How You Can Have The Competitive Edge

Has Instagram been confusing you about growing your account with all their changes?

   Ever since Instagram has changed their algorithm there has been this talk about Instagram Pods. Today we are going to discuss how you can work with the Instagram algorithm to keep your engagement high and gain real followers.

What Is an Instagram Pod?    

   An Instagram Pod is a group of people that stay in close communication with the single purpose of growing their Instagram accounts. These groups can be seen communicating across a variety of platforms. These platforms can be Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, Telegram and I’m sure there are plenty more. Since these Pods have to be real people this method can be extremely beneficial to grow your Instagram if done correctly.

Theory of Instagram Pods.

   Instagram has been reward accounts when your current followers enjoy your content. This raises your reach by bringing your photo higher on your followers feed and on the Discover page. By having quick, frequent and high engagement on your page theoretically, you can ‘hack’ Instagrams algorithm.

Instagram Pods Rules.

   There are no set rules for Instagram Pods. Each Pod can be run differently, but these are the general guidelines.

    The biggest priority when you are in a Pod is engaging with everyone in the group Photo.

Timed Round Groups

    Some groups run on strict timelines where everybody post at a specific time then engages with the group’s photo by liking and commenting. These groups are usually less strict on the number of times you post a day but encourage you to stay active with your account. With the space on your account activity, they are extremely strict about making sure you engage with every person’s post when you join a time round. Most of the timed round groups are larger and not in the Instagram App. They can also run by bots liking everybody post automatically to save you time. This can put your account at risk for over engaging with accounts to quickly.

Engagement Groups

    Other groups allow time freedom to post whenever you would like, but they encourage you to post a few times a day. Each time before you post a picture you will need to like and comment on every single picture that has been sent to the group since your last post. (If you happen to be in a larger Engagement Group you may have a specific number of post to engage with before you post your picture.)

How To Use  A Pod Effectively.

   The first thing you need to make sure of is that the accounts in the group support each other. Then you want to see if the accounts are built off engagement groups. You will want accounts that use engagement groups for a boost.

   What I have been noticing to be most effective is when you have a group with around 15 accounts in your niche. Next, every person will send the link to their last post to the group. You will then like and comment on each other’s photos. If the comments are longer and more natural it will really give your account an authentic feel. The higher the following of the accounts in your group, the more people your photos can potentially reach. Since these accounts are in your niche Instagram will show your content to people that are most likely to engage and follow your page. This being a natural and not time sensitive allows you to work in compliance with Instagram. Your account will also show social acceptance and be inviting for more people to engage with you.

What To Look Out For.

   It’s hard to say exactly what Instagram will allow. To stay in compliance with Instagram you will want to make sure you are not using any sort of bots, don’t over engage with your account and avoid groups with accounts built off engagement groups. When you leave a comment don’t put the same emojis every time. Try to leave at least 4-5 words highlighting something about the post.


Here’s an example use of engagement groups


    This account does pretty well. I am using this as an example to show what it could look like when accounts are apart of an engagement group.


    These two screenshots are the first comments on this accounts last photos. When you look at the accounts that comment first you can notices the same accounts commenting on each post. Usually these accounts will be in a similar niche and have a similar size to the account they are in an engagement group with.


     When accounts participate in engagement groups this isn’t bad, you will just want to make sure when you are planning to use a page for your featured post that they also have real engagement from true followers.


Where Can You Find These Pods?

     The only way for anyone to join a Pod is by networking. The majority of the time you will not be invited in, so you will have to establish a connection with somebody in the group. They can then add you when they would like. If you can not find any good engagement groups to participate in feel free to open one yourself.


In Conclusion

   Before getting involved with an Instagram Pod you will have to clearly define the purpose of your Instagram? You will also want to continually upload good content with a strategy to grow your account and keep real followers engaged.

    Pods are not totally organic but they are not made of off software. As a marketer, you will want to learn how to spot Pods so that you are not using influencers with accounts based off of pods. You can also learn to leverage Pods to your advantage to give yourself that competitive edge.


Written By: Jake Willis Blog Specialist, TonyMastOfficial Team Instagram: @jakkewillis