Is it the Secret to Winning on Instagram?

Instagram comment pods

Is it the Secret to Winning on Instagram?

How many times has the Instagram algorithm changed? I feel like it changes every week or every other week. Everyone in the Instagram community is struggling to get the likes they once did.

I sort of lost touch with Instagram. I struggled with keeping and maintaining a schedule because I 
wasn’t sure what I was doing wrong. Was I not posting enough? Was I posting at the wrong times?
Was I not interacting enough?

Well, I sort of just stopped posting all together. Then, something changed with the platform. I started to noticed 
the same people commenting the same stuff on people’s pictures. It was always to the same people too. It all
seemed sketchy to be honest.

I was contacted by a few groups to join an ‘Instagram Pod’ and at first I wasn’t sure what it was. Once I found
out exactly what a pod was and the rules surrounding one, I was disappointed. How can this be okay!
Technically, the engagement isn’t there and once people stop commenting and liking, everything looks fake.

What is an Insta Pod?
Well, to put it short. Instagram Pods are ‘secret’ (not so secret anymore) groups of anywhere between 15-30
bloggers. The numbers can differ between groups and rules. Most successful groups have more than ten
bloggers because that means more engagement. These pods are usually by invitation only but not always.
Some bloggers will let other bloggers know on social media platforms of different openings in groups. Bloggers can then contact the ‘leaders’ of these groups to see if they can join.

What are Instagram comment pods?
photo by Ben Kolde on Unsplash
Using insta pods is a great way to get your engagement up. Since, everyone agrees to post, like and comment at the same time, then your engagement is steadily growing. If you use them, then you could see your following stay the same or potentially grow. People see the comments and overview of likes and then follow your page.

I’m in a group, now what?
Every group has its own rules and regulations but for the most part, they are the same. Every blogger in the
group will be asked to comment and like every picture posted by the participants. They usually have a set time or set comment guidelines so they don’t look like spam. If you don’t comment and like on everyones picture at
the specified time you will experience some consequences. Usually, a few warnings, until you get kicked out of
the group. It’s a lot of pressure to do this everyday + at the same time.

Why do people frown on those who use them?
For starters, insta pods are fake engagement. It isn’t genuine. You comment on Lindsay’s pictures (example I’m using + Lindsay is a pretend person solely for this example) everyday and every time she posts something
new. But let’s say Lindsay is only getting 200 likes and 15 comments. Those 15 comments are always from the
same people and it’s always the same thing like “cute top,” “you look so fab (emoji)”, “(emoji’s)”. It’s always
something super simple but the comments look like bots because they are always the same thing.

Using pods can hurt your following
If you pay attention on Twitter or on insta stories, then you would have noticed the people trashing bloggers
who use them. Everyone thinks and agrees, that it isn’t fair. You are growing but the engagement is fake and
people are starting to notice. People have even started calling people out, which I think is a little excessive.
I mean, sure people are doing something wrong but I don’t think you should publicly shame them. Instead, DM
them or reach out privately and share your point of view on the situation. Some brands are starting to notice too and they are not happy about it either.

What is an Instagram pod and how can I join?
photo by Christin on Unsplash
What do I think?
To be honest, I don’t use them because I don’t think it’s the way grow. I get that the algorithms make it harder to grow on Instagram but everyone is struggling. Some people aren’t getting the same amount of likes they once did but they are adapting. They are changing up their posting times and the way their content looks. Using
different hashtags that are actually relevant to what the image is about will help a lot.

I stopped posting on Instagram a while back because I was seriously unmotivated. I just felt like my content
wasn’t great and I knew I could do better. The algorithm was really hurting my growth and I let it win.
I just stopped.

What am I doing about it?

  1. Not joining insta pods.
  2. Research the different types of algorithms and why they occur.
  3. Figure out the times that work best for me.
  4. BE YOURSELF! People like this.
Comment pods and what they are doing to your following.
photo by Ethan Haddox on Unsplash
I know everyone has their own opinions about Insta Pods and that is totally fine. If you use them and are okay with it, then keep doing it. If you don’t, then don’t.

What are your opinions about this? Do you think Insta pods are fair game or is it cheating?

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