On this episode of The Anchored Podcast, we are talking about “Do Instagram Pods Work?” With social media ever-changing, there’s always talk about beating the algorithms. One way people try and do that is with Instagram pods. First, let’s talk about what an Instagram pod is!
What Is It?
An Instagram pod is a group of like-minded people coming together to create interaction and engagement on each others posts to try and beat the algorithm.
Does it work?
In short, no. The way Instagram algorithm works is it recognizes content that you engage with (by liking / commenting) and puts more of that in your feed. So if you’re liking and commenting on other photographers posts, then you’re going to see more and more of those posts instead of posts of potential clients.
Another reason pods aren’t as effective as people think is because it takes up so much time! Pods have rules, and if you’re in a pod with 15 other brands and you’re following each brand and commenting/liking all of their recent content, it takes up time! Most people are in more than one pod, so if you’re in 4 pods that around 60 brands you’re following and interacting with and then it negatively affects your algorithm with the content you’re shown.
How Do You Beat the Algorithm?
You don’t! Facebook and Instagram are businesses, and you can’t beat them – you have to play their game. If you play how they want, it will benefit you! Does that mean you have to shell out hundreds of dollars for sponsored posts and ads? No! It just means you have to engage with people the way they want you to.
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Alright, so today I want to talk about something that’s been on my mind a lot lately, especially as a lot of people have embraced them. And a lot of people are excited about them. We’re going to talk about Instagram pods; I don’t think they work. I don’t think that I think honestly, they’re just a waste of time. And so I’m going to explain a little bit why right now. So Instagram pods, if you don’t know what they are, pods are little groups where people can come in. And especially generally, it’s something where it’s like-minded people coming together to create engagement and create interaction on each other’s Instagram post to try to beat the algorithm that people are complaining so much about, especially since they switched from a chronological order on the Instagram feed. What does is Instagrams algorithm is they decide on what posts they think you want to see. And so that’s what they put in front of you. And so people in order to try to beat this algorithm, especially small business owners, especially photographers, what they’ve done is they’ve started to create little pods where they get together, and then they go ahead, and they start liking and engaging on each other’s content, which seems like it would work, it seems like it’s a great idea. And it seems like it’s something that would translate really well and beat the algorithm.
But why I don’t like them is because I think they don’t work at all, I think they won, they give a false confidence. So this idea that because you’re getting more engagement because you’re getting more likes, and more con comments. And because you’re getting more likes, and because you’re getting more comments that that’s automatically going to translate into you getting more interactions, and hopefully more people finding you almost as viral mentality, where I think it actually does the complete opposite one, because Facebook and Instagrams algorithms are completely different Facebook’s algorithm is something where he goes on. And if a post is doing really well, then what it’s going to do is it’s going to push it into other people’s feeds, it’s going to push it into their feeds, and then your friends are going to like it. And so then in your friends like it, it’s going to show it to more people. Whereas Instagrams algorithm is completely different Instagrams algorithm is solely based on the premise of putting content that you currently like in front of you. So it’s, what it’s doing is, it’s taking people, and it’s you’ve engaged with certain people in their content. And so it’s putting that back in front of you.
And so for you to join an Instagram pod is, it’s completely honest, I think it’s crazy because what you’re doing is all you’re doing is adding in more people that are like you, and then you’re putting your content in front of them. They like it. And so the only content you see is the content that you’ve liked and commented on from the other people in the pods. So you’re actually right, you’re actually seeing more content from other photographers or other people in your pod, and in your industry, and what you want, rather than people more content from people that are going to bring in revenue that are going to bring in whatever you’re looking for whatever you want in your business. And so it’s actually doing the opposite. And what I think it’s a waste of time is, I think it’s a waste of time, because you’re going to enter into these pods, right?
