What are Instagram Pods good for? (Spoiler alert: It’s NOT for beating the algorithm.)
You may have heard that Instagram pods can be a magical little strategy to help you beat Instagram’s feed algorithm. Before we dive in to whether this is true or not, first let’s start with:
What is an Instagram Pod?
Instagram Pods are also known as “engagement pods” or “comment pods.” I’m calling them Instagram pods here just so it’s clear that we aren’t talking about this tactic being used on any other social media platform.
In short, pods are a group of Instagrammers that have agreed to work together, liking and commenting on each other’s content in an effort to show Instagram how popular a post is. The hope is that your content will get pushed out more widely in to the photo feed.
Instagram pods will typically have a group direct message with all of the members. As a pod member, when you post something new, you let the group know, and everyone hops over to like and leave meaningful comments.How can #Instagram pods help? (Spoiler alert: they won't help you beat the algorithm) Click To Tweet
Do they really “game” the algorithm?
Ultimately, I can’t confirm or deny if being a part of an Instagram pod helps to increase the reach and impressions of your individual posts.
However, Instagram has made it clear that the algorithm is a personal thing, designed to show you more of the content you care about and interact with. This is directly quoted from Instagram:
…We announced a new way of ordering posts in feed so you’ll see the moments you care about first… With this new ordering you won’t miss your favorite band’s video after the concert, even if it took place across the world in a different time zone. And no matter how many accounts you follow, you should see your best friend’s latest posts.
Jenn Herman of Jenn’s Trends wrote a lengthy post about the effectiveness of this technique against the algorithm. It’s well written and I don’t think I need to repeat her sentiments here… go read it!
Are they good for anything?
Although I don’t think an Instagram pod is going to help you beat the algorithm, I do still think they have their value.
Top Posts Area
If you read my post about getting your Instagram photos into the Top Posts Area for your target hashtags, then you know that a big part of it is getting rapid engagement. Instagram pods are perfect for this. Say you are working with 20 other Instagram accounts. Maybe 10 of them will make it over to your post to double tap and leave a thoughtful comment. This would be a huge indicator to Instagram that, “Hey! this is newsworthy over here.”
When people see a rockin’ conversation going on under an Instagram post, they are more likely to leave their own comments. This is especially true if they can see that you are responding to people and being a part of the conversation. Your Instagram pod buddies can play a crucial role in kicking off some authentic engagement on your posts.
At the end of the day, while an Instagram Pod might not solve all of your algorithm woes, when used as just one part of a comprehensive Instagram marketing strategy, I think they can add value.
Have you tried participating in an Instagram Pod? What was your experience?
Molly Marshall teaches small business owners and online entrepreneurs how to systematically and simply grow a profitable online presence through social media. Get your FREE Instagram Strategy Guide now!