An Instagram engagement pod is a group of users who cluster together in group chats or forums where users indicate to the rest of the group that they have just posted a photo or video on Instagram. An Instagram pod is a direct message between a group of about 15–20 people who are in a similar industry as your own.
A pod can be many sizes and not all pods are created equally. There are pods with thousands of active participants, and pods that have 100 or fewer active users. The big ones, while easier to join, can give your profile an unrealistic sudden boost, which also means Instagram will catch you out. The smaller pods are harder to join but can yield really good returns.
Rules in a pod vary depending on the group itself, but whenever somebody posts something new, they share that post in a direct message (DM). Everybody in the group is required to like or comment.
How does an Instagram pod work?
The ultimate purpose of an Instagram pod is to reach the goal of mutual growth. Many brands and influencers started using Instagram pods to help them access timelier engagement. But the basic idea of an Instagram pod is for your posts to get more engagement so that you’re more likely to appear on the Instagram Explore page.
Each pod may have its own rules, but most include these general guidelines:
- Respect the time when the pods “drop.” A pod “drop” is lingo for a predetermined time when users are allowed to share their content for likes or comments.
- Don’t use the chat to “chat.” Pods are strictly for business purposes, not for dilly-dallying.
- Do not leech. Don’t abuse the pod benefits.
Since Instagram changed its algorithm to highlighting posts it believes you’ll care about based on your past behavior, users and brands are having more difficulty building engagement and followers.
Pods help users and brands generate the engagement, likes, comments, and follows they are wanting.
Pros and Cons of Instagram pods
In order to battle the new Instagram algorithm change, Instagrammers banded together to trick the app’s algorithm so that their posts show up more in the feed of their followers.
The main benefit and purpose of joining an Instagram pod is to encourage users that normally wouldn't engage with you, since the appearance of people liking your content helps make it easier for others to do so. By liking and commenting on each other's content, they signal to Instagram that their content is engaging. Thus, their content gets served up to more of their followers. These pods are seen as an attractive and easy way to increase your numbers. The opportunity to engage and meet creatives from all over the world could be very rewarding.
While the engagement pods are an attractive way to increase engagement on Instagram, pods are rarely a valuable long-term strategy.
- Are time-consuming and require a lot of work.
- Don’t produce meaningful results.
- Will deliver suspicious results.
- Can hurt your brand image.