Instagram is fast becoming one of my favourite social media platforms. Which is funny because I didn’t really use it much until halfway through 2018. When I became an accredited Facebook and Instagram trainer for the UK #SheMeansBusiness programme, I realised that it was time to get stuck in.
It is HARD to grow your Instagram following though. Between the follow-unfollow brigade, and the platform’s own algorithm, how can you get your ideal clients eyes on your fabulous content?
Yes you can write brilliant inspiring captions. And use up to 30 hashtags that relate to what your ideal client is searching for.
We all want a slightly easier life don’t we? That’s where Instagram pods come in.
So what exactly IS an Instagram pod?
A pod is a group of like-minded people who get together on Instagram through the messaging side of the platform. They usually have common interests, maybe they work in similar industries or have mutual target audience types.
If you do join a pod, I suggest you get a group of people who have a common interest. Maybe it’s photography. Maybe knitting. What would work best is being with a group of people who’s stuff you are interested in anyway. We don’t want to spend time engaging with content from someone whose content doesn’t interest us!
How does a Pod work?
When you post your latest creative masterpiece on your Instagram feed, you share it into your pod. Then your fellow poddies will go to your post and leave a comment. Not a spammy one like ‘ awesome feed, let me help you get to 10k followers in 30 seconds’. (yes I get those!)
You support each other in the pod and leave comments on each others posts. You don’t have to go searching through the feed to find your fellow pod members posts, as they share them into the messaging pod.
Why do people use pods?
When Instagram changed up the platform to include an algorithm, they decided to show your posts to people who are really engaged with your feed. You also will get more eyes on your post when it is seen as relevant to your audience. How do Instagram measure what is relevant? By the number of engagements you have!
What else do you need to know?
Instagram also rewards posts which have comments straight away. So by sharing your post into your pod, and getting comments in the first few minutes or hours of your post’s life, you will get more love from the algorithm.
So how do you find a pod?
Either you ask your entrepreneurial posse to set one up with you, or you can join an existing one. Each pod is different – with any form of mutual engagement strategy, you want to find a pod where the other members are ‘playing ball’.
What to avoid
No point in joining a pod where you are the only posting. Also you don’t want to be in a pod where the other members posts are really of no interest to you. For example, I don’t particularly follow football, so if I was in a pod where I was supposed to be leaving relevant engaging comments on football inspired posts, I would run out of ideas pretty quickly!
Isn’t this all a little bit fake?
Are we just creating fake news then?
It depends on what your group is. For me, I am commenting and posting on Instagram feeds that I am already interested in and following. Using a pod means that yes, there’s a little bit of a boost. But also, I am not missing out on the posts from other entrepreneurs who I WANT to see from.