Instagram frequently makes adjustments to its algorithms; the biggest change to the IG algorithm took place in 2016 when Instagram stopped displaying posts in the feed by chronological order but popularity instead.
This was a big deal and many people wondered why this change should happen; after all, do I really want to see a day old post from someone as opposed to one that was just posted seconds ago?
All in all, it makes sense— Instagram wants to show people posts that they’re most likely to be interested in, not just what is posted in its order.
Even still, Instagram influencers and other creators did complain about how it’s harder to gain more real, organic Instagram followers as well as hit engagement goals. Without high engagement levels, accounts can’t perform well against the IG algorithm.
In order to avoid losing out on their performance and to keep things running smoothly, Instagram influencers created a sly way to continue to get more Instagram followers and boost their engagement— Instagram engagement pods.
Maybe you’ve heard of Instagram pods before or are just learning about them for the first time; no matter which boat you find yourself in, we’re going to tell you all about Instagram pods, including:
- What is an Instagram pod?
- Do Instagram pods work?
- How to join an Instagram pod
- How to get more followers with an Instagram pod
- Rules of Instagram pods
We’re sure that after reading you’ll have a clear idea of what Instagram engagement pods can do and whether or not they’re right for you! Let’s take a look.
What is an Instagram Pod?
The word “pod” has a few different usages, and both of them are related to groups. A pod is a place where peas grow; there’s a common expression about ‘two peas in a pod’ which indicates people are together and are similar in what they do and enjoy.
Another meaning of the word pod comes from marine animals that travel and live together. Both of these meanings can help us understand what an Instagram pod is. Instagram engagement pods are also called engagement pods, comment pods, and Insta pods. These are primarily used by influencers which is why you may not have heard of them.
The goal of these Instagram pods is to help each other get more engagement as well as Instagram followers.
So, how do Instagram pods work? These pods include a private group or group message (more on the different formats and platforms used below) that has anywhere from 30-500+ Instagram users that are all part of a similar niche and/or follower count.
A member of an Instagram engagement pod shares when they post something new to the message feed, and the rest of the members will then head over to Instagram to like and comment on the photo. This is a great way to “cheat” the algorithm.
It truly is an excellent example of collaboration that works to provide better results against the Instagram algorithm. In order to have thriving content that gets more reach on Instagram, it’s really important that you have high levels of engagement.
Instagram pods can help you get the engagement you need right when your posts go live so that you can reach more users. Even if it doesn’t get to the explore page, you’ll be more visible among your followers as well as in hashtag feeds.
Another plus of having engagement from other prominent members and influencers in your niche is that it adds credibility to your account and it helps to generate a solid community that people want to be a part of. This is the idea of social proof, and it’s a real thing.
When people are doing something and others see its popularity, they want to be a part of it. This is what Instagram pods help to stimulate.
Do Instagram Comment Pods Work?
Instagram comment pods are a great strategy for more engagement and when you have the right group of people in your pod, they absolutely work. Influencers would agree that they can help with Instagram growth.
If you are averaging low likes and comments or are just starting out on Instagram, there can be clear benefits of Instagram engagement pods. If you only get, let’s say, an average of 30 likes on your photos and join a pod with 300 people, obviously you’re going to see a huge jump in likes and comments.
This can be a great benefit for those that are just starting out or have struggled collectively to gain more engagement on Instagram. Using an Instagram pod can triple or quadruple your levels of engagement.
Different Types of Instagram Engagement Pods
There are different ways that users of engagement pods interact with each other via messages. There are three distinct and popular types of Instagram comment pods:
- DM groups on Instagram
- Telegram Group Chat
- “Turn on Notification” Pods
Let’s explore each one in brief detail.
1. Instagram DM Groups
A logical type of Instagram pods take place directly on the platform, and these are known as Instagram DM groups. They go by a particular structure to ensure that everyone gets engagement.
Instagram has limits on how many people can join a DM group, which means that these Instagram pods can only go up to 32 people per group. The most common way for people to send the link to the content they want likes and comments for and then you should go ahead and provide engagement.
The good thing is that you can click the link to the content directly which makes it easy, but space is extremely limited so you’ll have to join perhaps multiple groups and remain active in your group, otherwise you’ll be booted.
2. Telegram Group Chat Pods
Second, we have Telegram group chat pods, which have turned into the most popular form for engaging with users in an Instagram pod. There is a method to the madness of Telegram group chats and you can have groups with much higher volume than on IG DMs.
Since there is so much automation out there to help make life easier, the same is true for Telegram groups; they have a schedule that is automated on an hourly basis and you’ll get a group of Instagram profiles that you’re meant to engage with.
There is typically an automated bot that will manage the Telegram group and also advises users to add their Instagram handle to the chat. The list will then be created and sent out to the group.
After the list is created and sent, you’ll then go to the IG handles and like and/or comment on the posts, usually the most recent 3. It’s vital that you participate in this cycle because if you don’t participate, you’ll be removed from the pod.