So you got to go on, you got to find a pod, you got to figure all that stuff out. And you’re going to enter in this pot. And by entering in the pod, there’s going to have rules. And so the rules are like, hey, Jim. Jim, thanks for joining this pod. The rules are you joined this Facebook group, or what people are trying to do now? Are they go Hmm, we’re getting blacklisted or called shadow band. We’re getting shadow banned from Instagram because our Instagram pod group is on Facebook. Oh, no, because our group is a Facebook group. Facebook knows that since it owns Instagram, and its shadow banning us. So now let’s go find some secret app into this secret app, we’re going to go in, and we’re going to become friends. And in this friends, that’s what we’re going to talk. And we’re going to exchange the links for our group. And what it does is the complete opposite, right, I’m wasting time because I’m going to download an app, or I gotta join a certain group. And in there are rules.
Sometimes the rules are, oh, hey, you’re required to save posts. So then it tricks Instagrams algorithm into saying, all these people love my posts, they save them, or you’re required to follow the admin. So the admins get a bunch of followers, or you’re required to go in your follow everybody, and then you like all their content, and then you comment on all their content, which, let’s think about it, let’s say you’re in one pot, which many people are in more than one pod, let’s say you’re in, you’re in two or three pods, and then you have to go and you have to like, sometimes it’s like the last 24 hours worth of photos. So everybody for the last 24 hours, look at the people who are in the pot and comment and life on their stuff. Or last 10 posts, look and comment on those if I’m in four different groups. And after like your last post, or let’s say, I’m in a group with 100. Now, let’s say 20 people in it. And you have to like the last 24 hours, I mean, some of these pockets groups have a whole bunch more than 20 people in them, then you’re having to go into 10 different peoples and engage with all of them.
If you do that for 30 seconds, or a minute at a time, you’re taking a 20 to 30 minutes a day minimum going in and commenting, and reacting and doing all these things and liking on these people’s photos where ultimately, it’s coming back and affecting your algorithm. So now all you see in your feed are these people. And all they see is you. And so the goal, like the trick here with these pods is it gives you a false confidence. Because you won, your engagement goes up, right, your engagement does go up, your likes go up, your comments go up, your followers go up. But it’s only all relative to the amount of people in your pod. There’s a bunch of different statistics that I’ve seen where people have gone in, they’ve done these they’ve done research where they’ve gone in, they’ve posted for a couple of days, seen, seen the statistics and seen all the engagement stuff, then they’ve gone in and posted for a couple of days when they were in a pod.
And then they came it came out and posted it on the back end after the pod. And really there was no difference. The only difference is the numerical like edition of the pod members. It didn’t generate more revenue doesn’t do any of that stuff. Because the false sense of confidence comes in when you think you’ve got more engagement. But you’re only engagement comes from the newer pod members, you’re actually not getting more engagement from people that followed you before you got the pod members, if that makes sense. So there’s just a small sense of I’ve never been in a pod, and I’ll never be in a pod because I just don’t think they work.
I think anybody trying to trick the algorithm we I mean, how long are we’ve been hearing about this, try to try it out and try to grab a room. It’s a business, right? Facebook, Instagram is a business play by the game. I think I’m going to go on I’m going to talk about this more. Because I’m passionate about this. We make a whole lot of money off Instagram; we’re not in tides, we have a strategy we play we play I want to I think we play by the rules of Instagram, we feed the beast, right. And in turn, the beast feeds us. And so that’s how it’s been working. And so I just think that the thesis of this is completely counter to what we want Instagram to be, or what Instagram wants the community to be, right? We talked about community over competition. But these pods end up being very exclusive things where you’re almost like, I don’t talk about it.
Like we’re not we’re not we’re not mentioning this to anybody. It’s completely counterintuitive to what the culture or the community over competition culture is all about. Right? We’re bringing exclusive groups and it’s completely opposite to the thesis of creating the community in an Instagram Anyways, we’re now we’re spending all of our time commenting on other people. We’re not people in the pods. We’re not spending time commenting on people and engaging with people that we want to engage back with us I businesses or clients or potential buyers, right. And so there’s a huge disconnect with these Instagram pods that I think people don’t get. And they don’t understand that I think need to kind of wake up to because Instagram pods aren’t the way
it just my two cents on it.
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