Jan 24, 2024
9 MIN READ
If you are a brand starting on Instagram, you must know how difficult it is to get the attention of your desired audience. Though you might have been publishing content on a regular basis, the engagement might seem inadequate. And Instagram always tends to favor content with good engagement.
So, the question remains - what can be done?
It is possible that you have heard (or been asked to consider) one thing in particular: Instagram Pod.
It's a controversial yet intriguing solution to this challenge. These collaborative groups have become a secret weapon for many, but at what cost?
Through this blog, we will help you understand whether leveraging Instagram Pod is good for you or not. You will learn how it works, the problems associated with it, and more.
Let's start by understanding the concept.
What is Instagram Pod?
An Instagram Pod is a group of Instagram users who agree to mutually support each other by engaging with each other's posts. The engagement can be anything from likes and comments to sharing each other's content.
The main objective of these pods is to combat the challenges posed by Instagram's algorithm.
If you didn't know, the Instagram algorithm tends to favor posts with higher engagement. This way, you people or brands can help mutually for this higher engagement and make them more visible to a broader audience.
What are the Types and Sizes of Pods?
Members: Usually consist of 15-20 users.
These pods are often more niche-focused, with members having similar interests or industries. The engagement is more personal and targeted.
Large or Mass Pods:
Members: Can have 1,000 or more participants.
They offer a broader reach but might result in less meaningful engagement as the interactions are less personal.
Members: Varies in size, often medium to large.
Here, the members share a common niche, such as travel, fashion, or food, leading to more relevant and useful engagement.
How Do Instagram Pods Operate?
Now that you have understood what it is and the types, the obvious question would be, “How actually do they work?”. Well, let’s have a look at that.
Members are typically required to like and comment on each other's posts. Some pods have strict rules about the timeliness and quality of comments to ensure engagement appears genuine.
Communication and Coordination:
Pods usually operate through group chats on Instagram DMs, Telegram, Facebook, or other messaging platforms. Members notify the group when they have a new post that needs engagement.
Scheduling and 'Drops':
Some pods schedule specific times (known as 'drops') when members can share their posts for engagement. This is especially common in larger pods. Members are expected to engage with all or a set number of posts shared during these times.
No Leeching Policy:
Members are expected to engage with others' posts as much as they receive engagement. Failure to do so can result in warnings or removal from the pod.
Discretion and Secrecy:
Due to the controversial nature of Instagram pods, members often maintain a level of secrecy to avoid detection by Instagram.
The concept of Instagram pods goes against the platform's terms of service, so secrecy is essential. This secrecy also protects the perceived authenticity of their engagement metrics.
Some pods may have entry criteria, such as a minimum follower count, engagement rate, or content quality. New members may need to be vouched for by existing members, especially in more exclusive or niche pods.
While some pods operate directly on Instagram, others use external platforms like Telegram for organization and communication. Telegram is popular due to its ability to support large group chats and its enhanced privacy features.
Code of Conduct:
Most pods have a set of rules or a code of conduct. This can include requirements for the type and quality of comments (to avoid generic or spam-like comments), the frequency of posts by members (to prevent over-posting), and the expected response time for engaging with new posts.
Variations in Rules:
The specific rules can vary widely from pod to pod. Some may require members to engage with all posts shared in the group. At the same time, others may have a more relaxed approach, only requiring engagement with a certain number of posts per day or week.
In some pods, particularly those focused on a specific niche, members may also offer feedback or advice on each other's content, adding a collaborative element to the group.
Monitoring and Enforcement:
Larger pods, especially those on platforms like Telegram, sometimes use bots or automated systems to monitor member participation and enforce rules. Smaller, more intimate pods may rely on the mutual trust and accountability of members to ensure everyone is participating fairly.
Suggested Read: What Do Navigation Mean on Instagram?
How Can Brands Benefit From Instagram Pods?
There are several ways brands like yours can leverage this, and the following are the three main benefits.
The main benefit would be algorithm advantage. Instagram's algorithm tends to favor posts with high engagement (likes, comments, shares). By participating in Instagram pods, where members actively engage with each other's content, brands can significantly boost their post visibility.
Also, higher engagement often translates to higher placement in followers' feeds. This increased visibility can lead to a wider audience reach, not just within the pod but also among the organic followers of the brand.
Enhanced Engagement Metrics
An Improved engagement rate is another benefit brands can expect. Active participation in Instagram pods leads to an immediate increase in likes and comments. This, in turn, boosts the overall engagement rate, a key metric that brands use to measure their social media performance.
