Just like the old days of cool versus not-so-cool at school, it is happening yet again, and this time in the form of social media marketing. This new fad in town is called an Instagram pod.
So, when I hear the terminology Instagram pod my mind wonders to something way off the radar, like a means of transportation you’d be housed in on an intergalactic space journey. Not so far from the truth, however, Instagram pods are about bringing people together, much like my space journey vehicle. The method behind the Instagram pod madness is an ingeniously effective, digital marketing strategy to fight the big bad Instagram algorithm.
Back in June 2016, Instagram released a new algorithmic timeline which changed the order of feeds in users’ accounts from chronological to most popular. Just like Facebook rolled out, this means no matter how much you try to get your brand noticed through everything you learnt on your digital marketing courses, your efforts could be a complete waste of time. If you don’t get any activity on your posts, there is a likely chance they may not even show up on newsfeeds of those who are important to you – your customers and potential clients.
Welcome the invention of the Instagram pod! However, it’s not that easy to become involved.
Instagram pods are exclusive, invite-only arrangements of online communities. These community groups now function as a manual alternative to what Instagram bots have previously undertaken. These pods are formed by creating group messages of around ten to 20 people on the other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The people within a pod are generally influencers, bloggers and creators of content, with a business here and there.
The theory behind the pods is, just like peas in a pod, they stick together. A pod member will forward a photo they post to the group, and the other members of the pod are expected to comment and like it, sub-sequentially beating Instagram’s algorithm. This activity generates ‘popularity’, which in turn places the pod users’ posts higher up in people’s newsfeeds. See, just like being in the popular, cool group at school.
Individual pods are generated around common interests of fitness, food, beauty, travel, etc. The downside to an Instagram pod, if you are lucky enough to become involved, is once in, it is hard to take a break. Some pods have set rules about the frequency of posting, liking, commenting, etc, and it is super easy to be booted if you don’t abide by the rules. However, the benefits of helping other people, and being helped in return, should outweigh the small inconvenience of the regularities required.
Instagram pods seem a genius way to get around the reinvented system of newsfeed display. They are driven by genuine people – not robots – and offer a way to break into the top of newsfeeds. So, why would you not be interested in diving in? With so much competition in the digital marketing world these days, they are definitely worth jumping into if you are serious about building up your engagement and presence online.
Unfortunately, it does mean for the little guys who are not involved in an Instagram pod, you need to generally get better at ramping up your social media marketing strategies to get noticed online. Now would be a great time to get savvy and learn more about other clever digital marketing strategies you can do to achieve this.
Perhaps this is just the push you need to enrol yourself or your team in some social media training and digital marketing courses.
Social Media Mastery is an accredited social media training and social media education centre. Get in touch with our team to discuss digital marketing training and social media education today. Together, we can beat the Instagram algorithm and become just as effective as any Instagram pod.