The typical amount of time that you’ll receive to complete your engagement is 45 minutes. The most popular rounds take place around 9am, 12pm, and 4pm PST and a best practice is to post your content right around the time that the round is going to take place, about 5 minutes beforehand is best.
3. Post Notification Pods
The final way that Instagram pods are created is through post notifications. You don’t have to deal with being in groups or receiving messages when you use the post notification method. You’ll simply have your group members and “Turn on Post Notifications” for those users.
You’ll receive notifications when these users post content and you can head over and give the post a double tap as well as a comment. It’s common that a private group message is also used to encourage more participation and remind people to engage.
How to Join Instagram Engagement Pods
So far Instagram engagement pods are sounding pretty good, right? Well, if you’re hoping to get in on the action, there are a few ways that you can join. Not all engagement pods are open for anyone; you may need to have an invitation for specific groups and niches to get in.
If you don’t score an invite, however, there is another way that you can join some of the best Instagram pods on Telegram. Here are some of the most common ways:
- Send DMs in your niche: this is one of the more time-consuming methods, but you can take a look at profiles that are a part of your niche or have similar pages as you, as well as those that follow similar themes and accounts. If you check out their content and see that there are repeat likers and commenters, they are probably part of an IG pod. You can send them a DM and show that you’re interested in joining a pod and also start to like and comment on accounts you believe are part of a pod.
- Google Search: while some of these groups are kept under wraps, you can use google search to find different Instagram engagement groups and become a part of their community.
- Facebook: It seems odd that you’d check out Instagram engagement pods on Facebook, but this is another viable option for gaining more engagement on your Instagram and getting in with a pod. The group may be private, but you can send a request and you may get accepted. This is a good starting point and can even lead to you creating new pods with very active and engaged group members.
- Start your own: Along that same token, you can always get your own pod going. It does take time to grow it and run it, but if you get things worked out, it can be an extremely beneficial tool for more engagement as well as networking.
How to Get More Followers With Instagram Engagement Pods
You can see that Instagram engagement pods are a viable way to get your content authentic likes and comments, increasing your content reach and gaining visibility.
The best thing you can do is to combine your Instagram engagement pod efforts with effective hashtag strategy; this is the optimal way for you to take advantage of the Instagram algorithm and get your content out to more people.
As you can see, you should join an Instagram pod that is connected to your niche or to your content type, and the same is true for hashtags. Too often IG users use guesswork to create their hashtag strategy and they’re doing themselves a huge disservice.
It can also be tedious and time-consuming to test your own tags, so using a tool like Task Ant can help you generate and search for the most relevant and effective hashtags in your niche to drive results.
Since you’ll also be gaining more engagement on your content, it’s likely that your content will perform well in the hashtag feed and reach more users, so it’s even more important to check out Task Ant and make sure that you are taking full advantage of an organized and targeted hashtag strategy.
If you combine these two tactics you’ll be sure to see a great increase in follower growth and meaningful interactions.
Instagram Engagement Pod Rules
Here are some of the rules that are commonly seen in an Instagram pod to ensure that everything is fair; if you’re considering starting your own, you should also keep these in mind and make the rules clear from the beginning.
These are some of the general rules:
- Follow the account you’re going to engage with
- Write comments with more than 4 words for authenticity
- Like recent posts
- Avoid generic comments that look bot-generated
- Keep comments relevant and related to the content
- Tag the user in the content when commenting
- Finish your engagements within a certain time frame
- Send a message when you finish, like “done”
While each group is unique, most rules run along these lines and aim to encourage fair and equal participation. If you don’t meet the rules and engagement requirements, you’re likely to be dropped from the pod and it can also negatively affect your reputation in your niche’s community.
The Dark Side of Instagram Engagement Pods
While it seems that Instagram engagement pods are an awesome way to get more engagement and boost your performance against the algorithm, some people claim it’s doing more harm than good.
When you engage with all of the pod members’ content, you’ll always see it at the top of your feed. That means you’re not likely to see other content, only content that is from people in your pod. How serious is this? It depends on what your purpose is in using Instagram.
It also depends on the users in the engagement pod; some influencers may get an ego or be difficult to work with. On the whole, this doesn’t happen, but it is possible, especially for those that don’t wish success on others within their niche or competitive space.
In addition, since your engagement is fortified by the users of the pod, you won’t have accurate analytics in the sense that it’ll be hard to identify what is actually working well with your audience and what isn’t.
Instagram hasn’t banned or shut down engagement pods yet, but there’s always a chance that Instagram could decide to do that.
Conclusion: Instagram Engagement Pods
At the end of the day, Instagram engagement pods are a good way to connect with people in your niche and support each other. You can also get more engagement and better content reach.
Combining pods with hashtag strategy from Task Ant is a great way to get more followers, and usually people have positive experience using Instagram pods.
If you don’t, however, the good thing about them is that you can leave them whenever you want. You don’t have anything to lose by using them, so take a look at some of the ways to join and explore your options if you think it’s right for you.