An Instagram pod is any group direct message on Instagram in which all the users agree to help each other grow on that platform by exchanging well-timed engagement. Basically, several different Instagram users will come together within one direct message or group chat conversation. They agree to like and comment on each other’s posts as soon as they’re posted.
This can help a user’s post get strong initial engagement, which may help the Instagram algorithm position the post for further reach.
Engaging with a strategic group of like-minded Instagram users can be another useful tool in your social marketing toolbox.
The goal of an Instagram pod is for each user to benefit in terms of increased engagement and increased following.
However, pods also bring risk:
- People join a pod and don’t engage. (Solution: Remove that user from the post, or leave the pod and seek out ones with higher user engagement).
- It’s difficult to engage when someone posts, if timing is not convenient for you. (Solution: Keep pods small).
- People join a pod who aren’t your ideal target client, so the engagement is artificial. (Solution: Screen pod members).
- Your newsfeed is filled with people in your pod, rather than potentially other Instagrammers that may be your target. (Solution: Actively search for new users via hashtags).
Let’s get into the details on how Instagram pods work.
Size: Since you are expected to engage quickly when someone in your pod posts, most pods are kept relatively small – with under 20 users. If you have more than that, a pod may become hard to manage, and you’ll see an increase in non engagement.
Notifications: Pod members are expected to turn on notifications for all other members of the Instagram pod, so they are notified when the member posts. A member can also notify the pod via DM with a “Hey, I just posted!”
Action: Once the pod is made aware of a new post, all the pod members should quickly like and comment on the post, with a meaningful and insightful comment. This helps guarantee that the post will have a certain number of comments, the comments will be valuable, and engagement will happen quickly.
How to create or join an Instagram pod.
Let’s get into the details on creating Instagram pods, finding the right people, and what to do once your pod is up and running.
1 – Look for people with similar follower counts
If you have 300 followers, they should have about 300 followers. If you’re rocking 10,000 followers, they should be comparable in size. Why? Reciprocal growth and engagement ratios.
2 – Friends aren’t necessarily the best pod members.
Your goal should be to find pod members who have similar following size and demographic, but have different followers. Friends are obviously ok, as you may already share followers and interests – but may not be the best to extend your growth and reach.
3 – Join the Elite Suite and participate in weekly pod threads (or start your own)
Each week we will post multiple pod threads for various size followings. You are also welcome to start your own thread, and solicit members to join your pod based on your criteria (such as follower size, in a specific niche, gender-specific, etc.)
4 – Not a member of an organized influencer group? Create your own!!
Find potential members by searching hashtags, and contacting users who may be interested in reciprocal engagement and growth.
5 – Capture their profiles and slide into their DMs.
Setup (or learn) your pod rules, turn on notifications, and start engaging with your new friends!