To pod or not to pod? That is the question.
Unless you’re someone who is deep in the trenches of all things Instagram, you may not even know what an Instagram Pod is, so let’s review.
An Instagram pod is when a group of people that have similar IG accounts (e.g. photographers, makeup artists, lifestyle bloggers, etc.) get together and agree to Like and comment on each other’s photos to increase engagement and activity. Since Instagram’s ever-changing algorithm is so elusive, this has become a popular way for accounts to be deemed more relevant. This method increases the chance of current followers seeing your content in their feed and new followers seeing it in the Discovery feed. But does it actually work? Here are pros and cons of Instagram Pods.
Pros of Instagram Pods
The opportunity to connect and meet with people from all over the world can be very beneficial if you’re just starting out on Instagram or looking to take your account over that pesky, stagnant plateau. It may seem like the more members the better, but capping your pod at about 12 members keeps the group tighter and makes communication easier. The increased engagement and comments from your fellow pod members will encourage new followers who wouldn’t normally engage with you to do so. Why? The visual appearance of people engaging with your account makes it more enticing for others to follow suit. AKA “Fear of Missing Out” or #FOMO.
Cons of Instagram Pods
Be prepared to be glued to your phone more than you already are. Whether you are communicating with your Pod via direct messaging on Instagram or another messaging app like WhatsApp, when one of your members announces that they have posted (if via Instagram, usually a code word is used), you must Like and comment on their photo immediately. This might not sound like a lot of work in the beginning, but imagine you’re now two months in. Over time, it will most likely feel less genuine with the repetition of redundant comments taking up your time. Let’s be real for a moment and call it like it is- joining an Instagram pod is the closest way to artificially increase engagement without using a bot.
Circling back to our initial question: to pod or not to pod? As with any trend, it may seem beneficial in the beginning but the truth will always set you free. Continue to focus on the true, genuine followers that care about your brand. Procuring engagement artificially will only hurt you in the end. Leave the pods to the Body Snatchers.
Are you or have you been a member of an Instagram pod? What are your pros and cons?