When posts show high engagement, they not only gain algorithmic favor but also appear more appealing to organic viewers. This can lead to a snowball effect, where organic viewers are likelier to engage with a post that already shows high engagement.
Here’s something to help you get a better understanding of the average engagement rate on Instagram.
Perception of Popularity
High engagement creates a perception of popularity and buzz around the brand. This can be particularly beneficial for product launches or promotional campaigns, where appearing popular can drive more attention and interest.
In the social media context, viewers often equate engagement with credibility and popularity. Higher engagement on a brand's posts can influence consumer perception positively, potentially impacting purchasing decisions.
Ethical Dilemmas in Engagement
A major ethical issue with Instagram pods is that they generate artificial engagement. This means the likes, comments, and shares aren't genuine interest. Such engagement can mislead followers and brands about a post's true popularity.
We all know engagement rates often determine how brands and influencers are perceived. But, artificially boosting these rates through pods questions their honesty and commitment to transparency, which are crucial in ethical social media use.
Influencer Marketing: Transparency Matters
Influencers who use pods to enhance their metrics might face ethical challenges, especially when partnering with brands. It's expected that they are transparent with their followers.
Hiding the use of artificial methods for engagement can damage trust.
There's an expectation of transparency in influencer marketing, and not disclosing artificial means of engagement can lead to trust issues with followers.
Furthermore, if these numbers are inflated due to pod activities, it can lead to incorrect marketing decisions and potentially harm the relationship if the truth comes out.
The Risks to Brand Trust
If it's revealed that a brand or influencer uses Instagram pods, it can create a perception of deceit. This is risky as followers and consumers increasingly seek authenticity.
Quick boosts in engagement might seem beneficial, but they can negatively impact a brand's long-term image. Being known for manipulating engagement can overshadow the brand's true message and value.
So, Should You Consider Using Instagram Pod?
While some believe that Instagram pods can be part of a broader, ethical social media strategy if used sparingly, relying too much on them can create a gap between the perceived and actual interest of the audience.
The challenge for brands and influencers is to balance strategic engagement with building authentic relationships. Genuine, organic engagement is key for long-term success and loyalty.
Yes, Instagram pods might seem like a quick way to boost engagement. However, their ethical implications and potential negative impact on trust and authenticity are significant.
Brands and influencers need to consider the long-term effects on their reputation and audience.
Influencer Marketing Campaigns to Boost Initial Enagagement
Influencer marketing campaigns can be highly effective in boosting engagement during their initial stages. Here’s how they can make a significant impact.
Leveraging Influencer Reach:
Influencers have their own loyal followers. By collaborating with them, you tap into their audience base, which can significantly increase your content's visibility and engagement from the get-go.
Influencers are adept at creating authentic content that resonates with their audience. This authenticity can help in garnering genuine engagement for your brand, as followers tend to trust and engage with content that seems real and relatable.
Targeted Audience Approach:
Influencers often have a specific niche. By choosing the right influencers, your campaign can directly reach an audience that is already interested in your product or service, leading to higher engagement rates.
Influencers are seen as trusted sources of information by their followers. Their endorsement can lend credibility to your brand, which encourages their followers to engage with your campaign.
Influencers can bring creative ideas for content that might be more engaging than traditional advertising. This creativity can capture the audience's interest quickly and effectively.
Increased Social Proof:
When influencers use or endorse a product, it acts as social proof, encouraging their followers to try the product and engage with the brand. This can lead to increased likes, comments, and shares.
Influencers can use specific campaign hashtags, which can spread quickly and become trending. This increases visibility and encourages more users to engage with the content.
Also Read: How To Use The Best Instagram Hashtags
Influencers often excel at storytelling. A compelling narrative around your brand or product can engage audiences right from the start and keep them interested over time.
Early Feedback and Adaptation:
Influencer campaigns can provide early feedback from an engaged audience. This allows for quick adaptations to maximize engagement throughout the campaign.
Now, it should be noted that in order for the influencer campaign to be effective, you need to partner with the right influencer. The influencers' followers should align with your target audience.
Furthermore, the influencer content must share values and aesthetics similar to your brand. This alignment ensures that the engagement is not only high in volume but also high in quality.
So, if you are looking for ways to find the right influencers, look no further than impulze.ai. It encompasses a vast network of influencers (global) from which you can choose the ideal one for your campaign. The reverse search engine and advanced filter options make this process swift and easy.
Sign up for free and see how fast you can find your influencer. Or click below to connect with the team and schedule a personalized demo.