Instagram Pods: You might know them a little bit better as Instagram engagement groups. Instagram pods, as they’re also known as, are one of the many ways that Instagram users try to get ahead in an increasingly competitive virtual world.
If you haven’t already been a part of an Instagram pod before, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of it, and as Instagram continues to change up its algorithm on its users, the need arises for more creative ways to grow your Instagram engagement.
Just think of them as both a free and easy way to increase your Instagram engagement. However, they’re not all sunshine and roses, so we thought that we would talk about them a little bit more in-depth.
Let’s check out Instagram pods and whether they’re really worth your time as an option for helping with your Instagram growth.
What is an Instagram Pod?
We’ve talked about this briefly – now, let’s really break it down. An Instagram pod is a group of people who go all in to commenting and liking each other’s Instagram content.
The ultimate goal here is to improve everyone’s growth and engagement. Instagram happens to be the easiest place for pods like these to develop, and there’s a maximum of 15 people that can be added to each group. Each member can share their photos within the group, and receive comments and likes from other members as a result.
Naturally, with any attempt to grow your engagement, there’s always going to be someone that attempts to scale it and turn it into something bigger.
Because Instagram has a 15 member limit on their groups, there are a lot of Instagrammers that have moved their groups to third-party apps, which allow them to have a much larger member-count. Sometimes, these groups can have as many as 3000 members.
While having a larger Instagram engagement group or pod is going to mean that you can get more engagement on your content, it does also mean that there’s more of a risk of groups like this attracting leechers.
Leechers are people who just turn up to the group and share their content but don’t engage with anyone else’s content in return.
Are They Worth It?
Not really. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of being a part of an engagement group:
- One is Not Enough: being in just one Instagram engagement group is simply not enough for you to get the kind of engagement you’re looking for. This is because if you’re just getting five extra likes from the other members, this isn’t going to make a huge difference to your engagement rate. You may as well buy Instagram likes & views if you’re going down that route. You also may want to consider trying a creative growth agency like Stellation Media, who can sit down with you and actually talk to you about what you’re hoping to get out of being on Instagram.
- It Needs to Cater to Your Audience: you’re going to get way more out of being part of an Instagram pod if you make sure that the other members are in a similar or the same Instagram niche as you. This is because if you have members that aren’t in your niche, Instagram’s algorithm isn’t going to promote your content to the right target audience.
- Members Need to be in The Same Time Zone: it’s pretty essential that the members of your engagement pod are in the same time zone as you. This is because you need your content to be interacted with as soon as you post it. If you post it and the other members are in a different time zone and are asleep, for example, they’ll miss your post, and you won’t get the engagement you need. Having members that are in the same time zone as you is going to dramatically increase the chances of you gaining more exposure and even the possibility of being featured in the Top Posts section.
- Ditch it if it Isn’t Working: if you don’t feel like you’re getting the engagement you need from being part of an engagement pod, don’t hang around – get out when you can. If it’s not working, it’s not working, and there’s not a lot that you can do about it. Luckily, there are third-party companies like Hashtags for Likes that can help you focus on your hashtag strategy instead, which is going to significantly increase your chances of connecting to the right target audience. The more relevant your hashtags are, the better your chances of success, so perhaps it’s time to put more focus into your hashtag strategy instead.
Are Instagram Pods Safe? Do They Work in 2020?
This is an incredibly valid question, and it’s actually becoming more and more valid every day. We would love to sugarcoat things and tell you that Instagram pods are totally safe to be a part of, but at the end of the day, this simply isn’t true.
The reality is that Instagram pods did use to work and be the go-to strategy for a lot of people on the gram. However, since Instagram has altered its algorithm, it’s no longer the most effective strategy, and there is a good chance that Instagram will shadowban you as a result.
Shadowbanning is when Instagram limits the reach your content has to just your existing followers, and they would do this if they think that your activity is coming across as repetitive and spam-like.
If you don’t want to ruin your reputation by being shadowbanned, then we suggest that you opt-out of Instagram pods for now and focus on other approaches to your Instagram growth, like Stellation Media, Hashtags for Likes, and the numerous Instagram marketing courses out there that can teach you all you need to know about successfully creating the Instagram profile of your dreams.
Final Thoughts on Instagram Pods
At the end of the day, every Instagram pod is different – and Instagram still has limitations on how many members you can have, which will help avoid that spam-like behavior.
However, things have changed a lot over the past couple of years, and we think that at this point in the story of Instagram, it’s much better to take an Instagram course or outsource your engagement than be a part of an Instagram pod.
The popular social media giant is always on the lookout for strategies that are violating its terms and conditions, and unless you’re prepared to really risk your reputation by using a third-party app to participate in an Instagram pod, we suggest that you steer clear.
We’re beyond these now, and we think that there are more than enough resources out there to make sure that your Instagram is growing as it should.