relevance in 2017 as followers and likes can be bought. If you wish to create content that creates engagement and can drive results through Instagram then as always your content has to be great quality.
How do I create an Instagram pod?
There are two ways of creating an Instagram pod group.
- Add everyone that you want in your Instagram pod to a group message and create a name for your pod group. Have everyone post in the group message whenever they post an image so that everyone else can go comment and like that image.
- Add everyone that you want to be in your pod to a group message on Instagram and have them turn on post notifications for everyone. Then whenever someone in your pod posts a picture, everyone will be notified and they can go comment and like the image that way.
Essentially, pods are self-organized groups of 10 to 15 Instagrammers. They can be businesses, brands, influencers or just regular people — although they tend to mostly be influencers.
When commenting on a post always remember these top tips to create a higher engagement.
- Use a minimum of four words in your comment as Instagram.
- Avoid generic phrases that you may use on other Instagram accounts.
- Personalise your comment to help make the image unique.
- Tag the user in the comment when you reply to create an even more personal touch.
What do you think about Instagram Pods?
For brands working with influencers, they’re increasingly looking for more evidence of success as influencer marketing is becoming more expensive. Brand marketers are also pushing hard on micro-influencers by using people with 100,000 followers or more to push messages. For brand influencers, pods are a way to grow their presence.
For brands, that can be a bad thing. Pods in some ways falsify the results. People commenting on influencer posts aren’t necessarily potential customers, just other influencers. It makes it more difficult to tell what is real and what isn’t. So if you are using a brand influencer you need to make sure they are converting engagement into sales for your business.
How do you feel about Instagram pods? Will you be looking to get your business involved in one or will you be looking at creating more content that engages naturally?
If you would like to discuss any of the points raised on this blog or would like to discuss any social media marketing strategies then get in touch.